ASK OUR PUBLISHER: Interview by Neil McCauley

So Mr. Publisher, a few questions for ya!

Q: Why do you, in all the answers to all the questions here, choose to remain anonymous?

A: I cannot comprehend why my name should or could in any way enhance the visitor’s overall satisfaction with what they learn from the site. Can you Neil?

Q: Did this venture start out as a vanity project?

A: Yup – pretty much like that. It’s far from that now … very far!

Q: Did you have any previous experience re electronic publishing?

A: None, none at all.

Q: So ... a gamble?

A: Yes.

Q: What level of money; your hoped for return on investment, was the target financial benchmark you had in mind before you got started?

A: None. I wanted the site to become the de-facto first point of contact on everything to do with music reproduction in the home. That was it.

Q: Was it achieved?

A: Yes, it took longer than anticipated but ... I got there.

Q: There had to be some sort of yardstick, or benchmark, or something … surely - if not money? How else would you know which direction the mag was heading, right?

A: Okay. So while I was figuring out what to do with my vanity project ‘toy’ as the rate of user registrations was accelerating, I first thought – hey, let’s get the biggest number of subscribers we can. but ...

Q: But?

A: Well (a bit of a pause) that’s an ego thing … and to me it's valueless because that path inevitably leads to being seduced by quantity with zero regard to quality. I wasted a few months on that one. More fool me! So ...

Q: So ....?

A: So I switched the focus to generating, first of all, as many page views as possible. In 2022 the site achieved an audited by GoDaddy slightly oiver 3 million views. My target for 2023 is 5 million.

Q: Just to reiterate ... Is it true that before this you had no hands-on knowledge of digital publishing?

A: Correct.

Q: In retrospect, was that an advantage?

A: Yes.

Q: How?

A: Part of my personal and commercial ethos is that at all times I must remain personally accountable for all and any mistakes … no scapegoats. Not ever. That, and Pete Townshend.

Q: What?

A: He wrote:

Don't follow the lines
That been laid before
I get along anyway I dare
Anyway, anyhow, anywhere”

Q: Okay … nuff said?

A: Precisely.

Q: What’s the editorial policy re forums?

A: Strictly for all staff, my edict is to "Look but don’t touch on behalf of the mag."

Q: Which means what in practice?

A: If you wanna do it in your own time, under your own name, with absolutely no direct or implied association with the mag then that's fine with me.

Q: Same with social media?

A: Yup, same.

Q: Do you have any business mantras?

A: Yes – “In every opportunity – danger and in every opportunity – danger”

Q: How good are you as a manager and as a leader?

A: Truthfully, I have to defer to all the staff in all the businesses I started during the past fifty years. The general concensus was that in general I was and probably remain - at best - a mediocre manager - and an inspirational leader, mostly

Q: So, perhaps one ‘thing’ about you that will surprise the readers?

A: I sit contentedly somewhere on the autism spectrum.

Q: Has that been a hurdle, obstacle or something like that?

A: No, quite the reverse in fact (pause) in my commercial life.

Q: And in your private life?

A: (sound of laughter but no comment)

Q: Finally, thank you and if we may, let’s end on a lightweight note. You okay with that?

A: Yup

Q: If you could own any car, classic or new … what would it be?

A: Audi R8 Coupe V10 (pause and chin scratching) and a Lamborghini Espada Series 3 with Series 1 knock on / knock oiff wheels and suspension fully overhauled by Lotus.

Q: Thank you. Can I go back to my desk now boss?

A: Yes - and thank you Neil.


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