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Hello, I Must be Going

One of my favorite songs is the one by Roy Orbison that goes "in the real world, there are things that we can't change /and endings come to us in ways that we can't rearrange..."  And so it is with Social Media Day.  I am bowing out today as chief content officer or what we now colloquially call "editor" and leaving the company.   Two years of 10 to 14 hour days overseeing the flow of material on six very active web sites is too much for a man with a Medicare card.  I'm tired and my main focus right now is the health of my wife of 44 years who is very ill and not going to get better.  Any time not spent caring for her is time lost in my view. 

I'm very proud of what we have achieved since we began this little experiment.  SMT has become one of the best-read and most-respected channels for social media on the web.  My long-time friend, collaborator and co-founder Robin Carey has done a superb job of turning the SMT vision into a business.  In the midst of a recession and before many marketing departments had ever heard of social media, she convinced major companies like SAP, Oracle, Teradata and Siemens to give us a shot.  That is remarkable and a tribute to her dedication, hard work, and tenacity.  Nobody does it better.

One of our most important achievements, I believe, is that we have demonstrated that "aggregation" is not a dirty word.  We have helped many of the bloggers who share their content with us reach thousands of readers they would otherwise have missed.  We have shown there is value in "total individual reach" that transcends page rank and visitor stats.  I hope someone comes up soon with a better tool for measuring it.  

Robin has put together an incredible team and I will miss working with them, especially the "kids" Evan Cook and Caitlin Hinrichs, both of whom graduated from college in the past couple of years.  Evan is the total package, think Steven Spielberg before Jaws, and is a young man to watch.  Three years from now, look for Caitlin standing along the sidelines at an NFL game, microphone in hand, interviewing some recently indicted wide receiver.  If all the kids coming into the workforce now are like them, the country has a brighter future than I sometimes think.  (I won't miss our content managers Eric Ehrmann and Brian Roger; they have been my friends for 40 years and always will be.)

My personal thanks to all of you who are so generous in sharing your posts with us--the SMT blogger network for all our sites is now well over 600 contributors and growing daily. I want to acknowledge also my gratitude to George Athannassov, head of WordFrame, the web publishing platform we use for our sites, for giving me the software to build Social Media Today originally and hosting it in the days before we could afford to pay.

I'm not going away entirely--just scaling back.  You can follow my adventures  @jbowles or reach me via e-mail here.   Just to keep my chops up I built and just launched a  new little web site called The Social Mobilist.  The paint is still drying but drop by.

And, hey, we'll always have Paris.

Join The Conversation

  • KirkPetersen's picture
    Nov 27 Posted 7 years ago KirkPetersen Jerry, I only found this just now.  Thank you so much for all of your support and guidance during my stay at SMT -- I learned a lot from you.  I pray that you will always treasure the time you spend with your wife.
  • Oct 2 Posted 7 years ago david_terrar I've been preocupied this week, so I had missed this news.  I can understand the decision you are making, and want to wish all the best to you and your wife.  However, it's a very sad thing to see you leaving SMT. You've made a great contribution, which is much appreciated within the WordFrame family.  You'll be sorely missed.
  • Oct 1 Posted 7 years ago SteveDiamond Jerry--You are a consummate pro. Best wishes and tons of prayers to your wife and you.

    Steve Diamond

  • Dennis McDonald's picture
    Oct 1 Posted 7 years ago DennisMcDonald Good luck Jerry and thanks for everything!

    - Dennis

  • Oct 1 Posted 7 years ago JerryB (not verified) Thanks for all the kind words everyone.  They are much appreciated.  Note to Siobhan:  I also relate to Groucho's famous dictum:  "I don't want to belong to any club that would have me as a member."
  • RachelHappe's picture
    Sep 30 Posted 7 years ago RachelHappe Jerry -

    The  gratitude of a grateful industry goes with you - way back before Dell was tweeting, we needed a place to find out who was talking about social media and what they were saying. We came here.

    You will be missed but you will never regret the choice to spend time with your wife. Best wishes to you both.


  • MarcMeyer's picture
    Sep 30 Posted 7 years ago MarcMeyer Jerry, thanks for what you have created here. It has become a staple and a pillar in otherwise choppy seas. Don't forget to give yourself a pat on the back either, you did alright!


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