media launches and such.

08Nov07

yesterday, i skipped out on nerve early to meet dana & charlotte at nyu for a panel discussion on “the art of the media launch.” (dana forwarded it to me because he knows i’m obsessed with world media domination and stuff, and i was especially interested because i was planning on launching selfhelpme this week.)

i was super excited because it had a total rockstar panel. david carr of the new york times was moderating (he was dryly hilarious & awesome); arianna huffington of the huffington post was there (charlotte described her as “a pr machine,” which was true; she loved to talk and she was always pushing the various features of her site); susan lyne of martha stewart living omnimedia was there (i was so impressed by her powerful togetherness); craig newmark (craigslist) was there (nerdily hilarious); and laurel touby of mediabistro rounded out the panel (she was just as crazy and abrasive as that village voice article made her out to be).

as far as learning the basics of conducting your own launch, i felt i didn’t hear anything new. it was mostly a reiteration of things i’d already obsessively read about on problogger (search engine optimization, space advertising, self marketing, blog content, etc.) or in cheryl woodard’s starting & running a successful newsletter or magazine.

laurel stressed the importance of finding out what your audience wants (surveys, people; they’re invaluable) after craig mentioned how much of the features on craigslist came about because of user suggestions. susan talked about refining your idea, figuring out why it will work and how it is different from every other damn media entity out there.

but some of the most interesting comments throughout the evening were on the “aha moments” the panelists felt when starting up their startups, or the interior tools they found most helpful.

arianna realized that huffpo really had something when she saw that they didn’t need the big-name writers; rather, they could serve as a platform for a variety of interesting voices. laurel — on the topic of finding start-up resources — said, “people will do things for you.” she urged all the wannabe moguls to talk up their projects…tell everyone they came across…build it up. one of her aha moments involved realizing she had a project that she couldn’t stop talking about. that’s when she knew she had the passion to make it work. susan mentioned that getting very publicly fired was incredibly liberating. she was able to sit back and figure out what she wanted her next move to be.

so, in the end, not exactly a how-to, but rather a fascinating look into the minds behind the magic, if you will.

afterwards, charlotte and i went to the dove, and i had 2.5 glasses of wine on an empty stomach and we talked about life, the universe, and everything, and then i stumbled home (via subway + bus + car) and then i heated up chicken nuggets and then i tried to sleep and then i woke up in the middle of the night feeling as if my skin was in flames, and i got violently ill.

dude. it was gross.

i feel better now.

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