A glorified version of jumping off the web publishing conveyor belt, photo by wade_c via Flickr

I’ve been with Sparksheet since 2011. Back then, Snapchat didn’t exist, “digital first” was a radical idea touted by rogue publishers, and programmatic was just a word for the way burned out employees approached their jobs.

As the media space has changed, so too has Sparksheet. We launched a podcast. We experimented with GIFS. We resisted listicles (almost). We became introspective the state of content marketing. We made the conscious decision to jump off the web publishing conveyor belt and double down on editorial quality.

Amidst this change, we’ve kept our sights on the ongoing transformations in the media and marketing ecosystem. We witnessed the unexpected rise of private messaging apps, the adoption by nearly every major web publisher of responsive web design and kept our eyes on the slow, painful demise of print news media. We even resigned ourselves to the permanence of the word “platisher” (almost).

Today, publishers are preoccupied with attention minutes, and brands are earning praise and ridicule as they go “native” – aggressively injecting themselves in news feeds with the aim of establishing authentic and “personalized” relationships with their target audiences.

Behind the scenes, we’ve taken to describing Sparksheet as a conversation – a think tank and experimental playground for the writers, designers and developers sailing the ship.

The incoming editor will keep pushing Sparksheet into new and experimental territory. But at bottom, Sparksheet will stay committed to the essentials of its mission: To unearth and explore the ongoing changes at the intersection of content, media and marketing. Platforms come and go, design standards change, but the conversation never stops.sparkbeat-logo

Thanks to the contributors, readers, advocates and everyone in the between for your support. Here’s to good ideas!