Like most of you, I’ve been reading (in various places) about the year that was and the trends of 2007. Facebook, mergers, the dawn of mobile, blogs and more blogs, social media, Twitter and video all defined 2007 in some circles, and maybe even yours.
NPR says that blogs are 10 years old (seriously?), and it’s been producing a series to commemorate the anniversary.
And as for 2008, for his own reasons, David writes about how if 2008 were to me captured in single word–it would be this: Discipline.
Which made me wonder– what would my word be? For me, if 2008 were to be captured in a single word, it would be this: Perspective.
As Drew writes,
“Step away from people who blog, read blogs, the media, marketing and advertising folks…and you will find a vast majority of human beings who are completely unaware of what social media means.”
Drew’s words reminded me of a brief few words I prepared last month, in honor of ClickZ’s 10th Anniversary. As its cofounder, I was graciously invited by Editor-in-Chief Rebecca Lieb. But since I was unable to attend, I wrote a brief reflection, which Rebecca …. who succeeded me 7 (!) years ago …. read on my behalf at the event.
I’m digressing a little here… but I do have a point. The presentation went, in part, like this:
We’re here to honor the 10th birthday of ClickZ. Your first thought …. and mine …. might be, “Wow! 10 years old!”– because a decade in the internet marketing space is indeed a long time. 10 years convey longevity, maturity, and endurance.
But like any founder, I think of the birth of ClickZ in more personal terms. My daughter Caroline was a newborn when we launched ClickZ out of our home offices in Boston in 1997.
–only, this isn’t actually Caroline. This is Spain’s Princess Cristina and her newborn daughter, Irene, in 2005. (But it’s reasonably close to what Caroline looked like.)
The truth is that Caroline …. and ClickZ …. was born at a time when the idea of Internet advertising and marketing …. and, indeed, much of how we use the internet today …. were newborn babes.
The idea of an online web site and newsletter that would help businesses market online was as brand-new as any baby, and many of the online tools and strategies that we have today weren’t *even* a twinkle in anyone’s eye. This is why, for example, I don’t have a Flickr photo stream of Caroline to plug in here, like I might today.
But here’s the perspective that I think is important to maintain. Yes …. ClickZ is 10 years old, and so is Caroline. Here she is today:
Like any 10-year-old, she is full of promise and possibility. When I look at her, I don’t think of her past. I think of her future, which will be long, and exciting, and full of opportunities that I can’t possibly …. from where I sit …. imagine.
This is how I think of ClickZ — and, by extension, internet marketing, too.
I honor ClickZ’s ability to thrive for the past 10 years in the internet marketing space. But more than that, I am proud to see it grow and flourish beyond today …. well into the future.
When I think of ClickZ, the perspective I like to keep is one the reminds me, like this photo, that ClickZ is ONLY 10 years old–.which means that it has a future that will be long, and exciting, and full of opportunities that we can’t possibly …. from where we sit tonight …. imagine.
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This is what resonates for me: The truth is that Caroline was born at a time when the idea of Internet advertising and marketing …. and, indeed, much of how we use the internet today …. were newborn babes.
At the dawn of a new year, in a new time, it’s an worthwhile perspective to bear in mind. And that’s true whether we are talking internet marketing, or social media, or the intersection of the two.
Your Mom might not know about Twitter or video blogging or even blogging… yet. But as Drew commented, “I don’t take this as bad news…. We’re riding the first wave of social media. It’s not mainstream yet but it will be. And we get to cut the path.”