Sent From My iPhone: Year-End Micro Media Meditations

At this time of year I like to look back and also look forward. A year ago, I set some lofty goals for myself and the site. As I look them over now, I see that many of them were not met. Not by a long shot. I could feel bad about this or I could just carry some of the better goals forward into 2011 and keep on keepin’ on.
One unmet goal is the creation of a book pulled from some of our better material here. Naturally, we would rewrite, re-sort and repackage this “best of” content. By doing so we would give readers a way to thank us financially for our work and provide people a curated collection that can be read offline. Another unmet goal–and one that’s much easier to meet–is the creation of our first ever email newsletter. I don’t subscribe to many newsletters but there are a few notable exceptions like Silicon Florist’s weekly and Tom Asacker’s monthly newsletter. I used to question the need for repurposing our content for this channel, but I do understand that there’s a place for it, as some people prefer that we come to them, versus them coming to us. By the way, you can sign up for the newsletter on the sidebar and the more people who do so, the more motivated we will be to deliver.
We’re also keen to create a premium subscription service here that would provide exclusive content to our biggest and best fans. Even if we only gain 100 or 200 paid subscribers in year one, that’s infinitely more than we have today. Finally, we’re always looking to bring in more amazing sponsors like The Escape Pod, the Chicago agency run by Vinny Warren, et al. Sponsorship is a more realistic model than performance-based advertising for this site. Someone looking for “x” number of clickthroughs isn’t going to find what they want here, but a business that wants exposure to a focused and sophisticated audience for their product or service, all while supporting our efforts, will.
As you can see three of the four goals outlined above are financially motivated. Because AdPulp isn’t a hobby, although it is a sideline. The fact is, we have always made some money via Google Adsense, text links, display advertising and advertorials. Not a lot of money, but enough to make us a believer in the economic viability of this site. I will admit that I do lose faith from time to time and consider walking away, but AdPulp is something I love to produce, regardless of the numbers. That love of the subject matter and your consistent feedback helps keep us moving forward.
Here’s the other thing…media is a marketing service today and AdPulp is proof of concept every time I discuss the need for a blog or other content-driven direction with a Bonehook client. Shawn and Danny also have this advantage.
Despite all you’ve just read, AdPulp is about you, not me, or us. AdPulp exists to praise, decry, poke and bolster an incredibly powerful and important industry. I believe what we all do for clients, and for our clients’ customers, matters. And I’d like to think that the work we do here chronicling the best practices, and sometimes the worst, also matters. Advertising can be dross or it can uplift and inform, while selling. Either way, advertising makes a big impact on the culture–and this fact translates to a need for responsible, mostly intelligent action. My highest hopes for AdPulp and the AdPulp community is that we bounce stuff around in this blog setting, then carry the ideas into meetings and concept sessions, so there’s a positive impact, however small, on the business. That’s clearly the most ambitious goal of all. I’m good with that.
Here’s wishing you a Happy New Year and a prosperous 2011!
Previously on AdPulp: Happy New Year!



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.