ClickZ Turns 10
By Erin Brenner
Associate Editor, The ClickZ Network
It's well known Incisive Media acquired the ClickZ Network along with the Search Engine Strategies conferences last August. What may be less known is exactly what ClickZ is -- and what it does.
ClickZ is 10! That's an eternity in Internet time.
ClickZ was founded in 1997 by Andy Bourland and Ann Handley during the dot-com boom. They worked out of their homes in Andover, Massachusetts, building a site that would educate marketers on how to use the Internet, this brand new medium. They found marketers who were actually trying it; using e-mail and the Web to sell their products and services; talk to their customers; build the relationships we talk so much about on the site.
It wasn't long before a small office was rented and a few staffers added. Meetings were held in a local grocery store's café. More staffers were added, a bigger office rented, a West Coast office opened. The site was growing, right along with other dot-coms.
In September 2000, Jupitermedia bought ClickZ. Back then, we had six editors (not to mention all the support staff!) devoted to the 10 or so columns we ran daily, and two offices: one in North Andover and one in Los Angeles. We'd done some shows, mostly e-mail related, and had published two print collections of some of our columns (that's right: print!).
Then, the dot-com bubble burst. Our L.A. office was closed in December. Rebecca Lieb was named Executive Editor the following January. One of her first chores was the grim job of laying off all but two of the remaining staffers in May, 2001. Shortly following 9-11, she had to let one more staffer go.
Like a lot of other dot-coms at the time, ClickZ struggled just to survive. "Back then, ClickZ was a much smaller publication -- only the Experts columns," says Rebecca. "The advertising industry was in a steep decline, online advertising even more so. We feared for our existence, and had lost many colleagues due to the cutbacks that were endemic in all media businesses. Those were a couple of lean, scary years. We didn't just weather them, we came out bigger and better than ever."
It took two years, but things started to pick up again. In 2003, we hosted the first B2B blog conference in Boston and held the first ClickZ Marketing Excellence Awards online, both of which proved very popular.
In 2004, over a dozen smaller Jupitermedia sites were folded into ClickZ, and Search Engine Watch (also marking its tenth anniversary this year) became part of what is now called The ClickZ Network. For the past few years, we'd cut our daily publishing schedule from 10 to just 3 to 4 columns a day. With the new sites, ClickZ now published news and research, in addition to the excellent advice columns that have been our mainstay. We still publish an average four columns per day, but we also publish as many news stories, plus regular research and feature articles.
Our readers want to know about new technologies they can use as marketers, and they're often already living and working on the cutting edge. So in 2005, we added a news blog, giving our news team an outlet to comment on industry going-ons. We also make our content available by RSS feed, a hot (and easy) new way to get content.
In 2006, we concentrated our efforts on the enormous transition to Incisive Media servers and resurrected ClickZ-branded events. The first one took place in October in New York.
An Industry Leader
Our reputation as an industry leader stems in no small measure from our stable of expert contributors. This team of almost 40 practitioners in the field are leading the charge. They take the risks with advertising in video, blogs, online TV channels. They're creating cutting-edge campaigns that get attention and demonstrating how to accurately measure the campaigns' outcomes. They're writing best-selling books on search and brand. Ours is a learn-as-you-go field, and these writers are our teachers.
As new technology or new media come up, we write about it. We regularly create new columns to cover new areas. Recent examples include mobile marketing and behavioral marketing. Want to know how to get your e-mail opened? Use new technologies, like blogs and RSS? How do you get visitors to your site, and what should they do once they get there? How do you to measure what happens on the site? Should you advertise in blogs? What about in spots like MySpace? Our Experts section aims to answer those types of questions.
We also have a reputation as serious journalists, built by our team of in-house writers and editors. Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Lieb is well respected in the field. When the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held its three-day conference on how to control spam in 2003, it asked Rebecca, as well as two of our e-mail writers at the time, Ben Isaacson and Al DiGuido, to address the group. Rebecca's appeared on national news shows and industry conferences worldwide as an expert commentator on search advertising and cutting-edge ad campaigns.
Our News, News Blog, Stats, and Features sections offer readers a comprehensive look at the current marketing landscape. If you want to keep abreast of what the big guys are doing: what Nascar is doing with a desktop photo application; how Google is entering the pay-per-call space; and which ad-serving company acquired an ad network, you read our News section. In the News Blog section, you'll find editors' take on the latest news and some interesting advertising campaigns.
In the Stats section, you'll find articles on recent surveys and reports. We'll tell you who the top 50 online advertisers are by month and media value. We'll let you know which computer virus was most prevalent last month. And we'll show the stickiest brands on the Web.
The Features section offers interviews with spam experts, privacy experts, and heads of influential companies in the space, such as Jeremy Allaire of Brightcove, an Internet TV service. It also offers campaign case studies, like FHM's in-game ad campaign (ads appear within a video or online game).
Yes, our numbers are good. And yes, we have no problem selling out our ad space. We get fan mail and hate mail. Readers expect us to toe the line; if we say something is the best practice, they believe it and expect us to live it. Our Experts writers get even more correspondence from our readers. People come to our conferences and subscribe to our newsletters
Even more impressive, though, are those readers who want to write for us, and to be associated with us. "I have this great article...." "I have great experiences to share...." "My resume is wonderful and would be more so if I wrote for you..." No one wants to write for a rag. We have a reputation, and they want a piece of it (as do our competitors, who try to poach our writers).
ClickZ is an interactive marketing publication. It's survived almost 10 years, which is an eternity online. When the dot-com bubble became the dot-com bomb, we tightened our belts just like everyone else in the industry. We continued to publish, day after day, trustworthy information and advice. The readers stayed. And the advertisers came back. Belts were loosened a bit, and we gave the readers and advertisers more of what they want. The only question now is:
Side bar 1: Time line
- 12:01 am, April 1, 1997: ClickZ's first issue went live. The name was meant to be pronounced "clicks," but everyone read it as "click-zee" and it stuck.
- September 2000: The company was bought by INT Media (which eventually became Jupitermedia). Ann and Andy stayed on to run things. However, by December the first real pinch of the dot-com fallout had been felt. By May 2001, staff had been reduced to two.
- 2002: Despite layoffs, a reduced column schedule, and online advertising's downward spiral, ClickZ continue to publish every day with just two staffers and an executive editor who divided her time among several publications.
- April 30-May 2, 2003: Executive Editor Rebecca Lieb was invite to speak at FTC's CAN-SPAM Forum.
- June 9 and10, 2003: ClickZ hosted the first B2B blog conference in Boston, MA. The event itself was blogged extensively and praised loudly. Later that year, the first ClickZ Marketing Excellence Awards were announced to recognize the technologies, companies, and campaigns that made a positive difference in the online marketing industry that year.
- 2004: In a huge site relaunch, Internet Advertising Report (IAR) was folded into ClickZ as ClickZ News; CyberAtlas was folded in as ClickZ Stats; ChannelSeven, TurboAds, and Wireless Ad Watch were folded in as ClickZ Features; and AdResource was folded in as Ad Resource. Search Engine Watch became formerly associated with ClickZ, though it remained (and still is) an independent entity.
- 2005: RSS feeds were added, followed by the News Blog. In August, Incisive Media made the decision to purchase ClickZ, along with Search Engine Watch and Search Engine Strategies.
- Aug. 2006: The transfer of ClickZ, Search Engine Watch, and Search Engine Strategies to Incisive Media was completed. Though the site and e-mail newsletter transfers were huge, they were largely invisible to the public.
- 2007: What's next?
Side bar 2: Highlights of what ClickZ is
- ClickZ offers news, research, commentary, and expert advice on all things interactive marketing.
- We're the largest site of our kind.
- We publish 24 Experts columns in six categories.
- We publish research articles 21 categories.
- Our audience is comprised of marketers, sales people, and business owners of all experience levels. We aim to educate the new guy as well as help the most experienced people further their efforts.
- Our mission: to help interactive marketers do their jobs better.
COVER Magazine scooped the award for the best protection trade magazine at the LifeSearch awards last month. Monthly title COVER snatch the award from weekly Money Marketing, which had won the award since the LifeSearch ceremony was launched in 2004. Editor in chief Ant Gould said: “This award is a testament to the hard work, professionalism and unrivalled market knowledge of Johanna and her team, and it is especially pleasing when a monthly title competes with, and wins against, a weekly.”
Pictured, left to right: Rachel Calvert, publisher; Johanna Gornitzki, editor; and Lucy Quinton, senior reporter
Medical Journalism Awards:
Stephanie Denton, supplement editor of Post Magazine, scooped the Best Newcomer Award in the financial healthcare category at the Medical Journalism Awards held in November. Johanna Gorntizki, editor of COVER Magazine also scooped the best trade journalist award in the same category. The MJA's are sponsored by Norwich Union. Editor in chief of Incisive Media's insurance division Anthony Gould said: "These two awards are richly deserved. Both Johanna and Stephanie are highly skilled and professional journalists who are also experts in their field. The awards also stand as testimony to the quality of the editorial of both Post Magazine and Cover which both lead their fields. Congratulations to both of them."
ABI Media Awards
Lynn Rouse, deputy editor of Post Magazine won the coveted general insurance trade journalist of the year award. Ms Rouse was presented with the prize at last night's Association of British Insurers' financial media awards ceremony.
This was the third successive year Lynn has won the award, in which Jonathan Swift, Post Magazine editor, was also among the nominees.
Mr Swift said: "It is a fantastic achievement to win this three years in a row. Lynn is among the most respected journalists, not only in the general insurance field, but the whole financial services arena and this award is testimony to this."
Post Magazine was also the only general insurance magazine nominated in the best trade financial services category.
Employee Rewards & Benefits
Employee Rewards & Benefits magazine, which was part of the recent MSN acquisition has fitted in well to the Professional Services Division.
Publisher Rachel Calvert and the team are facing three very busy days in March with the magazine’s second annual industry awards night on 19 March - which is being hosted by Tony Hawks at the Park Lane Hilton; and the ERB Show and conference at the QE2 conference centre on the 21 March. In between the two, editor David Rowley and reporter Kylie Harrison are attending the Watson Wyatt Awards for Excellence in HR journalism where they will be hopeful of winning a gong themselves.
Ant Gould, editor in chief commented: “Having ERB in our stable adds a very exciting dimension to the division, and the magazine and its website are currently in the process of being redesigned in order to ensure ERB becomes the place for news, analysis, help and advice in the sector. A host of other new developments are also being planned, so watch this space.”
And finally, commented David Rowley, if anyone was wondering - Kylie was born in England but her mother is Australian - hence the name.
David Rowley Award win
David Rowley, editor of Employee Rewards & Benefits scooped the Employee Benefits & Pensions Category at the Watson Wyatt Awards for Excellence in HR Journalism.
The awards, now in their second year, attracted 170 entries from journalists working across the national and key specialist HR and trade press.
Clare Muhiudeen, European head of the Human Capital Group at Watson Wyatt, said:
“With these awards we recognize those journalists who have highlighted issues central to HR management: improving a company’s efficiency, investment in workforce skills, increased productivity and profitability.”
Anthony Gould, editor in chief of ERB commented: “This award is testimony to David’s professionalism, contacts, hard work and journalistic skills. ERB continues to develop under David’s stewardship and is now clearly recognised as market leader in this specialist field. Congratulations to both David and his team on winning this prestigious award.”
The judging panel comprised of respected figures from the UK’s human resources profession including: Susan Anderson (director of human resources policy at the CBI), Peter Buckingham (former director of human resources at Wolseley PLC), Sathnam Sanghera (columnist forThe Times and the 2006 Excellence in HR Journalism winner) and Stuart Kennedy (executive advisor for people and organisational development at Royal Mail).
Legal Week launched a brand new website at the start of the year with the ambitious aim of making legalweek.com the online meeting place for lawyers.
The site focuses on three key elements: exclusive online content in the form of breaking news and editors' blogs in order to draw traffic to the site, the ‘slicing’ of Legal Week's editorial content so that it is easy to access and a big push to encourage readers to participate by posting their own comments.
Among the site's new features are a Firm-by-Firm section, which contains news and analysis on each of the top 50 UK law firms as well as the top 20 US firms in London, and an international section that focuses on the key jurisdictions.
Much of the participation takes place in a new Community and Blog section, which contains three separate blogging sites, one for Legal Week's editors, another for its daily diary stories and a third peopled by senior figures from the legal community.
There is also a Legal Week Wiki, which invites lawyers to send in information about the firms they work in so that people can find out what it is really like to be employed there.
Editor John Malpas said: “The site has been well received in the market and we have had an encouraging number of posting, including on the wiki, which is particularly exciting. The trick will be to sustain this interest and continue developing the site.”
Back to the Office
Returning to work after 18 months without a job is always going to be daunting. But Kyung Hee Kim, Pacific Prospect’s new Head of Marketing and Research for Korea & Japan, has taken it in her stride.
The mother-of-two quit her role in the reimbursement department in Industrial Bank of Korea’s Hong Kong office at the end of 2005 to have her second child, Joshua. Since then, with a newborn and 5-year old daughter Hana to look after, Kyung Hee has had lots to keep her mind distracted - including plenty of time in the sun and swimming at the beach.
Originally born in Pusan, Korea, she has lived in Hong Kong for roughly eight years after moving to the city from Australia, where as a student she met her husband, Charlie, an English teacher who now works at a school in Shatin town.
But Kyung Hee was keen to get back into the workforce and learn more about the financial services industry. Her new role also allows her to develop her love of languages, in particular Japanese.
For Pacific Prospect, too, her arrival is a big bonus. “It’s always challenging to execute projects in Korea and Japan, and we are very pleased that Kyung Hee was kind enough to join us because it is unusual to have someone who can speak both Languages,” said Chief Executive Michael Stanhope.
It furthers the company’s commitment to producing world class content and conferences in both countries, following the success of Pacific Prospect’s structured products forums in Seoul and Tokyo last year especially, said Michael. “And with the launch of our two new magazines, Innovative Investor and Asian Credit Investor, in which some content will be translated into Korean and Japanese, we are looking forward to Kyung Hee helping us expand our growing business across Asia-Pacific.”
Waters – and FinIT and Market Data – Makes Waves
In a Web browser you hit the refresh button to see updates to the site. We can’t blame anyone for thinking they did just that when looking at the current Financial IT and Market Data division of the Incisive Risk Waters Group.
Lead by Ben Ray, group publisher of the FinIT and Market Data division, the group has seen several changes. Phil Albinus, editor of Waters since 2003, is now special projects editor, where he will concentrate on special reports, custom publishing, events and more. He has been replaced as editor by Donna Miskin, a financial IT editor with more than 20 years of media experience. After three very profitable years, the lean editorial team of Waters has grown to include US Reporter Emily Fraser in New York, and Joe Morgan, a former Risk magazine reporter, and Joel Clark, a reporter who writes for both Waters and Buy-Side Technology in London.
Last fall, Rob Daly left his post as deputy editor of Waters to edit Dealing with Technology. He manages US Reporter Chloe Albanesius and a new hire, UK Reporter Cecilia Bergamaschi. By the time you read this, the DWT Europe conference and exhibition will have been a success with plans for US events in the offing.
The division also saw the re-launch of BST as a monthly glossy with a stunning design, thanks to Art Director Simon Bogle and Rob Cuthbertson. The new look heralds a new approach to covering the technology used by hedge finds and asset managers. Edited by Victor Anderson, BST has seen a meteoric rise in subscriptions as proof of the quality of the redesign, marketing and the editorial coverage. If handling a redesign were not enough, Victor is now editorial director of the Fin IT division. His BST staff includes Stewart Eisenhart, the deputy editor, based in Austin, Texas.
The Market Data wing has also seen several changes. Max Bowie has been editing Inside Market Data since last October at roughly the same time that former marketing manager Lee Hartt took over as publisher. IMD recently added Jennifer McCandless as a US reporter, and Inside Reference Data, a monthly newsletter, has taken off with more than 100 subscriptions in less than one year. In March, Tine Thoresen joined IRD as editor after editing Nordic un-quote.
“Last year, we were working at maximum capacity and we had to add resources in order to grow,” says Ray. “2007 will be a strong year of continued growth, and once we have a strong online presence established, the sky is the limit.”
Ray is especially excited about the upcoming #GRID events in New York and London after the inaugural CITY#GRID event that debuted in December 2006. “It was a brilliant success and the #GRID events are the newest jewel in our crown. For example, we have built a standalone Web site – watersgrid.com – where we are building a community of grid experts.”
Not all the new personnel and job titles are found in editorial, however. Farrell McManus of Waters has been named Associate Group Publisher, where he works with European Business Development Manager Dan Morgan and Kevin Guzman, who has moved from delegate sales to media sales. On the marketing front, Senior Marketing Executive Claire Light and Hongru Li in the London office are hard at work on the subscription and events fronts respectively. The two constants in New York are managing editor of Waters and sub-editor Elina Patler and Lillian Lopez, who handles production of Waters and the newsletters.
With new talent and a busy year, the FinIT and Market Data team have a refreshing year ahead of them. --Phil Albinus
Alt Assets launches Incisive’s first offshore operation
The Alternative Assets division has recruited four researchers in Delhi, launching Incisive Media’s first offshore operation in the country. “We hope this is the beginning of something far more substantial,” said project manager Robert Lamb, who explained that the new employees will complement the existing research teams in London, Hong Kong and Beijing.
The India operations will enable the division to improve its flagship product Private Equity Insight, a database with historical deal information and investor details, as well as provide additional resource to produce analytical reports. “This new team should have the expertise and the resource to take advantage of market opportunities that we may have missed in the past,” commented Rob.
The new team will be based in CIFT’s office in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi. “The chance to establish a team in this geography also means we now have guys on the ground in one of the hottest private equity regions today,” he remarked.
Being able to leverage the presence of CIFT in Delhi, and more specifically the knowledge of Sameer Sabharwal, Abhinav Narula and Shikha Sehra, has been central to the early success of the project. In particular, it made an extremely onerous recruitment process relatively pain-free for the Alternative Assets team. Delhi itself has a population of more than 14bn, with probably three times that number living in the surrounding areas, and the booming employment market makes accessing the right talent in an efficient way in Delhi difficult. “The appetite for opportunities in a company like ours is massive, but the quality of people available varies enormously,” said Rob, adding that a single job posting for financial researchers returned 100s of applications.
The CIFT team completed the first rounds of interviews and shortlisted 10 people for Rob to interview in Delhi during January. “The four people we hired are all post-graduates with impressive business-related qualifications,” he said.Somil Mittal, the newly recruited senior research associate who will be looking after the India team, spent a week in London in February. Since this was his first time in Europe, he visited the London Eye, a Dutch Bar, Oxford Street and an Indian curry restaurant, as well as taking the Big Bus tour. “Everyone has made me feel very welcome and I have had a great impression of London and Incisive Media. I can’t wait to get started!,” said Somil