Help Input To The Next Iteration Of The Future Buzz

I’ve been blogging on various self-hosted platforms since 2005 (and other people’s platforms even longer). Of all the sites I’ve developed, The Future Buzz is easily my favorite and where I’ve spent the most time building a community.

With that said the goal of this blog when I started in 2007 was simple: to share my ideas and opinions with you. And I’ve greatly enjoyed doing that. I don’t plan to stop. Interestingly enough, however, the best part hasn’t even been publishing my ideas. Rather it has been inspiring discussions and bringing together an extremely bright group interested in digital media, marketing and PR.

So I have a new goal for the site: to become an essential destination for our category, driven by you, the community. How will we do this? In essence, I am planning to iterate The Future Buzz from my personal blog into something closer to a digital marketing industry trade. For existing subscribers you’re already setup and won’t need to change a thing. We’re just going to make things even better for you.

My sense is there is room in the market for a new type of trade publication. The existing ad, marketing and PR trades do great work writing up tips, trends and stories. I even contribute to some of them on occasion. A long tail of personal bloggers do an amazing job writing up the industry from their perspective. Several industry aggregators bring together the mix of our category.

But I think The Future Buzz can take a different approach, one that focuses relentlessly on creativity, community and passion for our industry. With 50K visitors per month and more than 22K subscribers opted in via RSS, email, Facebook and Twitter I think we have the numbers to become a meaningful and new type of trade.

You’ll notice over the past few months I’ve brought comments into the content mix and opened up the site to guest bloggers. These are just the first steps. I have many additional ideas to implement that will help amplify your thinking and give a voice to interested readers but in testing just a a few and getting feedback I’m excited to push this further.

Another critical next step is design. The current theme is minimal and perfect for what I wanted as a personal blog. But it won’t work for what’s next. I’m currently working through a new concept with the brilliant team of designers at Pro Blog Design. Expect something fresh and different.

Here’s where I need your help. I said this would be a different kind of trade publication. One of the reasons why is this will be a collaborative project. I know you’re interested in collaborating based on existing levels of participation and I’m hoping re-positioning this site as a trade vs. my personal blog will inspire even greater levels of this.

I’ve been gathering feedback at conferences, from industry friends and even coworkers. However I also want to ask you directly: what is it you want from a trade publication? Also what aren’t you getting from the current trades we can provide?

I’d love your subjective response as a comment below. This will help me push the site forward into the next iteration. If you’re too shy to comment, feel free to email me as I’d love to collect as many of your thoughts as possible so what I create next can be a shared vision from all of you.

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