Goodbye Search Engine Watch & Best Wishes!


Search Engine Watch Launch, June 9, 1997

Today is my last day with Search Engine Watch, with me heading to my new digs
at Search Engine Land tomorrow. I
wanted to wish Search Engine Watch all the best going forward, plus help readers
understand some of the changes that are happening. To do that best, I thought I’d go
all the way back to the beginning, to the birth of Search Engine Watch.

In case you missed it,
My Decade Of
Writing About Search Engines
from earlier this year covers how I got into
reporting on search engines in the first place. Information posted as
part of my web development work in 1996 expanded and
relaunched
as Search Engine Watch on June 9, 1997 (that’s it in the image above). It rapidly drew more attention and
traffic, in no small part due to Eric Ward’s
fantastic way of getting news around.

Later that year, I was approached by Meckermedia (then renamed Internet.com, INT
Media and Jupitermedia) about buying the site. I
decided to
sell to them on November 19, 1997. It meant the site could grow and I could stay
firmly focused on the editorial development, which is my passion. I stayed on,
contracted to be editor.

Two years later, the first companion conference to the site
was held,
Search Engine Strategies in San Francisco on November 18, 1999. I produced the
content for that event as a contractor and have since continued to produce the
major shows in the US, as the series has grown.

Last year, both the site and the conference series were
sold to the
current owner, Incisive Media. For 2007, we didn’t agree on contract renewal
terms, which resulted in me last August
announcing my
departure from both SEW and SES.

I’m happy to say that further talks
resulted in
me staying on to do SES show in the US in 2007. I will chair the SES New York
2007 event, then cochair the San Jose show and take part in Chicago at the end
of 2007 as a speaker and moderator.

Search Engine Watch was a different matter. I felt it was better for me to go
off on my own, which is what I’m going to do. In some ways, I’m leaving my baby
behind. But the baby’s pretty grown up now!

I joked with my managing editor Elisabeth Osmeloski that I’ll likely become
one of the top traffic referral sources to Search Engine Watch, since I’ll be
mentioning stories I’ve done in the past over here. But it won’t be only past
stories that I’ll be referring to. If there’s good content on Search Engine
Watch, I’ll be mentioning it and talking about it, just as I’ve always done for
any web site even if it might have been seen as a competitor to SEW by some.

As I said earlier this
year:

Whatever I do, I’ve tried to make it a hallmark to always to be inclusive
of content, people, web sites or organizations that will help my readers, even
if I might technically be competing with them. Whatever I end up doing, you
can expect I’ll still be pointing at Search Engine Watch as appropriate and
wish those that remain a part of it the very best.

That remains the case!

My goodbye is less tearful because writers I’ve worked with day-in and
day-out are joining
me at Search Engine Land. Barry Schwartz (he told me to say goodbye to
everyone), Phil Bradley (despite
having a name that doesn’t end in S), Bill Slawski, Jennifer Slegg, Brian Smith
and Greg Sterling will be writing with me from December. Chris Sherman joins us
in January. I’m naturally thrilled to continue working with them.

Elisabeth, who I mentioned already, stays on here at Search Engine Watch as
managing editor and is working on plans with Incisive to take the site into its
new life without me at the helm, a new generation for Search Engine Watch.
She’ll be along later with a post of her own on this.

I am saying a sad goodbye to my days administrating and moderating the
Search Engine Watch Forums.
In just over two years, an incredible community has sprung up over there, with
nearly 15,000 members.

Earlier this week, I said a private goodbye and thank you to the hard-working
moderators that have nurtured the community over this time. I’ll share part of
that to underscore what I said earlier about being inclusive:

I have absolutely no intention of going over to the new place with any type
of "us versus them" type of attitude. I’ve always tried to be inclusive of
good content and communities regardless if they might be seen as competitive
to SEW. At SEL, I plan to continue the same. If there are good discussions
here, I’m going to be pointing at them. If there are good opportunities for
the mods with SEW, I honestly want the best for you. By no means do I want
anyone thinking that staying on here, or perhaps doing other things with SEW,
is somehow something I won’t like or perhaps "disloyal" in any way. I don’t
know if anyone was even thinking like that — but if so, don’t!

That’s pretty much it. I’m going to finish my last day doing a bit of
blogging, do my last monthly newsletter, then I’m giving Elisabeth a virtual hug
and dropping my keys off at the virtual door.

Any comments, please feel free to add them to this thread at the Search
Engine Watch Forums,
Best Wishes, Search Engine Watch!

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