OK, I'm being a real jerkwad, but yes, EE Times is going to launch a redesign this coming weekend and I predict no small amount of bitching and moaning from it's audience. Nothing is going to be where you expect it and it is going to be proclaimed, "not as good as it used to be."
Why do I predict that? Because with every change in media, that's what the general consensus is. Of course, it is preceded by a general consensus that it was originally not worth the powder to blow it to hell, but change one little bit of it and listen to the screams. Kinda like Congress, actually.
But here's a clue number one for everyone: Nothing is as it was.
Clue number two: It will never be as it was again.
Clue number three: What was wasn't working then and it's not going to work now.
So we should all get ready for new stuff and start playing around with it.
Of course, I'm in a better position than many readers of EE Times because I've known the change was coming. I've been talking with the EE Times management for more than two years as we mutually try to figure out what the hell happened and what we need to do about it. I've also talked with the management of a lot of other B2B publishing houses and very few of them have their heads out of ... the sand. Yet.
It has not been easy for the media over the past decade. Most of the world is trying to cope with a 2-year recession and the media has been dealing with it since 1999. There have been a lot of changes and there will be more to come. But what I see in the new EE Times Group (which brings all the disparate titles of the organization under one banner) is a herculean effort to adapt and remain flexible.
Is it going to work? Who knows? What we do know is that nothing has worked so far. Reed Business has sold of EDN, SCDSource went under this week, Penton is slogging through bankruptcy (but emerged March 5-- which I missed so thanks for the heads up DM), Pennwell is down the well... and United Business Media? Well they lost money last year, but the losses almost equal their acquisitions. So rather than shed businesses they are acquiring them. They've downsized redundant personnel but are currently looking to hiring editorial staff. They are not exactly burning down the house, but they are holding their own when competitors are collapsing. About they only competitor keeping pace that I've seen is Hearst's Electronic Products that recently completely redid their own site.
So when the new EE Times comes out, scream if you want, but look into it. Try to figure out how to use it. And if you can't give me a call. My rates are reasonable.