A New Look, A New Outlook

by Jason Falls |
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Social Media Explorer LogoWelcome to the new look of Social Media Explorer. No, the layout hasn’t really changed, but we now have a logo and we no longer have our masthead in the clouds, even if there is a funky image cut-off I’m still trying to fix. The change comes on the heels of several months of changes for me and some I think you’ll either notice, or find refreshing if you’re a regular reader of this blog.

More on that in a moment, however. Allow me the opportunity to thank Kevin Price, an infinitely talented designer at Doe-Anderson, for his logo and work. All of it was done just to appease the fat guy downstairs and served as a disruption to his normal workload, which is always too much. Special thanks to his boss, Hoon Baik, as well, who offered up some options, too, and helped Kevin tweak a few things in the process. Every agency has talented people. I’m certainly proud to work with these two and am thankful for their help.

The logo represents a lot of different things for me and I hope for you as well. The people joined in a circle (community and conversation) but one that has a compass type feel, particularly when you add the arrow, which itself implies something computer-related. It was one of the first designs Kevin came up with and I like it a lot. Hopefully, it will become synonymous with SME … or at least bring some color to our day. (And no, I don’t think it’s too close to the Fast Company online logo.)

And now for more change.

South by Southwest gave me a new perspective on my career, expertise and purpose. It seemed with every person I met, every business card I exchanged, ever conversation about the latest tool or topic of the day, I felt more and more like I belonged. Keep in mind I spent 11 years doing something besides this until a couple years ago. I’m also a self-taught closet computer geek from a po-dunk town in the middle of them thar hills, y’all. Even though I consider myself to be fairly smart, there are days I wonder if someone will find me out and make me work in the coal mines. SXSW reassured me that, in fact, I’m doing what I was meant to do.

My focus at work has come into a finer clarity and, though I could use about five more people to help me get through the day’s tasks, the projects I’m tackling are being handled with a great deal of pride and thoughtfulness. And (fingers crossed) Doe may even be entering a period where the possibility of bringing in more social media expertise is feasible. It’s an exciting time to work there.

I’ve also been working on a side project for the last month or so that bolsters my confidence. I’ll be able to talk about it more in the coming weeks, but rest assured it’s an important project that I’m playing a minor part in, but one that reaffirms the notion that social media is what I should be doing. That project has made me reassess my activities outside of work and streamline several of them inside to ensure I can commit the energy needed. Changing my time commitments has been hard, but will prove worthwhile.

And speaking of priorities, my wife and I are six weeks away from welcoming our second child and first daughter to the world. I’m genuinely overwhelmed with excitement, scared that my son won’t adjust well and clueless as to how I’m going to balance all that I have with now two children and a wife who needs my attention, too.

The reassessment of where I am and where I am going has led me to focus on some changes here as well. Over the next few months you’ll likely notice fewer posts, but hopefully better ones. I want to focus on quality rather than quantity and make the time you spend here more worth your while. I am honored you read Social Media Explorer and owe you continual improvement. You’ll also probably see fewer videos, though they won’t completely disappear. When we have a chance to interview someone good, we will. But, frankly, video posts attract a lot fewer of you than written ones. As always, if you have ideas on how I can improve them, I’m all ears.

We’ve also stripped out the advertisements. After doing some research on Doc Searls’ Because Effect and thinking more about Chris Anderson’s Economy of Free philosophy, not to mention the whopping $1.45 I’ve made in something like nine months from AdSense, it’s easy to see that neither you nor I need them here.

So as Social Media Explorer and I enter a period of redefined focus, please tell me what you would like to see here. Case studies? Interviews? Guest bloggers? What do you think of the new look?

As always, the comments are yours.


About the Author

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).