Special Events

EDITOR'S PAGE: LESSONS LEARNED

REMEMBER THE DOT-COM delirium? It was only a few years ago, but the powers that be — or the powers that were — were all telling us that everything we did had to change. Print was old-fashioned, they said, and soon, all readers and all buyers would access everything they needed by going online.

It was all but impossible for print magazines to recruit and retain editorial staff, because so many were lured away with promises of big bucks and bright futures on some Web site. Millions of dollars chased the dot-com companies in the headlong dash to create an online world where all information was constantly up to date, and everything was available to everybody. And oh, the special events those dot-com captains threw!

It didn't work out quite the way everyone expected.

Plenty of big dreamers and big investors found that a business model — cyber or not — has to make sense to make money. As in the California Gold Rush, some people made a ton of money, but most went bust, packed up and went back home.

But it's important to remember that we don't often recognize the true value of an innovation at first blush. Thomas Edison thought his phonograph would be used to record our ancestors' voices for posterity; he had no inkling at first it would be used to record music.

And the Web has indeed indelibly changed how we do business. I can't remember the last time I bought a wedding or baby-shower present by going to a store. I get exactly what the honoree wants by shopping with an online registry. It's far easier to do background research now than when I started as a writer thanks to search engines. And can you even remember life before e-mail?

We at Special Events have paid plenty of attention to how our subscribers' needs have changed since we launched our own Web site. We've put what we've learned to work with the redesigned site that you'll see debuting this month.

When you visit www.specialevents.com, you'll find a site that's streamlined, but offers new depth. We've created tabs expressly for our subscribers and for our advertisers. We've added a tab devoted to our Gala Awards, with all the information you need to make sure you show off your work to best advantage while avoiding common errors. Our new site offers special “content category” links for such major events as weddings, corporate events, bar/bat mitzvahs and so on. Now, you can instantly pull up past articles that pertain to the event you're working on.

Come visit the site, then let me know what else you would like. You can reach me at [email protected].

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