24 June 2005

ChasNote Has a New Address

Well, I should have guessed it would lead to this.

About a year ago I started ChasNote as an excuse to talk to all of you about trends and innovations in online marketing. And, through these conversations, I've convinced myself--or maybe it's your fault!--that I need to move out to the front lines.

I am leaving CNET Networks to join John Battelle's "record label for bloggers," FM Publishing (FM Pub's blog), as VP of sales and market development, starting July 11. It's been a very tough week saying goodbye to the innovators, trend-setters and good friends among whom I've worked here at CNET for the past six years. But I'll tell you what I've been telling them--why my heart and soul required me to enlist with FM Publishing.

A few thousand, maybe a hundred thousand, of the 10 million bloggers are doing something remarkable. In today's media-saturated, viewing-multiple-channels-at-once climate, they have grabbed the undivided attention of an audience. For all the talk of "audience engagement" by Big Media, it's a handful of moonlight publishers who have actually pulled it off. They've created intimacy, authority and real live dialog with their readers. While three-fourths of PVR users skip commercials and everyone else has learned to tune them out, certain bloggers have convinced their constituencies to tune in.

Two big challenges remain, though. First, most of these bloggers haven't figured out how to quit their day-jobs and pay rent at the same time. Second, marketers--who are willing to kick in rent money for the opportunity to participate in this high-energy connection between blog publishers and their audiences--don't have a scalable mechanism for doing so.

I won't pretend that I know exactly how these issues will resolve, but I'm signing up--by way of FM Publishing--to work on the solution full-time.


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