Friday, January 4, 2013

TalkingNewMedia reaches the age of three (it still can't walk, but it sure can talk)

It is TNM's birthday today, did you know that? On this day in 2010 the first "official" post appeared on this website, and if your memory fails you and you do not recall what that first post was about don't worry about it, I believe only a handful of web readers ever saw that first story.

That first post on January 4, 2010 talked about the iSlate tablet. You remember the iSlate, don't you? The iSlate was yet another example of rumor-journalism, the art of repeating rumors on tech websites in order to attract clicks. I linked to the NYT report on the rumored Apple tablet, as well as Ken Doctor's post. Doctor read it and posted a commented here, he hasn't been back as far as I can tell.

Just like a new born baby, the real first day of life for TNM came earlier and was, for the most part, unseen by readers – there were test posts that appeared on the website as far back as December 3, 2009. The first test post, which can still be seen here, talked about the conceptual video created by Time Inc. on what a tablet edition of Sports Illustrated would possibly look like.  A week later I wrote about the shuttering of Editor & Publisher by its owner, Nielsen.

In three years TNM readership has grown, but has never broken through to consumer website levels. In 2010 this site had just under 15,000 readers, in 2011 it doubled to just over 30,000. Last year TNM was read by around 50,000 digital media professionals. (How do I know they were all digital media professionals? Because no one ever complained about all the typos on this site. Only a digital media pro would forgive my sloppiness so easily.)

In B2B terms, I'm pretty happy with the number of readers accessing TNM daily. As of today around 50 percent of all TNM readers come from outside the U.S. But if this were a consumer website the numbers would be considered insignificant. Last week, for instance, The Next Web linked back to TNM and drove quite a number of readers here. But few if any of those readers are TNM's target audience and probably none will ever return. That's not the way B2B works: one writes for a select audience and hopes you become a trusted source of news, information and opinion.

At least twice in the past two years I've shut down TNM. I never anticipated continuing to publish this site assuming that at some point I would return to being a publisher at yet another struggling publishing company – that is what I've been doing since 1981. I'd still listen to offers, by the way, but the industry is in no better shape today than it was when this site was launched.

So on to Year Four for TNM.

One change I look to make is to launch a page where industry companies can get information on advertising here. For now TNM only accepts ad network space, but they are often ads that make no sense for the readership. We see that on lots of sites including Jim Romenesko's site. I bet it is as frustrating for him as it is me.

So if your company is interested in advertising here just contact me and I will supply the necessary information, otherwise look for the new page to launch by the end of next week.

In the meantime, thank you for reading TNM these past three years!