Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

Where the editors are

Posted on | April 7, 2010 | 8 Comments

Adair insert2The great editorial diaspora is yielding some interesting stories. While there’s still plenty of pain out there among seasoned reporters and editors who have lost their jobs in the big meltdown, many are finding their way. They’re finding their way into marketing, communications and vendor-as-publisher roles where their editorial sense is keenly valued.

My old colleague Tim Moran is just one example. He’s landed a sweet job as editor in chief at CMO.com, an Omniture Web publication geared toward, well, chief marketing officers. (Omniture was bought last fall by Adobe). Moran worked at CMP for more than 20 years in various editorial positions, and he found himself at the vanguard in 1994 of a very small band of editors who looked into this Web thing and tried to make sense of it. Over the next 15 years, he held various digital roles at EE Times and TechWeb and prodded, cajoled, and in some cases dragged reporters into the new age.

Says Moran:

I had known Omniture from UBM, where we used it as our web-analysis tool. I had even been out to Omniture U. to learn more about it years ago. What Omniture had in mind sounded very much like what I was doing for many years at EET and TechWeb and Iweek–creating and running a news and content web site. It turned out to be a great fit–for Omniture and me. I am thrilled to be working for a company that “gets it”; vendor-as-publisher really is the way of the future, and Omniture (and now Adobe) clearly sees the importance and relevance of it. We run just like a real media site, with little or no corporate intervention. It’s great.

I was emailing frequently with Moran in the past year as he was getting into the CMO.com gig. But it wasn’t until a few days ago that I really got the message: I was looking for a complete channel I could research to get information on email-marketing best practices. CMO.com was just that.

Omniture realized that there was a need for a site that could provide to senior marketing executive’s one-stop shop for digital marketing news and insight. CMO.com’s reason for being is to help CMOs stay informed and save time so they can more effectively lead their companies in the digital world. We do this by reviewing relevant content from more than 50 leading sources; selecting only those stories and articles the team of editors thinks is worth the marketing executive’s time.; and we help them find what’s important. Busy CMOs and marketing executives know the content is out there but they don’t have the time to slog through all the sites and newsletters. The CMO.com value-add is that we do that for them. Omniture marketing started building the site about a year ago. I was brought in as a consultant to help them do it, and I’ve been there ever since–as a consultant for almost a year and now hired as the EIC.

cmo graphic
As for the audience, Moran says it’s a healthy mixture of highly engaged CMOs trying to make social strategies work for their companies and those who are trying to “get it.” “They realize that social media and digital marketing are the future and they have to get in touch, but it’s hard,” Moran says. “We hope to make it a bit easier for them via the content we aggregate–and are now even beginning to create–on CMO.com.”

I asked him with blogging, micrblogging and social networking seeming to settle out, what’s the next big thing in social media land for CMOs to get a grip on?

Mobile. Mobile. Mobile. The phone is the next PC, and those companies that have a clear and workable mobile marketing concept and plan and the ones that are going to lead the way. And it’s not just going to be taking what was done elsewhere and making a mobile app for it–mobile digital marketing is an entirely new world.

Journalists are skilled out sniffing out stories and telling them, and, as we’re finding out, it’s just as valuable a skill in the digital world–publishing or corporate–as it was back in the print day.

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Comments

8 Responses to “Where the editors are”

  1. Jackie Damian
    April 7th, 2010 @ 7:42 am

    Congrats to Tim! I’m another example of an ex-CMP editor now working in the corporate world — in my case, for a Xilinx publication (your “vendor as publisher” model). It’s an interesting world out there if you know how to (apologies to Steve Jobs) Think Different.

  2. David Maliniak
    April 7th, 2010 @ 8:06 am

    To that, Jackie, I’d add that for those of us who’ve managed to hang in with what I’ll call “traditional” media companies, Thinking Different is equally essential. My job has changed more in the last year than it had in the previous 28 years in the EOEM press. Thinking Different is pretty much a given when the sand is shifting underfoot at a dynamically variable rate.

  3. John Donovan
    April 7th, 2010 @ 8:13 am

    Tech vendors so far seem to be going two routes: paying ex-editors to be bloggers or sponsoring their sites. They’re also hiring videographers and setting up in-house studios to produce webcasts. High-quality vendor mags like the ones Rich Goering puts out for Cadence, Mike Santarini for Xilinx and Paul Dempsey for Mentor Graphics are certainly a wave of the future. How and how well independent media outlets will survive remains to be seen.

  4. Brian
    April 7th, 2010 @ 9:08 am

    John, eventually you run into the echo-chamber phenomenon and that is the audience engages companies and their content with a pre-selected filter. I still insist they also want objective sources for their information as well. Information from peers is highly valued, but so too is information from trusted media sources (you, dave, chipdesign, eet, edn, etc.)
    At the same time, companies still want those sources too to validate their messages. Now they just need to come back to the table with some cold, hard cash!

  5. John Donovan
    April 7th, 2010 @ 11:37 am

    I agree on all points, including the latter. It doesn’t take many enlightened sponsors to support an independent, online-only operation, though that can only scale to a point; covering a corporate overhead plus print and mailing costs is quite another. I’ve got a lot smaller hill to climb than the New York Times.

  6. Brian
    April 7th, 2010 @ 12:53 pm

    Somewhat tangentially, I noticed this story from searchengineland: Is trust in social media dying?
    http://searchengineland.com/is-trust-in-social-media-dying-39340

    The point as social marketing may be shooting itself in the foot, it opens opportunities for independent voices who put food on the table by being independent and objective.

  7. robde (robde)
    April 14th, 2010 @ 5:29 pm

    Twitter Comment


    Reading: “Where the editors are”( [link to post] )

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  8. dan holden
    April 20th, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

    To John’s tangental point, there’s a blurring distinction between the legitimate news sites, communities and blogs that reside on corporate and social media sites, and the “news sites,” “communities” and “blogs” that have been set up by affiliate marketers to look like the real deal but are really all about drawing people in to a sales channel. The increasing haziness has markedly damaged the value of legitimate sites just by virtue of the fact that affiliate marketers are doing a lot of poaching of news content. Because the guys who are at the top of this game are making a lot of money at it, it will be interesting to see how this plays out. It may well be that legitimate sites will find themselves taking their cue from affiliate marketers, holding at the core of their sites an array of high-value information products such as books, videos, webinars and consulting services, for instance. In the short term this will legitimize the affiliate scheme. In the long term, those with the most knowledge and best delivery will win.

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