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February 07, 2007

Women of Internet Marketing Wednesday Part 9

By Li Evans

Womenofinternetmarketing_8Week 9 of the Women of Internet Marketing series and we're still going strong.  Apparently you all really like learning about all these wonderful ladies, their backgrounds and their talents.  I know I look forward to this each week, as I put together the interviews, and get such a thrill when I hit "publish now" and present these features to all of you.

This week, it's all about Search Engine Watch.  I've got the two top people at Search Engine Watch ready to answer questions, and lucky for this series - they are women!  A lot has been changing in the past few months at Search Engine Watch.  However, with all the changes, it gives all of us a new perspective on all the great information Search Engine Watch offers to us each week.  So without further rambling, let me introduce you to Rebecca Lieb and Elisabeth Osmeloski .

Rebecca Lieb
Rebecca_tight_headshot_1 Rebecca has a long history in journalism and marketing, prior to coming to ClickZ and now Search Engine Watch, she's had a really interesting career.  She was a freelance journalist for the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and spent five years as Variety's Berlin-based German/Eastern European bureau chief.  She also worked with global entertainment and media companies including Universal Television & Networks Group (formerly USA Networks International) and Bertelsmann's German network, RTL Television before she came to ClickZ.

Rebecca's been in the industry since it started and considers her most successful accomplishment as "shaping the content of the leading publications in the biz."  Rebecca is also a member of the graduate faculty at New York University's Center for Publishing, where she also serves on the Electronic Publishing Advisory Group.

Clickz Now for the Q&A with Rebecca:
Q:  Why do you love the most about the Internet Marketing & Search Industries?
A:  They’re new and ever-changing. I’m easily bored — and you can’t get bored doing this!
Q:  You’ve had some pretty big shoes to fill with Danny leaving SEW, how has it been adjusting to this new position?

A:  SEW has long been a sister site of ClickZ, so the two properties have worked in tandem for a long time. It’s not as if SEW, or a focus on search, are new for me at all. That said, I hardly pretend to have the depth of expertise of those who practice search exclusively — I’m an interactive marketing generalist. So the challenge is, and always will be, getting the real experts to contribute to the site and participate in our activities. With such a strong brand, great editorial staff and a 10-year history, I hope we’re doing pretty well at it.
Q:  What did you do before you got into this industry?
A:  I was always interested in interactive, but really got into it while I was working for (among other stations) the Sci-Fi channel back in the mid-’90s. Given the early adopter audience, it was one of the first television properties with a sophisticated Web site. That helped shape my interest in the Web as a marketing medium and get some hands-on experience.
Q:  You have a really interesting background focused primarily in journalism & marketing, how does ClickZ and SEW differ/compare to your past journalistic & marketing positions?
A:  First I worked in feature films, then global television, and then interactive. It’s really the combination of marketing know-how and my journalistic background that makes this role such a good fit. As a journalist I’ve mostly covered media: film, TV, and video. The industries differ, but also overlap. Online is where media’s obviously going. If I missed anything, it was the international aspect of journalism. I’ve worked abroad extensively. But that’s changing — you’re going to see a lot more global coverage on ClickZ and SEW in the future.
Q:  What made you decided to become a journalist and then an editor?
A:  I like to watch. I like access. This line of work gives you license to poke your nose into things that interest you, and to meet the people who make things happen. What’s more interesting than that?
Q:  What big “thing” do you think will prevail in 2007?
A:  Obviously, the industry will continue to evolve. Search is going to become increasingly parsed into verticals: local, B2B, video, mobile, etc. And we’re going to see search start to become the interface for non-Web activities; television, for example.
Q:  Who’s your favorite blogger to read?
A:  Like everyone else I suppose, Boing Boing is at the top of my feed list.
Q:  Right now, how many women bloggers/writers do you read?
A:  Quite a few. And no small number of women contribute to and work for both SEW and ClickZ. Both of SEW’s top editors happen to be women, in fact: myself and Elisabeth Osmelowski.
Q:  Who do you feel is a leader in this industry and why?
A:  This may sound overly diplomatic, but anyone in this industry right now is a leader. The entire disciple is nascent, and those practicing online marketing, advertising and search right now are shaping important new channels that are going to be around a long, long time.
Now for some humor!
Q:  What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever had to report about?
A:  There have been moments in interactive, of course. But covering the former East Bloc countries immediately after the fall of the Wall still takes the cake: a TV market in Minsk, a film festival at a Romanian beach resort. Those were pretty weird experiences! I also wrote a feature a few years ago about apotemnophilia, a disorder in which people desperately want to amputate a limb. I haven’t done a Web story that compares to those yet. But it’s early yet!
Q:  If you were stranded on a desert island, which 3 SEO Guys would you want to have on the island with you & why?
A:  Who says they have to be guys?  Dana Todd’s totally fun to hang out with!
Q:  Most memorable moment at an SES Conference?

A:  I think it was watching the crowd surge Sergei Brin after his keynote about three years ago. I hadn’t seen a combination of celebrity and fandom like that since the years when I was covering the Cannes Film Festival. On a more personal note, I also recall SES five years ago, when you could get into the ladies room between sessions with no need to stand in line. It was all geeky guys back in those days. I think about how the industry’s changed every time I’ve really gotta go — yet also make it into the next session!
Q:  Mike Grehan or Joe Morin?  A:  Boxers or briefs?

You know I couldn't choose either!  Thanks Rebecca, and now that leads us to Elisabeth.

Elisabeth Osmeloski
Elisabethheadshot_1 Elisabeth is the managing editor of Search Engine Watch, and oversees all the day to day activities at the publication which includes guiding and editing the stories that appear on the site.  Elisabeth also oversees the Search Engine Watch Forums and works with an entire staff of volunteer moderators to keep the conversations flowing.

Prior to coming to SEW full time, Elisabeth was a SEM Consultant for 6 years and during that time she contributed some articles to SEW.  She also has a passion for travel and use to be the editor for the About.com Skiing section of the site.  Putting that all together her specialty is Travel & Lifestyle – specifically in  Action Sports/Outdoor Recreation.

And now it's Elisabeth's turn for a little Q&A:
Sewlogo Q:  Most successful industry accomplishment?
A:  I would have to say, being personally recruited by Danny Sullivan to join the editorial staff at SEW, now that I am Editor.  Just having the opportunity to put together SES type events in his & Chris Sherman footsteps is pretty exciting. Other than that, all of the strong relationships I’ve built with other search marketers and search engine reps, among others in the industry, is something I truly value and view as successful.
Q:  What do you love the most about the Internet Marketing & Search Industries?
A:  The camaraderie and shenanigans of course! But also the flexibility of it all – we can work whenever/wherever we like, and the fact that we make a living at this is icing on the cake.
Q:  You’ve taken on a new role with SEW in the last year, how has it been adjusting to all the new responsibilities and changes?
A:  It’s definitely been a big change, with a lot to take on and big shoes to fill. But, putting together a new team – all of whom I just can’t say enough about - and working on future plans has been an exciting new challenge. That’s reinvigorating in itself, because as people who have been in this industry a long time, you have to find something new to tackle all the time. 
Q:  You were the skiing editor for About.com – how did you stumble into that?
A:  That’s a really good question! Not sure - I think I applied on a whim. But I do think way back then, Chris Sherman was the Web Search Guide, so I was reading his articles quite a bit and Marshall Simmonds also had left MMG to lead up search for About.com, and I somehow stumbled on the list of available topics. It was a great experience for a few years. I went on some exciting ski trips, and met some other great friends and connections through it. 
Q:  What made you decided to become involved with internet marketing?
A:  I was already getting a degree in marketing, about the time that the likes of Yahoo! and Amazon, among other e-commerce companies, when they were first starting to get hot. So the original dot-com boom was an attractive draw for a fresh college grad. I’m just glad we made it through the bust part! 
Q:  What big “thing” do you think will prevail in 2007?
A:  Probably continued growth of vertical/social search and the aggregation of various tools out there – more acquisitions and shakeouts. 
Q:  You have a passion for vertical markets, which vertical do you think is going to be the “break out” from normal search in the next 2 years?
A:  I think we’re still very much in the infancy of video & audio search so that will continue to grow quickly. Though I’m really excited to see this next generation of travel & social search evolve. Review sites, travelogues have long been popular on the Web, but this next wave of tools and sites (43places.com, Gusto.com, World66.com, Realtravel.com) really will be interesting to watch. 
Q:  Who’s your favorite blogger to read?
A:  That’s a tough one…I don’t know that I have a favorite or could pick just one– I’m always scanning headlines more than anything lately, just to keep on top of everything.
Q:  Right now, how many women bloggers/writers do you read?
A:  Jennifer Laycock, Lisa Barone and Rebecca Kelley come to mind, they are all pretty funny ladies. (and smart, too!)
Q:  Who do you feel is a leader in this industry and why?
A:  Well, even as much as we all look to Danny Sullivan to define the industry, I just feel like there so many top level experts, all with an interesting take on search.  What’s great about the industry is everyone’s equal opportunity to be heard.
And now onto the questions that are a little more fun to answer...
Q:  What’s the craziest thing that’s happened in SEW Forums?
A:  Well, I’ve always thought I’ve tried hard to keep the junk/noise out of there, but the nature of the Internet just means that’s inevitable. You’re going to have personality conflicts, because some people are just more vocal behind pseudo-anonymity, and just strong opinions in general. So that doesn’t point out any one incident in particular, but I think that the craziest aspect of managing a community is dealing with the eruptions appropriately.  I always find it pretty ridiculous when people get angry at me, to the point of obscenities and name calling. I just don’t let that bother me.
Q:  Most interesting thing that has happened to you at an SES Conference?
A:  No Comment I seriously cannot answer that question – primarily on the grounds that I refuse to incriminate myself or other guilty parties involved. Every search conference has been an amazing experience, and well, there’s been something crazy that’s happened at each and everyone. Ask anyone who’s ever hung out with me! Everyone’s got a different story to share.
Q:  Have you Googled yourself, if you have were you surprised by the results?
A:  Not really surprised I guess. Sometimes it’s funny to misspell my own name and see the “Did you mean??” or see different results for different variations on my name.  Oh – Google must have filtered out some duplicates, or old files, because there’s a lot fewer results in a check I just did!
Q:  David Wallace or Loren Baker?
A:  Oohh.. Tough one… I’ve known David Wallace much longer, and definitely appreciate his need for speed & adrenaline rushes! (He’s a coaster junkie)  But I also know his dear wife Irma… and well, Loren Baker’s still got that man of mystery thing going for him, so I have to go with Loren. Plus, he’s tall, dark & handsome.

Thanks Elisabeth for sharing all of this with us!

Note to Miss Lisa Barone - notice I didn't torture you today and got this out a little early?  :)

Tune in next week for Week 10, Live, from London!  Yes - there will be a feature, so , until then, as always, visit our Women of Internet Marketing category to read all about the prior features we've had here at SMG!


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Congratulations, Rebecca! This is awesome. Food luck at SEW; looking forward to working together.


Awesome post,

I really loved your content. Thanks a tonne for sharing this useful information and hope to read more from you. Good luck :)

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