Careers: Interviews
Martin Slofstra: Business and Media Leader; Writer; Editorial Director

This week, Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P. has an exclusive interview, during his regular chat sessions with Martin Slofstra.

Martin SlofstraMartin Slofstra has over 20 years experience covering the IT industry in Canada, graduating with an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London in 1982, and starting with Northern Telecom as a corporate writer in that same year. He joined Computing Canada as staff writer in 1985. He's also served as Communications Editor and Editor of that magazine. In 1997, he helped launched and became editor of InfoSystems Executive (now called EDGE), Canada's first technology magazine for business executives. Martin has served as editorial director of the IT Business Group at Transcontinental Media, Canada's largest publisher of information technology-related newspapers and magazines.

Mr. Slofstra regularly moderates panels and makes presentations at trade shows and conferences and other industry events.

To listen to the interview, click on this MP3 file link

The latest blog on the interview can be found in the IT Managers Connection (IMC) forum where you can provide your comments in an interactive dialogue.


Interview Time Index (MM:SS) and Topic

00:028: There is a remarkable revolution going on now in a new medium with on-line communities. What does this mean - new media?
"I think new media could be summarized as a shift from print to on-line...... The media industry in Canada has been turned upside down in the last few years and it has caused quite an upheaval...."

01:10: Martin describes this revolution in more detail and makes a comparison to how the emergence of television affected radio.
"....TV did change radio a lot and radio was never the same, but radio adopted a new format and a new purpose...I think the same thing is happening with on-line and print. Now print is changing..."

02:17: Do you see a shift in terms of dollar values on-line and on-line media, etc.
"....As we all know, advertising drives where the industry is going and if you see a shift in the advertising dollars that's obviously where you are going to have to look..."

03:25: Why should IT and Business executives care about this shift to on-line?
"If you look at it from an IT perspective, everybody is always talking about real-time on-line. The way news gets covered, it's very immediate.......It's not just the immediacy, its the volume of information. When you do things on-line, you can give people so much more information...."

05:08: Where do you see this as an opportunity for the future?
"...If you are looking at it from a content management point of's almost too much information....... I think there is going to be a big future for people who are able organize all this information that's out there...."

05:45: To put this in perspective, we are seeing a huge shift in terms of advertising moving on-line; we are seeing this movement from traditional media to on-line media and on-line communities. We are also seeing the need for some kind of filtering of all of this information that's being available to the on-line environment.... and there are opportunities in all of this. Can you comment on this?
"...I'm trying to think of ways of filtering this information.....I think the best way to do this is through on-line communities....And it's not just CIO's......but all players of IT. It could be an IT professional audience, it could be a technical audience; it could be divided by type of technology.....I could see it going that way where it would be that much more segmented than it is now...."

07:15: By extension this could also be tied to the different elements of the business environment...such as finance, investments, economics and different industry sectors. You can stratify this using people to do the filtering....based on all the segments that are out there.
"..... by geography, by industry, by technology....almost like a matrix in some ways......The more publishers know about their readers from a demographic point of view the better they will be able to serve their readers needs........."

08:35:  I see the takeaway as being involved in new media in some way and also being involved in on-line communities and growing those communities in some way and leveraging those as a tool.
"There are some newsletters that cater to a very specific audience (example, it could be a small as marathon runners)...These are some of the things I am hearing about where you can organize on-line communities....But advertisers should absolutely love this because they are getting much more targeted. Instead of sending out their message to a very broad, diffused audience, they want to connect with a smaller, more meaningful target group....It's becoming very economical to target people on-line......"


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