Adrants Loves Its Job, Readers, Advertisers, Holiday Ad Grunts
I wrote this exactly one year ago and it's as relevant today as it was one year ago so with he usual holiday week laziness in full force, I'm reprinting an edited version of this for your enjoyment with relevent numbers and facts updated:
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 you can find floating about, some of which will be here on Adrants.
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 (blah, blah, blah...I know you've all heard this before) 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 bills and would become, in March 2004, my full time job, I would have called you crazy. But, miraculously, that has become the case. Fifteen thousand people subscribe to this site's daily email newsletter and that number increases by 50 or so each day. The site is visited by 15-20,000 unique individuals each day and pumps out 25-30,000 page views per day. Ten 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. (OK, so maybe I'll never get numbers quite that high but can you blame me for trying?)
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, AdArena, AdHurl, Shake Well Before Use, Adpunch, AdScam, Advertising for Peanuts, Advertising Ourselves to Death, CoolzOr, Make the Logo Bigger, MIT Advertising Lab, and countless others I've either forgotten or haven't heard of yet.
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.
That said, I like to refer to Adrants as a business to business online magazine about advertising because, rightly or wrongly, there's a lot of baggage that comes with that label. Though 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. Suffice to say, we (and it is we now) use blogging software to publish a website that offers alternatively focused advertising news and opinion with a dollop of wit, humor and sarcasm.
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. (And now don't have to since we have Angela too!) 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 in exchange for a salary not much higher than that of a fast food employee.
Peace. Love. Welcome 2007.