Brian Ostrovsky: Brian earned an MBA from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He previously founded a web-based media startup which ultimately developed advanced user interface technologies for text and video. You can read about one of the projects by Googling "RTVStar.com". He spent 3 years at Digital View (now Enqii) helping leading brands get the most out of their marketing efforts in the out-of-home and narrow-casting environments. Brian is married and has a 2 year old son, holds a Master’s of Science in Space Studies and has written the first of what will likely be many novels.
Patrick Minton: Patrick holds a Technology Management MBA from the Foster School of Business and has had various technology positions including seven years at Amazon.com and a stint at Microsoft, where he managed content projects, before moving into the startup realm with Evri and LexBlog. You can occasionally find Patrick honing his mathematic and reasoning skills at a poker table.
Hi, my name is Brian Ostrovsky.
I grew up in a small town in Northern California that had a quintessential main street. As a kid I could walk down main street and get a true feel for the state of the town, overhear the major news and see people from my community. But, over time, the population shifted, Walmart made an appearance and main street was reduced to a place rather than the heart and soul of the town. Then, in 2007, I spent some time at my step-brother's community magazine. I started to realize that his magazine was becoming what main street once was, the place people went to get the pulse of the town, and it’s for this reason that we now call community magazines "the main street of the 21st century".
Despite the magazine's great loyal readership I was surprised to see that all of the ads were local ads. After a little reflection it made sense. He published some 20,000 copies reaching 60,000 or so readers which is great for the local restaurant but big brands want to reach millions of people. Community magazines are a terrific way to intimately connect with consumers but, by their very nature, community magazines are local and thus fragmented. I knew from what I saw happening online that an ad network could help publishers and advertisers solve the scalability issue, so when I returned to business school in the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington in 2008 I recruited a couple classmates to help me dig a little deeper.
After over a year of research and working with publishers we learned that we could not only deliver a huge value by creating an ad network but we could also help publishers in a variety of ways. We were shocked to learn there was no national trade association just for community magazine publishers. We heard of small informal groups working together and realized that by bringing publishers together, each with their own wealth of experience, insights, and expertise, something magical would happen. Now, sharing "Success Stories" on MagazineConnect.com is the easiest way for publishers to discover new actionable ideas to advance their business. We also found that we could help publishers navigate the web and new media in a way that is right for them. A changing media landscape is fraught with challenges but there are also opportunities, opportunities that community magazines are uniquely positioned to take advantage of but they can’t do it alone.
And so, we decided to launch the Community Magazine Network with the slogan “Building Community Through Conversation.” There is something powerful in the conversational flow of information between publishers and advertisers, amongst the publishers themselves, and within the individual communities they serve.
If you publish a quality community magazine and consider yourself a community hub we’d love to have you join our network. If you’re a leading brand or agency we’re happy to speak with you about how you can leverage the CMN to get your message in front of just the right readers.