The Future of Dose of Digital

For those of you who have been paying close attention, you might have noticed that there hasn’t been much activity on the blog for a few months (okay…almost 5, but what does “few” mean anyway?). There’s a reason for this beyond that I couldn’t think of anything to write. Regular readers will know that I’m never at a loss for something to say (or write). The reason is actually quite simple. And in case you haven’t heard, I’ll give you the short story.

On January 13, I left the agency I’d been at for almost five years. While at the agency (first called Bridge Worldwide and now Possible Worldwide), I started this blog and was supported in its ongoing development by the company. Of course, that means that they are really the owners of this blog, so I felt that they should retain control of it once I left. In addition, I’ve moved completely away from the agency business and from healthcare. Because of these couple of factors, I stopped writing. At the same time, I’ve been searching for some options for the blog so that it didn’t simply wither away and die. I’m pleased to announce that I’ve finally got a great solution (more on that in a bit).

First, a little more about where I’m at now and why. Again, this will be the short version of the story, but if you want the whole thing, then I’d invite you to head over to my new blog, which has a really detailed “farewell” post. Here’s the gist for those looking for the short version from that post:

“I’m now headed off to something totally different. I’m moving from a large (medium?) sized company to a small one. And I’m headed to the world of startups. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while and didn’t know when it might make sense. Well, the right opportunity just made itself apparent and I’m going to follow it. SO, starting Monday, January 16, you can find me at Zipscene.”

That’s where I’m going. What is Zipscene, you ask? The simple explanation is that it’s a digital marketing platform for restaurants. We help turn restaurants digital properties (including desktop, tablet, and mobile versions of their website) into powerful ecommerce platforms, dramatically improve the user experience, and really help improve every aspect from first acquiring customers all the way through them paying their check in the restaurant. We work with some pretty big national chains like Bob Evans and Macaroni Grill (with plenty other big ones coming soon that I can’t quite share yet).

And yes, it’s a startup company, which is something I’ve always wanted to be a part of. We’ve already grown since I started in January, but are probably a lot smaller than what most of you are used to. I’m the VP of Product Marketing, which means that I’m responsible for developing our product offerings and figuring out how to market them. Sound simple enough, right? In the five months that I’ve been here, I’ve loved every challenge and I’m really glad I made this switch.

There are a few reasons I made the switch. First, I wanted to get back to a smaller environment where I felt like I was making a much bigger impact. Second, I’ve always wanted to get into the world of startups and this perfect opportunity presented itself, so I couldn’t pass it up. And third, I was getting a little burned out on healthcare. That last one is probably the most intriguing to all of you reading this because I’m guessing you’ve felt the same some days. You see, I realized that I was shouting about a lot of the same things on this blog and while there is some tiny progress and change happening in the industry, it’s glacially slow. And after almost 16 years in healthcare, that gets a little tiring.

Anyways…if you want to learn about the world of startups alongside me, check out my new blog (Starting Up and Away) where I post about the lessons I’m learning.

Moving on…

Before filling you in on where this blog is headed, I want to take a moment and thank every one of you who is reading this. I started Dose of Digital in December 2008. It took a little while to get some traction, but over that time, the blog has grown far beyond I ever expected and has given me opportunities I never thought I would have. For the small niche we’re talking about here (digital technology and marketing in healthcare and pharma), this blog has attracted a pretty big audience. There have been more than 310k visitors since it started and you’ve consumed well over a half a million pages of content. Figuring around 2.5 minutes per page on average, you’ve collective spent around 2  and a half years of your time reading this blog. That’s a lot of time. Time I know that is very valuable. Almost four thousand of you have signed up for the RSS feed and nearly three thousand of you have become fans of the Dose of Digital Facebook Page.

Your support has allowed me the opportunity to speak at conferences all around the world, be quoted in newspapers like the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post, and (one of the coolest) be interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” (which you can listen to here). Through all these experiences, I’ve met a ton of really smart, kind, and interesting people. They are people who are freely giving of their time if you ask and who are happy to help you whenever you can. They are the types of people that help make you better. I’d completely  miss huge swaths of people if I tried to list them here, but I think they all know who they are (and you probably know who they are ask well).

In exchange for all of this support, I hope that you’ve found this blog to be helpful. I hope that you’ve learned something and that it was somehow able to help you reach a goal or solve a problem. If it has, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and let me know. I always loved meeting people at conferences who said they read Dose of Digital regularly. It was always validating to know that real people and not just numbers on Google Analytics were reading the blog and getting benefits from it. For those who write a blog regularly, you know that it takes a ton of time commitment. Meeting people who read the blog and hearing that it helped them, as corny as it sounds, made it all that time investment worthwhile for me.

Summary: thank you.

And one last thing before I share the news about the blog, I wanted to share a few of my favorite posts (out the almost 200 I’ve written) with you because…well…because I’m proud of these and think they’re worth reading. So, here are a few, in no particular order. Of note, some of these are from a couple years ago, so they might be a little outdated, but I think a lot still holds true.

A diverse list with something for everyone.

Okay…onto the future of the blog. Starting next week, I’m turning over the keys to Dose of Digital to Bill Evans. Bill is the Chief Digital Officer for Team Chemistry, which is part of agency holding company WPP (which is the same holding company my former agency is part of). Bill has been around pharma for a long time and has done some nice thought leadership work over the years and gets to work with some of the top brands in the industry. He’s got a passion for a lot of the stuff I have around digital technology in pharma, so he’s a perfect candidate to take over. The great thing that Bill brings is access to a bunch of other great minds. He’ll be bringing in some of the brightest people out there to write for the blog. So, beyond writing a few posts himself, he’ll be serving more as an editor. What this means for you is that you’ll be seeing a much higher volume of useful content. It’s hard for just one person (me) to write regular articles when there is so much else competing for time, which is why you see some time periods with little or no posts. With this new arrangement, there will always be a steady stream of new content. And because it comes from a diverse group of people, you’ll get different perspectives as well. So, if you’ve grown tired of my rants, you’ll be hearing the rants of others soon.

I’m excited about the future of the blog and am glad that it’ll live on as a valuable resource. I’ll commit to posting a couple times in the future at some point, so stay tuned for that.

Until then, feel free to stay in touch. Here’s how you can find me:

Twitter – @jonmrich

Blog – Starting Up and Away

Linkedin 

Facebook

New Company – Zipscene

Personal site – JonathanRichman.com

And, once again, thank you for everything.

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4 Responses to “The Future of Dose of Digital”

  1. MeredithGould May 31, 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Totally get the “burned out on healthcare” meme; lots of that going around these days.  Do miss your contributions which helped melt the glacier.  

    • Jonathan Richman May 31, 2012 at 10:33 am #

      Takes a lot to melt a glacier, but hopefully, it helped a bit. 

  2. Miguel Tovar June 3, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi Jon, as many others I’ll miss your valuable insights on pharma and social media. Hope you are getting lots of enriching experiences in this new stage of your career. 

    • Jonathan Richman June 4, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate the support you’ve given along the way. I’ll be sure to check back and share some experiences from time to time.