Archive for 2011

Individual Opinions

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

I spent yesterday at a conference.  As I slowly inched through downpours and heavy traffic, I pondered whether the conference would be beneficial.  From the list of speakers and topics, it seemed worth a day away from the office, but one never knows.  I entered the conference with a positive mindset, deciding that even if the seminars weren’t fulfilling, there would be the opportunity to make new contacts.

Thankfully, I found almost all of the seminars to be inspiring and informative.  Additionally, I was able to meet an assortment of people during the day, many of whom also were inspiring and informative.  Making new connections is valuable, but it also is interesting to watch how different pairs connect or don’t.  Every person I met was kind, yet not all of them were people whom I considered to be great connections.  I am sure others thought the same of me.

Reflecting on the various people I met, it seems that meeting people is akin to reviewing new items.  What is delightful to one may be merely mediocre to another.  Looking at a handful of the reviews on WMG this week, the opinions vary greatly:

  • Enjoyable– This reviewer found A to Z Pinot Noir to be a delightful accompaniment to dinner, even worthy of drinking on a weekly basis.
  • Mediocre–  50/50 received a split review from He Said/She Said.  For He, it was worth seeing in the theatre, while She thought it would be worth seeing in the theatre, but only for the matinee pricing.
  • Unsatisfying– The newest Red Hot Chili Peppers’ album received a less than favorable review.  Deemed a “playing it safe” album, it doesn’t exactly ring of 4-star reviews.

Of course, others will have different opinions than our writers.  This diversity in thought is what makes each of us unique and makes meeting others an interesting part of any event.

An Evening of WMG

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Like the formation of many companies, when Wasabi Media Group was launched, some parts of its future were unclear.  Although there were 24 niche properties, the exact focus of each was not fully determined.  What was certain was that these 24 publications would target specific topics and deliver media that engaged and entertained.  These properties should mirror interests found in typical lives.

As I was thinking about this week’s Editorially Yours column, I realized that last evening was a coincidental reflection of Wasabi Media Group.  Or maybe it simply was that WMG has become focused enough to reflect everyday lives, which was a primary goal.  Wasabi Media Group should be a source of inspiration or a reference for many parts of our lives, from cooking to parenting to selecting movies and more.

What made me think that my Tuesday evening was similar to WMG?  A few items of note:

  • After spending Saturday afternoon transforming canning tomatoes into salsa, we were left with several cups of spicy tomato juice.  Rather than watering down our salsa or throwing the juice away, I saved it in hopes of incorporating it into dinner.  Last night’s dinner was Make Your Own Salsa Soup, which aligned itself with Steps to Reduce Food Waste.
  • During dinner, my family was discussing events of the day at school, sports practice, and work.  One topic that we explored was the interaction of parents and coaches; our group determination was that parents should stay on the sidelines to cheer and let coaches stay on the field to guide the players.  Looking at yesterday’s publishing statistics, I remembered that this same topic had been covered at My Fitness Tunes.
  • Finally, after dinner was finished, and the kitchen was cleaned, we headed to the living room to catch a few minutes of the Red Sox-Orioles game.  Living in New England, most of us root for the Red Sox.  However, it’s been a crazy up and down season for them, and I pondered whether they really wanted to play during the post-season, just as our sports reporter had questioned on Monday.

It may have been happenstance that my Tuesday evening aligned with WMG, but it is my hope that our readers find the same connection between themselves and the topics of interest to them within WMG.

From the CEO of a Media Empire

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Did the title catch your eye as I hoped it would?

The title is a little truth and a lot of exaggeration.  Yes, I am the CEO of Wasabi Media Group, but it is not a media empire.  We are growing at a steady pace and have made much progress in our 3+ years, but we are short of being an empire.  However, after working with our financial analyst intern this week, I discovered that many companies are quite comfortable with exaggeration.  I don’t mean a simple stretching of the truth, such as saying you have 2 million readers when you actually have 1.8 million.  I mean portraying your company as being 30 to 50 times bigger than it is.

I was shocked by the thought that a competitor of ours (who won’t be named) would declare that their traffic numbers were 30 times higher than ours when their Alexa rank shows them to be 200,000 spots below us.  The math simply doesn’t work. Why would a company want to exaggerate so greatly when it is easily disproved?  I, for one, do not have an answer to that question.

Looking across our sites, it can be shown quite quickly how exaggeration is present in all subjects:

  • Politics– According to the author, Ron Paul exaggerated during the debate on September 12th.  Reading various reviews of the debate, they showed that other authors felt that other candidates also exaggerated facts.
  • Gaming- A recent review of the video game, A Vampire Romance, declared that the game included neither vampires nor romance, making its title quite deceiving.
  • Humor– This would be the exception to the rule.  It is the appropriate place for exaggeration; it is what makes many jokes deliver so well.

While exaggeration may be prevalent, it is something which we strive to avoid at Wasabi Media Group.  We may provide opinions that differ from those of our readers, but we aim to provide articles worthy of respect.

Listen

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Listen.

It’s a key component to being successful.  As children, we learn to listen to our teachers and parents.  As we grow, it becomes obvious that listening is an important part of successful relationships.  As parents, we know that not only do our children need to listen to us, but we also must listen to them.  The same is true in work relationships.

Of course, all of us has had the boss who makes it clear that suggestions really aren’t wanted.  Nothing is quite so frustrating as having an idea that won’t even be heard.  However, just because someone is part of management doesn’t mean that he or she is a good listener.

As the leader of WMG, I try to keep open lines of communication with my team.  What I have discovered is that through this I am able to receive some fabulous suggestions.  Sometimes it comes in the form of me sending a request for ideas and receiving good feedback, and other times it is a suggestion sent unexpectedly.  Even though every idea may not be implemented, it is inspiring to work with a team that is this engaged in their work.

Yesterday was an especially good day for suggestions:

  • One of our associate editors, Jane, suggested adding an Upcoming Reviews box to Flick Rev.
  • Another associate editor, Lori, advised me on where to find a specialist for My Fitness Tunes.
  • A writer, Jaclyn, proposed adding reviews of web tv series to Couch Tuber.

While these may seem like small suggestions, they will provide our readers with great new features and content.  These suggestions show me that the lines of communication are working.  Plus, these suggestions are sure to inspire even more creativity.

We’re all busy.  However, we all need to make sure that we take the time to listen.  You never know when the next great idea will be uttered.

Back to School

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

With Labor Day behind us, the summer has unofficially ended.  Most kids have returned to school by now, and households have returned to the pattern of school, homework, activities, and reasonable bedtimes.  Our house has been in that routine for two weeks now, and thankfully the return to this schedule has gone well.

As always, the start of the school year is filled with newness:  a new grade, a new teacher,  and new classmates.  Never mind that there may be a new bus stop or a a new school to consider.  These pieces can make any child feel exhilarated and nervous at the same time.

For the parents, there are other new items that cause the same feeling of dread and excitement: the need for new supplies and clothes.  Multiple trips to the mall are almost guaranteed.  While pencils and crayons most likely are on the list, so are other items, such as thumb drives.  The older your children are, the bigger the items they need.

This week, a few of our sites highlighted some items that older students might  need.  If your child needs an external hard drive, read this review of a 1 terabyte drive.  For college-aged students, one of our writers offers suggestions on how to minimize the cost of purchasing textbooks.

Finally, if you are a teacher who is looking for ways to increase success in your classroom, then you should visit Test Soup, which is a sister company of ours.  Working with five other educational companies, they are providing $150,000 worth of giveaways in this contest.

Here’s to a great school year for all!

WMG Is Mobile

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

It seems that everybody has an app.  Want a way to keep yourself amused while riding the subway?  There are millions of games from which to choose.  Need a currency converter app for your international travel?  There are apps for that.  Should you be studying for an upcoming exam?  There are apps to assist with that also.

Between the increase in smartphone purchases and the constant presence of iPads and iTouches, there is an audience that always is seeking new and interesting ways to entertain and assist them.  Thus, the market produces apps that vary from the whimsical game to the business tool.

WMG entered the world of apps in June with our WMG Reader app for Android.  Now, we have launched that same app for iOS.  Making Wasabi Media Group articles available to mobile devices was an important step.  As the CEO, there have been times when I’m traveling and I wanted to check on a recent article.  Without the app, it was a more cumbersome chore.  Now, with the app, in a click or two, I can review the specific article.

Although WMG wasn’t on the cutting edge of going mobile, we are in the game now.  For Android users, you can find our app here.  For Apple fans, the app is here for you.

Want to read a Wasabi Media Group article from your mobile device?  Yes, we have an app for that.

Inspire. Inform. Engage.