[Update: I changed the title of the post after Alan Meckler wrote that in the interview, he only speculated about what he might do and did not declare what he would do]
Yesterday, I’ve met with serial entrepreneur and Jupitermedia CEO, Alan Meckler, at the Mobile Content & Marketing Expo. A show his company is producing in San Jose, Calif.
The event which focuses on content (producing, selling, distributing…) for mobile phones attracted about 300 attendees, about a third of what was expected. It was certainly affected by the uncertainty in the economy right now. More on the show’s content in later posts.
“Some companies have cancelled… But this show will be profitable next year in New York… All the crisis have various similarities and that is great panic followed by great opportunities because people are gun shy to invest. I’m the eternal optimist and as bleak as things look, I don’t think there are as bad as they are. So therefore, it’s a good time to be pushing forward and invest so when things get better we’ll be in the lead in the various areas we’re investing in”, said Meckler.
During our conversation, Meckler confirmed that Jupitermedia is profitable and that it might actually change its name to Mediabistro. A move to reflect the ever increasing importance of his media focused blog network that also includes on-line courses and a job boards. While refocusing on blogging, the media executive confirmed that he might sell parts of its company.
All in all, Jupitermedia’s online business, JupitermediaOnline, original content attracts 16 million unique visitors per month with through 3 “communities”: graphics.com, mediabistro.com and internet.com.
I’ve asked the media veteran about the competition in the blogs market, which probably doesn’t meet his top 5 list of things to worry about.
“I like to think that the materials, the thing we write on, is all written by professionals, its objective. It’s not written in an attempt to be popular for popularity sake. It’s got staying power and I think that’s what attracts the right kind of reader/unique visitor that will then be interested and has the wherewithal to use other services that we charge for”.
On the trade-show front, Meckler is sticking with his proven strategy of producing conferences and expositions for under-served vertical industries and eventually sell them, like Internet World or Search Engine Strategies.
“Our game plan is to constantly be cutting edge and to at least once or twice a year to have a dimension of something that covers an area that is perhaps 2 or 3 years away from mainstream. And by being there first, by creating a web site that becomes a must-read and a tradeshow and related services around that. And that what makes us different. Larger companies tend to buy properties from us or buy my companies over the years because they like to buy things that are already established”.
And in less than 2 weeks, Jupitermedia is hosting in Santa Clara, Calif., the Web 3.0 conference focused on the business usage of the semantic web.
Here’s a video excerpt of my conversation with Alan Meckler: