Introducing Unmedia

Today we are launching a new website. Well, that’s not exactly accurate. Actually, we are launching the next phase of SMACK. I thought we were still six months away from this stage of the business, but I was wrong. The timing is right to launch it now.

Our website is pivoting from a place to talk about SMACK to a content hub where we’ll cover all things product and retail for the modern shopper. Lots of sites talk a bit about certain categories of product—health, beauty, apparel spring to mind—but a lot is about celebrity gossip, cat videos and clickbait-y junk. We don’t like that.

We write about the things we search for every day; the products we shop for every day; in a voice that is entirely our own. So, expect a healthy dose of SMACK in every article along with useful tips, new ideas, reviews, interesting information and inspiring stories.

It makes me nervous to launch this already, but that means it’s the right time. There’s a saying that if you don’t hate your beta, then you didn’t launch soon enough. We don’t hate our beta, but we also know we are just taking our first steps. Instead of waiting until it’s perfect (according to us), we are putting our idea out into the world and letting you shape it with us.

So, if you love something, then let us know – we’ll make more. If you see something missing, then tell someone – we’ll remedy that. And if you hate something, then … yes, let us know. We don’t promise we’ll change it, but we always promise to listen. We are building it for you, our readers.

This new website launches the consumer-facing portion of our business, and it launches a new way for us to work with our brand clients and partners. I’m equally excited about this because of our mission is to rebuild trust between people and brands.

We realize that people don’t have relationships with brands, they have relationships with people. A brand is just a trademark for a product made by a company full of people. We think brands have put too much distance between themselves and the people they serve. They’ve adopted only one way of talking to people. It’s too opaque and too one-way and us-them. We are trying to change that.

The first way is what we mentioned above – through our publishing site where we’ll write about the products we love (and some about the people and companies who make them). The second way is through the marketing programs and products we’re creating for our brand partners.

We are not going to have a traditional advertising model for our site. You know, the model where a publisher amasses an audience and then sells the attention of that audience to an advertiser? Yeah, not really our style. We are adopting an entirely different approach.

We call it Unmedia.

We call it this because the word disintermediated sounds too pretentious, but that’s exactly the idea. We are in the business of helping to introduce brands to the people who love them. Traditional publishers (even the online ones) have been the audience gatekeepers forcing brands into little boxes and not sharing more than a little bit of an audience’s attention. This doesn’t work for anyone.

For the audience, it means they are always being interrupted. For brands, it means they are always having to pay to interrupt. Can you imagine a more misaligned set-up? Instead of this model, we are publishing about products, then we are introducing brands to the audiences who are interested in those products. The brands provide special offers to this audience and give them useful, entertaining and inspiring stories. It’s a win for everyone.

So, take a look around and let us know what you think. If you are interested in writing for us, then please reach out to editorial@smack.co. If you have some feedback, then email us at info@smack.co. If you are a brand, and you’d like to build an audience of your own, then please reach out to me at slw@smack.co.