Taking Up the Challenge


This week, MarketingTrends is turning into a group blog focused on the always fascinating space of online marketing, analytics, trends and thought development. If you’re interested in blogging regularly about this space and want to be a part of something special, email me sam@marketingtrends.co or @samharrelson on Twitter.

I plan on operating much the same way the old ReveNews did with no editorial approval process, comments wide open and actual pay for bloggers (see below for more on that).

MarketingTrends will look different as we move into Phase 2 this week so stay tuned for the new theme and features.

This is something I’ve had planned for a while, but a conversation about ReveNews tonight made me speed up the process.

When Affiliate Summit acquired ReveNews in February of this year, I was elated. As a former editor and publisher of ReveNews (and the one that ushered us through the incredible process of moving from MovableType to WordPress with an updated look/feel in 2008-2009), I have a deep love for the community and ecosystem of thoughtful bloggers and commenters that once made the site a mandatory read for folks in the online marketing industry.

I can even say that it was ReveNews that launched my career in 2002-2003 as I was reading insights from people like Wayne Porter, Jim Kukral, Brian Clark or Jeff Molander and pondering what I could contribute to this industry. They took me in and made me a part of the ReveNews family in 2006.

However, watching ReveNews become just a press release outlet for Affiliate Summit since February has been sad to say the least. This once proud banner stood for insight and thought provocation and real dialogue in an industry still trying to find its own identity (and identities).

While I can’t purchase ReveNews and right that ship, I can take up Shawn’s challenge after I posted my own thoughts about ReveNews’ direction this afternoon.

Here’s the whole Twitter convo:


To which Shawn replied:



Good point by Shawn on the previously dwindling but still salvageable content being produced by bloggers there:



And that’s where things turned. Shawn thinks that “print > group blog” but I find this sort of coasting to be the antithesis of what ReveNews once meant to lots of folks in our industry.

Not to mention that a healthy group blog is, in my mind, needed and required in an industry where the main group voice is behind an editorially produced dead-tree printing that serves as an advertising platform for the main conference of an industry and itself makes its owners money (with a traditional 20th century ad model) without paying its writers.


I was ready to leave things there and move on agreeing to disagree. Shawn wasn’t ready for that just yet.


To which I responded with a tongue-in-cheek:




Which earned this:


So, we’re taking the challenge.

Moving MarketingTrends to a group blog paradigm is something I’ve had planned for a while, but Shawn’s tweets tonight reinforced my realization that something akin to what ReveNews was in years past is not only needed but required in the online performance marketing space.

Group blogging means turning over some aspects of control, such as in the editorial space. I’ve never liked the idea of a editor to correct grammar or thoughts on something like a blog and our bloggers will have the freedom to post when the spirit moves them, whether on the floor of a trade show with their mobile device or after carefully plotting out a detailed thought piece over a long weekend.

The look and feel of MarketingTrends will reflect its group blog nature and that new theme should be live this week. I’ve got experience doing this and I’m excited about how things are shaping up.

Our revenue model is not just based in a mid-20th century banner display ad model. There will be a few of those ads, but the majority of the revenue to pay bloggers will come from a content-specific marketplace, newsletter placements and micro-transactions. You’ll see what we mean when we roll out the redesign this week.

In many ways, what I wanted to do with ReveNews in 2008 is finally coming to fruition with MarketingTrends in 2013. I’m excited.

I hope you’ll stick around and participate.

3 thoughts on “Taking Up the Challenge”

  1. Blogs like RN aren’t needed anymore, or really wanted. 99% of the traffic on Huffpo goes to the “reposts” of crap in the middle and right columns. Nobody reads the left column commentary unless Alec Baldwin shows up.

    My point. Sites like RN lost their place years ago. People get their news fast and quick and honestly don’t really care about opinions anymore. They want quick, fast, news, etc… I would say make this new site you’re building more like that. Maybe.

  2. Yeah, who wants opinion or analysis anymore! Quick unverified facts are so much satisfying, because HuffPo. Wait. People read HuffPo?

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