Why? One of my earliest experiences in the Internet ad world was as intern/writer/ad sales person at @NY. I got the ad sales part of the job (and all the rest) courtesy of Tom Watson, who I’d met while finishing up my masters in journalism at Columbia. One of the more important things I learned (besides that I was not cut out for selling) was how difficult it was for agencies to buy ads across niche Web sites. No matter how engaged and influential their audiences, it was just plain logistically difficult to buy across all those sites. And that was 1998, before the explosion in blogs, and their accompanying engaged, influential (but niche) audiences. That’s one of the issues FM is looking to address.
Why else? I’ve spent the years since that experience thinking and writing about interactive advertising, watching the boom, the flameout and the subsequent rise. Joining FM is an opportunity for me to apply everything I’ve learned over the years about advertising and about managing writers. It’s also a great chance to work with brilliant, dedicated people who have a strong vision of the future of publishing. Needless to say I’m especially looking forward to getting to know the authors, many of whom I feel I know already through reading their compelling writing. I’m really eager to start helping them realize their dreams for their sites.
One of the things I had to really look at when considering this opportunity was whether I’d miss writing. I’ve helped with writing news and authored a bi-weekly column since 2001. I looked back recently over the archives of what I’ve written for ClickZ, and the sheer volume is amazing. Thankfully, FM, as you might expect, is supportive of my blogging, so I’ll have The River as an outlet for my musings. Not sure exactly how often I’ll be posting or what shape it’ll take, but give me time to get my feet wet and together we’ll see what emerges. (Feedback is always welcome, of course.)
I’m still at ClickZ for the next week. Then I’ll take a whole day (!) off to do yoga and nap (or something equally relaxing), and I start at FM on August 1. To all you FM authors out there, I look forward to working with you!