By Scott Costa, Publisher, tED magazine
I am kicking off 2015 by writing this to directly address you. Together, you and tED magazine had a great 2014. And now we are working toward an even better 2015.
Our award-winning tED magazine delivered 12 issues packed with the relevant information you need to be successful. We talked with contractors about what they need most from you. We also showed you how contractors and distributors are working together to create solutions to match the needs of the job so you can learn from the success stories. We kept you up to date on the threat from AmazonSupply in a variety of ways, including an exclusive interview with NAW President Dirk Van Dongen and a look at effective online strategies you can use through our partnership with DATAgility. We used every issue in 2014 to help you find and retain the next generation of your workforce. We provided a variety of sales tips to keep your sales force ahead of the latest trends. We based our #tEDchats each month on topics we covered for you in the magazine to gauge your feedback and allow you to offer your opinions.
In 2015, we are ramping up our coverage of the economy with four roundtable discussions, one each quarter, to allow you the opportunity to spot the trends before they happen. We are expanding our Lighting Line-up in April, and our New Product Preview in December. In March, we will look inside the industry to get the answer to the question “What is the best decision I ever made?” We will honor a new Hooper Award winner in May. A new Trailblazer in June. The “30 Under 35”in July, and our “Best of the Best” in August. And all of that doesn’t even begin to touch the surface on the stories we will provide on how to better connect with contractors and how to strengthen relationships with manufacturers. Every month, we will have the most relevant information in the industry.
Meanwhile, our online efforts at www.tedmag.com have created growth that even we did not expect. Just to be clear, this website allows you access to an online version of tED magazine, but the stories are all current. Events and news that happens today is posted online today. Plus we offer exclusive features four days a week that examine the biggest issues facing this industry. Just this week, we profiled a distributorship that decided to join forces with AmazonSupply.
As a result, we have been able to nearly double the amount of stories you are viewing each year. In 2012, you viewed more than 260,000 pages on the website. In 2014, that number swelled to more than 511,000. We re-built the website to make it easier for you to use and find the news you want and need, and the result has been nothing short of amazing. From me to all of you, I say thank you for continuing to get your news and information from tED magazine and tedmag.com.
tED magazine is also thrilled that so many of you are connecting with us on our social media accounts. The number of people following tED on our Facebook page has doubled in less than two years. Our #tEDchats and our Twitter account is also seeing increased interest over the past year, and we expect even more success as we move our #tEDchat to Wednesdays beginning on January 14. Our tED Magazine Think Tank on Linkedin now has more than 4,700 members.
But along with that has to come some trust. This is a true story. While shopping for Christmas presents in December, I went in to a store and bought a pair of pants. I used my credit card, and when the store employee asked if I wanted to join their rewards program, I declined. The reason is simple: I could save a few dollars on my next purchase, but my e-mail inbox is sacred ground. I am sure yours is, too. You want what you need in that inbox, and nothing more. I knew if I signed up for the rewards program, I would be getting unwanted e-mails. So, what happens the next day? I start receiving e-mails from the store. The same e-mails I didn’t want in the first place. Maybe they were tracking my credit card information or my smartphone. Maybe they have some kind of a scanner that allows the store to recognize me when I walk inside. Either way, when I want more information on that store and its products (and by the way it’s a good store and I will shop there again), I will walk back to the store or use my computer to do my shopping (which will probably bring on more e-mail), just like everyone else.
My point is this: I have a tremendous amount of respect for the companies that choose to advertise in tED magazine and at www.tedmag.com. These are by far the best partners tED could possibly ask for, and I strongly, strongly, STRONGLY encourage you to check out what they have to offer your distributorship on a regular basis. I am certain that based on the way they do their business with tED , they will treat you equally as well. I have personally spoken with every tED magazine advertiser over the past two years, and I can tell you that while the products are top notch, the people behind the products are even better.
But one thing I will not do is offer those advertisers your personal information when you visit www.tedmag.com, including your e-mail address. I believe the term many people are using these days is called “data mining”. I am aware that there are other publications within this industry that are doing that. I am definitely aware of all of the products out there that will allow tED magazine to “data mine”. But we believe there is a different, better way to do business. We will provide you the best content we can possibly deliver. It is our goal to have you read our content, plus learn about products and services that are available to you through our advertisers and allow you to make purchasing decisions without worrying about a personal intrusion.
The choice is yours. I would like to see this relationship between tED magazine, our advertisers and you grow to new levels in 2015. tED magazine will do everything in its power to make sure you are satisfied with getting your news from us. We will also do everything we can to promote the advertisers who believe tED magazine is the way they want to reach out to you. And we will do that without compromising your personal information.
As always, I would love to know your feedback on tED magazine and tedmag.com. I am offering my e-mail address to you at email@example.com because your thoughts and comments deserve to be considered sacred ground in my inbox.