Going Beyond Borders, Expanding What We Do
My recent trip to the High End 2009 show
in Munich, Germany, reminded me of some of the reasons we founded SoundStage! back
in 1995, and inspired me to do things we still havent done. You could call it a
refresher course that also served as a catalyst for new ideas.
One thing High End 2009 reminded me of is the global nature
of the SoundStage! Network, something I was well aware of when we began. Back then, the
World Wide Web presented new opportunities to anyone who wanted to reach the world in an
instant -- start up a website and youre suddenly accessible to anyone anywhere who
could get online. It was revolutionary, something no one had ever before seen. That
inherent advantage of the Web -- global reach -- is why I dove headfirst into online
publishing and have stuck with it.
But being global and acting global are
different things. You can start a website and be in touch with the world, but if the site
is regional in terms of the information it provides, then even if youre accessible
to anyone on the planet, few outside your area will care. To have a true global presence,
the content must not only be accessible, it must be relevant to the rest of the world.
Seeing the international flavor of the Munich event made me
realize all over again that for any modern-day audio magazine to flourish, it must act
globally. However, thats not to say that we havent already been working this
way -- for years, weve been traveling overseas to attend events such as High End, to
visit companies around the world, and report on what we find. This years Munich show
made me realize that we must do even more of it.
There are other things we have to improve. One criticism of
SoundStage! that Ive heard in recent years and have taken to heart is that
our content, particularly our product reviews, can at times focus on too few companies.
There have been times when weve reviewed nearly the entire product line of some
companies while reporting on nothing at all from others. Im not talking about
products made by companies based outside North America; Im talking about this
happening with U.S. and Canadian audio manufacturers. The international flavor of the
Munich event not only reinforced to me the global role we must assume, but also how many
companies out there are of interest to readers and deserve coverage.
Thats why, this month, youll see some changes
in SoundStage! that began with that trip to Germany. One thing has to do with the
running of SoundStage! itself. Marc Mickelson, our editor for some 13 years,
resigned his position on June 1 in order to pursue other opportunities. Marcs
contributions will surely be missed. His education in English and literature supported him
in setting a high standard of quality in the writing that appears here, and helped us
establish a benchmark for what an online publication should be. Its this commitment
to quality that we must carry on.
But because of this change, it was the perfect time to
shift some things around, given our current goals. From now forward, I will be running SoundStage!
Under my direction youll see a broader array of products reviewed, both from within
our borders and from around the world. Youll also see us taking more trips to cover
events and visit companies. My goal is that, in the next year, were no longer
thought of as a North American publication, but as an international one that knows no
borders. When we succeed, well be the only global audio publication on the planet.
Ive been running the SoundStage! Network for almost
14 years now and have yet to tire of it. Its not only interesting for me to remember
why and how we started and where we came from, but also to think about what weve
been doing and where we need to go. Most of all, Im excited to know how much more we
can do -- what Ive outlined here is only the beginning. My never-ending quest is to
make SoundStage! the best audio publication out there, and the entire SoundStage!
Network the undisputed publishing leader of the specialty audio and video industries.
. . . Doug Schneider