could bloggers save adweek?

I was reading Adverganza, as I do, when I came across an anonymous commenter on one of Catherine P Taylor’s posts talking about how Adweek needed to up their game…said commenter called out this blog as one of those who would be the right kind of writer to help get Adweek out of its doldrums.

Actually, he called out a number of top-drawer blogs first and then said that I might appeal to younger readers. I’m on the list though, which counts for something:

Adweek should consider recruiting new content people and writers. Go freelance Bill Green or Toad or Jetpacks or Danny G. Folks like Joker or the Daily (ad)Biz writer could start to appeal to new (i.e., younger audiences).

Ed note: [sic] assumed throughout

I am sort of agnostic on the AdAge vs Adweek thing; I read them both and like and dislike parts of both. I am also agnostic on the bloggers coming under the print media umbrella. It may work because, no matter how good Brian Morrissey and his gang may be at the journalistic side of things, they are never going to out-snark Steve Hall or out-swear George Parker. Bringing guys like that into the fold and watering down their originality is a holding company way of looking at things, and that has worked in its way at least for some, but a blogger brought in would just be a new opinion writer.

That wouldn’t address the underlying issues, as fun as it would be.

Not to say that, if I was asked, I wouldn’t think about it…


9 responses to “could bloggers save adweek?

  1. Hey,
    I’ll stay away from the whole “saving Adweek” thing. Maybe there’s a Steven Spielberg movie there. I don’t think what Adweek (or AdAge) does is directly analogous to what most ad blogs do. Yes, people have finite attention, but I don’t buy into the either-or dynamic many set it up as. The fact is, people are going to get information from many sources. That’s across all media, not unique to the ad world.

    The more interesting question for me is how to better integrate what Adweek does with what you do. The truth of the matter is a blog like Agency Spy uses our stories for many of its posts. I don’t say that in a derogatory way, but to point that there’s a symbiosis between blogs and regular old trade publications. The biggest thing I’ve tried to do is get to know many of the bloggers in the space. I also link regularly to blogs from the IQ e-mail newsletter. I’m told it ends up sending several hundred more visitors to the blogs highlighted. Digg, it ain’t, but still. There’s more that can be done along those lines, for sure.

    BTW, good to see you’ve given in to the Twitter call — and have experience dishwashing.


  2. The title of the post was a little tongue in cheek what with this post coming, as it did, from that anonymous poster at Adverganza.

    I agree that there is a symbiosis between the trade publications and the blogs and I tried, in my way, to make that point when I said that adding a blogger to the Adweek staff would really be like adding an opinion writer (perhaps an opinion writer with more attitude). The trades do things that blogs just don’t do, that nobody but professional journalists really can do. Blogs, of course, can do things that the trades can’t and there is a great symbiosis between them.

    You are right, the opportunity is in leveraging that symbiosis. It is going to be more than the IQ email, but less than bloggers taking over the world.

    As much fun as bloggers ruling the world may be.

  3. Well, as the anonymous writer who made the suggestion to begin with, let me try to explain what I really meant—or at least elaborate on things.

    I believe should be like sites for newspapers (e.g., or even enterprises like; that is, there should be regular columnists, features and personalities that draw fans. Like it or not, Adweek does not have a lot of personalities. At least not a lot of interesting ones. Morrissey tries to bring in guest columnists, but these writers are not regulars. So it’s no different than’s guest columnists.

    I don’t think the answer is to simply link to blogs. I think it’s about creating content that features some of the characters out there blogging. For example, copyranter used to do a column for Gawker, which he recently stopped. Copyranter actually asked if anyone knew of any sites or publications that might be interested in his services. Why not Let copyranter write a weekly column. Let Parker submit a “Rant of the Week.” Let Toad submit his tradigitalist® perspectives on Web 2.0 or Twitter. Let Jetpacks submit a weekly crazy cartoon. Any of these suggestions would inject some personality into The truth is, it doesn’t even have to be bloggers. I just thought of them because they have immediate and inherent personality, and many of them already have credibility and followings. It’s not about linking with bloggers. It’s not even about letting bloggers post a piece from their own blogs. It’s about creating regular, original, entertaining content.

    Tapping bloggers could become a point of difference for Ad Age still tends to be rather elitist. They won’t publish people who don’t have a fancy title. Most of the bloggers I mentioned bring a new perspective to things; that is, many are speaking from “grunt” levels—they’re in the trenches. These bloggers are drawing audiences because people relate to what they’re saying (versus reading yet another editorial from, say, Al Ries or Jack Trout). On a side note, if Adweek did tap these bloggers, but attempted to water them down, it would be a pointless disaster, as everyone would see right through it.

    Jetpacks and Bill Green run blogs that present better content than Adweek, in my opinion. For example, Jetpacks has regular cartoons, views from his freelance gig, band names drawn from the weekly headlines, etc. Green finds all sorts of crazy shit online, including running regular things like the eBay item or craigslist ad of the week. Jetpacks and Green aren’t just writing columns like Toad and Parker. They present copy and visuals, which is what the Web is all about as a medium. could learn a lot by simply studying what these guys do.

    Anyway, that’s a bit of an explanation behind my initial suggestions. And as always, it’s just my opinion.

  4. One more thought:

    Just saw that copyranter is ending his blog. Now’s the best time for to pick him up.

  5. Wow, thanks anon. Appreciate the props. The visual aspect is a great point. I don’t think many blogs have fucked with formate enough to really see where things can go. For a creative biz, we collectively haven’t done shit to push the medium. Same too with podcasts. Every one is like, an hour or :30 minutes. Why not have a seven minute podcast and it ends no matter what, even in the middle of a conversation. Why aren’t creatives who blog holding their own keynotes at seminars? They’re typically the first ones to see through all the hype and bs because they’re in the trenches. Like you said, all we have are the individual voices of those writers on blogs who offer more than the typical Ad Age Access Hollywood type stuff.

  6. @anonymous: Thanks. I think those are all really good suggestions for Adweek. For me, the biggest question would be compensation. Adweek is owned by a for-profit organization and while the exposure would initially be wonderful, I’d want to get paid for a more regular column. I mean especially given how popular my column would prove;)

    The tradigitalist® thing is very funny, btw. (Can you tell I spend a lot of time around lawyers?)
    And yes, my dream job is to be an op ed columnist for the NY Times, and the blog is definitely designed to be more like a column than a magazine.

  7. @ Anonymous: thanks for the post, there is some really great stuff in your comment. I plan to do a larger post on this topic today or tomorrow and will give credit where it is due, as much as I can to an anon commenter. If you don’t mind more exposure, or want to expound a little more, send me an e-mail as I’d love to hear more from you.

    As for the visual layout of this blog in particular, it is probably obvious that I am writer…though now that I have been outed at the office maybe I can convince an art director to sort out the layout and make some other suggestions to jazz it up because I agree, there are opportunities for blogs to go beyond the column format (like MTLB and Jetpacks or even in other directions).

  8. Pingback: bloggers & edgy content for adweek « the daily (ad) biz

  9. Pingback: coming soon to an ad blog near you… « the daily (ad) biz

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s