On Tuesday, I had lunch with Nick Denton of Gawker Media. Underscore is in a rather large pitch right now for a major piece of business, and Nick submitted a proposal for our prototypical plan last week. I invited him out to lunch because I wanted to get his take on where the whole advertising on blogs thing is going.
Nick is a hell of a nice guy. I get the sense that he's going to kick ass with his company. He's concentrating on a tough-to-reach demographic in which traditional media consumption is way down and terribly fragmented. And he's addressing this demographic with brands that definitely have legs. Within the first few minutes of talking to him, you can tell that he has a much different approach to online marketing than others in the category. To Nick, it's about doing something meaningful and integrated - not simply plopping banners up on one of his websites. It was a great lunch.
On Wednesday, I had lunch with Steve Rubel of Micropersuasion and CooperKatz fame. Speaking of fame, Steve is a bit surprised at how some of his comments have taken off through the blogosphere and have been picked up by traditional media outlets. He also expressed a bit of amazement that someone who hasn't been blogging for very long could end up on NPR, talking about blogs. Personally, I think Steve is a pivotal figure - he's doing exactly the right thing at exactly the right time. He's talking about how the PR business is being affected by the blogging movement, and he gets it.
In a new medium heavy with thought leaders and "influentials," Steve is taking a long, hard look at how blogging is changing the his own business. I think a lot of folks in the PR business would be well served to follow his example. And I think it's cool that CooperKatz has given Steve clearance from the tower to blog. It's a smart move. As blogging gets bigger and businesses need to figure out how to understand blogs, how they work and how ideas are carried through the blogosphere, CooperKatz will have this expertise in house and they'll benefit from it.
Steve and I had a great conversation that lasted well past the point where our waitress cleared our plates. I'm glad I was able to meet him face to face.