Adrants Loves Its Job, Readers, Advertisers, Holiday Ad Grunts
Not that there's really any news this week nor any real reason to actually be working this week in the advertising industry, typically the time when upper management leaves the grunts behind to play pool and download music...uh...perform minuscule tasks referred to as work, but there are plenty of the usual 2005 wrap ups and 2006 pontification stories. One that caught our eye is written by Intelliseek CMO Pete Blackshaw.
Writing on ClickZ, Blackshaw offers up some personal insights he's experienced over the past year from buying more online (he has two newborn twins) to incessant bombardment of advertising, both consumer and B2B, into our lives particularly the insanity of pre-movie ads to cable company-based DVRs making television advertising irrelevant to increased consumption of online video to his experience with personal blogging that got him blogging about his babies and blogging to save a neighborhood pool.
I'm with Pete on this. While year's end always brings about looking back and peering forward, the next few years certainly do feel as though they will be filled with vast sea changes in the world of media with major media companies ceding a lot of their customers/viewers to shows like Rocketboom, a John Stewart-like take on news. The rise of blogging and the so-called Web 2.0 type tools have made it ridiculously easy for the average Joe to produce content other people actually enjoy consuming, even over content from major media companies. Surely, big companies will catch on and leverage these changes but some, sadly, will cling to old business models and watch their bottom line plummet to the floor of extinction.
From my own personal standpoint if you asked me in March of 2002 when Adrants was launched as a side project to fill time during a period of between agency unemployment if it would ever become a self-sustaining business that pays all the family's bills and would become, in March 2004, my full time job, I would have called you crazy. But, miraculously, that has become the case. Ten thousand people subscribe to this site's daily email newsletter and that number increases by 50-100 each day. The site is visited by 12-15,000 unique individuals each day and pumps out 25-30,000 page views per day. Seven thousand people subscribe to the site's RSS feed. And the numbers keep curving up. It now seems quaint to think, back in the day, I was excited when Site Meter indicated I had 100 people reading the site. Times have changed dramatically including the fast changing media landscape which made all of this possible. That and the powerful motivation that last unemployment check had. Now I'm not sleeping until there's 50,000 newsletter subscribers and every person working in an ad agency, in client-side marketing and any other ad-related practice reading Adrants.
Enough chest thumping. Ad Age is still the king in this space. I have no idea how many readers their publication and website have but I do know I don't subscribe to their magazine because there's no need to. All the information about advertising is out there for free from both Ad Age itself, other ad industry publications like Ad Week and the ever increasing collection of ad-focused weblogs from Ad Week's own AdFreak, grand daddy and forerunner of all ad-focused weblogs, AdLand, AdJab, AdPulp, Adpunch, Adverblog, Adverbox, Advertising/Design Goodness, American Copywriter (and its podcast), Beyond Madison Avenue, Copyranter, Jaffe Juice, MediaBuyerPlanner, MarketingVOX, The Media Drop, The Spunker, Ypulse and assuredly hundred's of others I've either forgotten or haven't heard of yet. While there's always a need for professionally edited content, there's also a compelling argument for unfiltered content.
One of the practical applications of this whole consumer-generated media thing is that we get to hear from people who are actually doing what they write, blog and vlog about. We can read/hear it in free form from the trenches. While many of these people aren't trained in journalism, I don't think that's as important as it once was. Sometimes it's just great hear from and identify with someone who's doing exactly what you are doing even if it's not written like a well-formed Ad Age article. This new free flow of personally and professionally relatable content is like one constant advertising trade show or industry party.
I like to refer to Adrants as a business to business online magazine about advertising but there's no hiding the fact it's a weblog too. While there's all sorts of unwanted social media type hype that comes with a weblog, the fact remains Adrants would not exist if it weren't for the creation of weblogging...and all the social media hype that comes with it.
To all of you who read Adrants, ever did and ever will, I thank you for doing so and for helping grow Adrants to its current position. To all of you who have left comments, much appreciation. Your comments add more to the site in terms of content, added information, fact checking and humor than I could ever hope to achieve alone. To all Adrants advertisers, thanks for your support, your belief, your trust in this site as a valuable resource for those of us working in advertising. And to those of you stuck in the office this week doing your boss's job, I've been there. I've done it. Take heart. It won't be long before you're off during this week delegating your own work to some poor advertising neophyte who joined this business thinking they'd be creating, producing and shooting glamorous television spots rather than pumping out media estimates and call reports.