By the time we threw our launch party in September 2007, it seemed we had already lived a lifetime. One year of online publishing is like ten years of traditional publishing. The technology is ever shifting and advertising models are not yet stable. There are new blogs and social networks popping up every month. Some sites are selling content sponsorships, some are utilizing a CPM model and rates are all over the map. Creating a profitable environment for your advertisers while trying not to alienate your readers is one hell of a balancing act.
It wasn’t just the changing technological landscape that we had to overcome. Other local publications had it out for us. The stakes were high. We came out of the gates strong and were getting a lot of attention. I implored our writers to ruffle feathers and stir debate. We wanted to separate ourselves from the pack and put our stamp on the Detroit media scene.
I applaud anyone making a go of it here. It’s true that being a creative in Detroit makes you a big fish in a small pond. But more times than not, the pond is devoid of fresh water. It’s either that or another big fish is trying to drown you. It’s an uphill battle here in more ways than one. I believe that growing up in Detroit gives you a certain type of moxie that allows you to battle the detractors and find success.
It’s this moxie that feeds into our mission at Detour. We know that for us to have the type of growth we want to have, we need to stay true to our goals. We want to document and promote Detroit’s wealth of indie music and culture. At the same time we want to be the tastemaker that gives you the scoop on what’s happening – what bands you should see, what MP3s you should download, what films are worth your time, etc. This mission is ongoing and doesn’t happen overnight. We are continually building a trust-factor with our audience.
In my next and final post, I will talk about how knowing your audience is the main cornerstone of success for any publication.