Archive for the 'Federated Media' Category

The Underlying Truth Behind Internet Businesses – It’s Hard Work

Interesting interview with Morgan Webb of G4 and formerly of WebbAlert (WebbAlert was a Federated Media author and I work at FM.)  I’m really proud of this portion of the interview:

Unlike a lot of Internet video experiments, we were able to make good money making WebbAlert. Federated Media was fantastic at selling us, and I’d like to thank them for helping us do as well as we did. I think the secret to making money in this space is to keep your costs way down. We didn’t have any full-time employees, and our production process was incredibly cheap and streamlined.

Thanks Morgan!  Another portion of the interview is pretty sobering:

The script would take about five to six hours, then make-up, filming, compressing and uploading took another hour to two hours, then the show was edited and uploaded by about 1 a.m. That’s about 17 hours of work for one episode.

So many people think of independent web publishing as an easy job.  You utilize free (or virtually free) tools, you can do your work in your pajamas, you can work from anywhere, etc.  That isn’t the reality.  While you might be able to work in your pajamas if you want to it is very difficult work.  I work with over 100 independent authors and each one of them is working extremely hard.  They are all exceptionally talented and dedicated but none of them are on auto pilot and successful for long.

One of the reasons I think so many traditional publishing ventures have been so slow to excel online is that it is really hard work.  It takes more people.  It takes as much or more time.  It is evolving very rapidly.

It’s hard work.

Sharing Some Recent Work

A lot cooking here and I am working on a couple of longer posts.  In the meantime, a long overdue update on some of the work Federated Media is doing that I’m really proud of:

- Comcast Fancast A celebration of great TV programming.


- BoingBoing Offworld BoingBoing looks at the world from a decidedly different angle.  Offworld focuses on the gaming space and provides a much needed alternative to the mainstream gaming sites.


Asus/Intel WePC What do you want in your next computer?  Share these ideas with peers or just browse the ideas from others.  There are already 1000s to review.


- Trendhunter TV underwritten by Verizon Wireless Nothing beats a great name and TrendHunter says just about everything you might want to know.  Worked with Verizon to underwrite the next chapter of


- Digital Nomads Examines the growing group of workers that can truly work almost anywhere.  Tips, tricks, stories, challenges, a crowdsourced white paper, etc. Sponsored by Dell.


Many more.  Really excited and proud of the work I have the privilege of working on and/or watching and learning from my peers.

Job Interview Tips (they will work if you are interviewing with me at the very least.)

I’ve interviewed so many people this year.  Easily 100 people on the phone or in person.  Many of the people I’m interviewing are going for their second or third job.  In other words, they haven’t done many interviews and don’t interview people very often to get a perspective from the other side of the table.  Many are really bad at it.  I’m sure I’ve rejected people that would make great employees during the interview process because they didn’t have basic interview skills (which are different than job skills.)

I was recently reminded that most people learn this skill through trial and error.  In an effort to eliminate some of that trial and error here are some tips I hope will help.   If you are going to interview with me (and probably anyone else) consider the following:

1.  Do a little research on the employer’s website. How can you be sure you even want to interview with a company if you nothing about it!  You could hate my company.  Do you want to work for a company you hate?  Isn’t my time and yours worth enough to do some research before?  Read what other people are saying about the company.  If you see something you don’t understand or that concerns you, ask about it and cite the source.  You give the person interviewing you the impression you’ve done your homework and you also get to see how they respond to the criticism while distancing yourself from the criticism.  A double win!

2.  Research the person you are meeting with.  If you are meeting with me and know my name, google me and you will find this blog.  Many people have and reference it.  If you read this post let me know you did.  It will mean something to me. Like most people who blog, I want people to read it.  Flattery gets you everywhere.

3.  Bring your resume.  I know, paper is dumb and so last century.  Just do it.  Really. I don’t care about the weight of the paper either.

4.  Have a least 3 questions ready for me. You’re interviewing me while I’m interviewing you.  If I ask you if you have any questions and you say no, I’m not impressed.

5.  Don’t try to be someone you’re not. I always ask a question that is meant to get at what you’re like as a person.  When people say what they think I want to hear I can tell.  Unless you’re really good at acting don’t do this.

6.  Follow up in e-mail. Refer to something specifically discussed from the interview conversation. Send me a link to something that you think I might find interesting.  Ask an additional question.  You get the idea.

It is so very difficult to find the right person for a position.  It is the most important thing I do in my current position.  The only rule above I will ever overlook from the above list is the resume rule.

If you aren’t reading this in preparation for an interview but are interested in working for Federated Media – we’re hiring.  Check here for the latest openings.  If you don’t see one that maps well to your experience but still think you’d be a great fit for the company e-mail me at pspandeATfederatedmediaDOTcom.

Check It Out: The Mom Speak

The Mom Speak features original content from Federated Media Authors Asha Dornfest, Amy Keroes, Liz Gumbinner, and Stacey Boyd focusing on ways for parent to save money without sacrificing childcare quality.

Luv’s is supporting conversations that resonate with their brand and I’m excited to watch it develop.  The conversation isn’t about Luvs it is about what matters to Luv’s customers.

Stay tuned for updates.

Citizen Sports, Lenovo, and Federated Media Olympics Project Covered in AdWeek

Article here.

Take a look at the installs for the top 15 nations:

The Difference Between Selling “Space” and Selling Solutions

Darren Herman has an excellent post here entitled “Goodby Media Sales Execs.”

Gulp.  Darren’s a good client of mine and his post follows a post from my boss a while back entitled “Ad Sales People: An Endangered Species?” Needless to say I read both posts carefully.  The power of a good headline.  What’s going on here?

These posts and the work I’m doing with the rest of the Federated Media sales team has lead to what I find to be an “a ha” moment:

Advertising used to be about the buying and selling of space (or time.) It is now about building branded experiences. In many cases, the ads are a small part of the equation.

I know, it was always about bringing editorial and audiences to life and connecting them to a brand.  But the primary “product” was always space or time.   It was THE solution rather A solution.  Now we are helping brands connect with advertisers in richer, more varied ways.  We are building sites, widgets, games, etc.  This is a huge difference that the industry has not yet caught up with.

I interview a lot of online sales people.  Some sell space.  They move inventory.  Others provide solutions and experiences.  I hire the latter group.

Experience the Olympics through Facebook

Really proud to be involved with Federated Media Author Citizen Sports on the Olympic application.  The application allows fans from almost every participating nation to follow that national team, read blog posts from Olympic athletes, and read and share news stories about the upcoming Olympics.
You can join the Team USA application or select another country or join as a fan of another country here.

Quotes from the Conversational Marketing Summit NYC

How to take advantage of the social web – “Let one hundred flowers bloom” – Andy Markowitz, Kraft Foods summarizing from a talk by Guy Kawasaki

“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Hulu CEO Jason Kilar (also a pretty widely quoted saying with no attribution.)

“Like the movie Soylent Green, the social web is made of people!” – Steve Rubel

“I’m so tired of Twitter.  I’m looking for something new.”  Unknown.  Heard this in the hall and it stuck in my mind.

“Too many advertisers buy impressions instead of making impressions.”  Matt Freeman of GoFish.

“I don’t know about all this technical jargon” – Rich Silverstein when asked in the hall about RSS.

“Find a good partner” – Andy Lark when talking about things he’s learned about social media.

Was really proud to be a part of the CM Summit and the entire Federated Media team that made it happen.  The summit content was strong and as Michael Cohn pointed out the speakers really discussed the issue at hand rather than pitching vaguely related ideas that related to their product.  The best content happened in the hallway.  Lots of passionate conversations occurring all around the sessions and I have already seen a number of these conversations continue past the summit.

Great week.  Can’t wait for the next one in San Fran this fall… Interested in speaking or attending, click here.

Advertising Salespeople a Dead Profession?

Always great when your boss blogs about your position becoming extinct… Fortunately, my boss Chas Edwards argues the opposite here. Now that my position is safe let me disagree with him.

Advertising will become extinct.  Advertising is a part of marketing.  Over time, advertising will evolve to look much, much more like media.  Marketers create media.  At which point, people selling “space” or “air time” (the slang used for generations) will disappear and the business will be full of marketing/technology/media consultants that help marketers make meaningful media.

Air time and space can be bought with online tools.

Federated Media Receives a $50MM Investment

Press Release here. Tremendously proud to be a part of the FM family. I joined late last year and have had a blast.

Lots of discussion in the blogosphere. I will let that go on but can’t help but highlight a blog post from a FM client, Jeff Lanctot at Avenue A. A bit here:

I’ll save the questions around valuation of the company for the investors. However, I can say that FM has established a nice track record with Avenue A | Razorfish (my employer) over the last several quarters. Looking back to 2007, we spent nearly 4X more with FM in the second half of the year than we did in the first half. In the first quarter of 2008, our spend with FM matched all of calendar year 2007.


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