This week I started a cool new job at Newsroom, one of New Zealand’s premier independent media companies. I’ll be their Chief Product Officer for a few days a week, and also writing my weekly technology column for the site. As I noted in my LinkedIn profile, I’ll be responsible for building the Newsroom technology platform and further developing Newsroom Pro – the company’s subscription service.
It’s a key time for media companies, as they try and build a sustainable business model in this post-advertising, mobile-centric, social media-infused era. I’ve built and run a successful indie media company before (ReadWriteWeb), so I’m excited about bringing that skillset and experience to a local media business.
My main role will be to help Newsroom take that next step and build a thriving subscriber business. I’ve seen how some independent media sites in the US have adopted subscriptions – for example The Information and Digiday – so I know it’s not only do-able, but essential in this era if you’re producing thoughtful, analytical content (which Newsroom most certainly does).
On the other two days of the week, I’ll continue to work on my own indie creation: Blocksplain. At the end of last month I did an analysis of the site’s performance since I launched it in late January. I’ve done about 30 posts and a couple even went viral (on Twitter and Reddit). I’m continuing to tweak my goals for the site, which is very niche. I’m aiming to build up an audience of early adopters, business people curious about blockchain, and of course entrepreneurs. Similar to my target audience when I started ReadWriteWeb back in 2003. Except…it’s a whole new era!
Blocksplain is a fun part-time job for me, albeit one with no income right now. I do it because I love experimenting with the latest Web publishing tools and meeting new people; in this case, in the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.