Many loyal visitors have been reading this semi-weekly blog entry since we launched MSPmentor and Nine Lives Media in 2008. I usually include plenty of MSP gossip and rumors. But this time around I’d like to address the continued evolution of our channel brands -- MSPmentor, The VAR Guy and Talkin’ Cloud. Here’s the update.
7. Original Mission: Amy Katz and I co-founded Nine Lives Media in January 2008. We’ve always remained true to our original mission –- we defined emerging IT media markets (MSPmentor, Talkin’ Cloud) and we disrupted established IT media markets (The VAR Guy).
6. Original Cast: As a standalone company, Nine Lives Media only had two full-time employees –- Amy and me. But we were fortunate to work with a range of contractors -– names like Kim Daniels, Amy Schuler and Traci Verbaarschott, among many others -– to help us build and grow the business.
5. A New Parent: In August 2011, Penton acquired Nine Lives Media. In a blog, I explained how the deal was an acceleration strategy for our brands. Behind the scenes, Amy Katz and Penton built a business plan to help grow our database, readership and revenue.
4. An Expanded Team: From 2011 until now, Penton has made ongoing investments in our team and our business. We’ve hired talented full-timers on the content team (Charlene O’Hanlon, Jessica Davis, CJ Arlotta, Michael Cusinelli and Dan Kobialka) and the sales team (Debbie Kane and Kelly Danziger). Plus, Penton backed us with marketing and SEO resources to help build and grow our online communities.
3. Strong Results: Under Penton’s ownership, our web traffic and revenues have enjoyed strong double-digit annual growth. As a privately held company I can’t disclose the exact figures. But I can say this: Penton’s channel business (the former Nine Lives) has been one of the company’s strongest performers since buying Nine Lives in 2011.
2. Expanded Vision: And now, a new chapter is beginning. Our channel team is now part of the broader Penton Technology Group, which includes leading brands like Windows IT Pro and Paul Thurrott’s Windows SuperSite. Plus, Penton Technology Group is led by VP/Market Leader Steve Veith -– a veteran of multiple startups at CMP Media and Ziff Davis Media. Veith brings a unique blend of large-media strategy and entrepreneurial spirit to our business. Also, Penton has a team of experts -– including Megan Keller – focused on eLearning and face-to-face conferences like IT/Dev Connections 2014.
1. Thank You For Making It Happen: Our channel brands are now fully staffed with talented sales and content professionals. We’ve got a strong parent in Penton investing in our channel brands and business. And we’ve got a strong leader -– Steve Veith –- driving our business forward.
With each of those realities in mind, Amy and I have each decided to resign and relax for the summer of 2014. Amy’s last day here is today (May 2). My final day is May 9.
For those who discovered and embraced Nine Lives Media when we launched the business in January 2008, we cannot thank you enough for your readership and trust. For those who have discovered our brands more recently, you’re in good hands thanks to Penton Technology Group’s ownership and leadership.
And so I’ll close with a simple Thank You: To our readership, to our sponsors and to the talented team members who bring you The VAR Guy, Talkin’ Cloud and MSPmentor each day. Amy and I wish you all the best.