Conversation Agent - Valeria Maltoni - Meet the (New Media) Editor -- Lynne Johnson,

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Thank you Valeria. You have a terrific blog and I am delighted to recommend it and contribute.


Honored that you would take the time to share your FC story with us. Yes, I have been there since issue one and am still there -- giving the magazine and the online space a chance.

Dan is a dear friend -- we were able to host him for two events here in Philadelphia. "A Whole New Mind" was practically launched here two short weeks after the book release and during design week. Heath Row from FC was here that evening.

I smiled broadly at your story about the new masthead -- we had the same reaction and even had a meeting to talk about it and provide feedback to the magazine. Those were such optimistic times!

A Renaissance would be great. There are such talented individuals both in the print and online space. Perhaps a matter of finding their voice again?

Fast Company is what I would describe as a beacon brand.

To borrow from Mr Roberts of Saatchi & Saatchi:a Lovemark.

I know for sure that I had an epiphany when I first saw a copy in early 1996. It was the first edition but it traveled here to New Zealand on the slow boat. It was love at first sight.

As a creative guy in advertising I had a dirty little secret - I subscribed to Fortune as well as Rolling Stone (but I kept Fortune in a locked drawer).

Fast Company seemed to be a mash up of the two - a creative juxtaposition. Not only was the message right but the language was right - the words and the graphic language.

When readers of the magazine here in Auckland got together to form a cell of the Company of Friends I was there. I took over the coordinator role when the initiator got swamped by his day job.

It was interesting and fun. I made sensational contacts who were all interested in what happened 'next'?

The group ambled along in an informal way until the Enron scandals possessed the imagination of American readers and editorial staff. It seemed remote to us here in New Zealand and as the focus of the magazine turned inwards we drifted away.

Changes followed. New editors, a new look...
Which reminds me of a mini revolt that took place when the masthead was switched from the original, iconoclastic design to a stark, generic sans-serif. There was a flurry of protest. Before long our identity was returned.

But the damage was done. Whilst I still enjoy catching up with the printed magazine it is hardly catch-your-breath stimulating anymore. The market caught up with it. Arguably BusinessWeek do a better job covering innovation.

I will acknowledge its part in developing Idealog magazine (which I co-founded) - the world's first magazine dedicated to telling stories from the front lines of the creative economy (NZ business magazine of the year 07).

Without the inspiration of FC (and FC contributor Dan Pink) it simply wouldn't have happened.

So I am excited to read about the online initiatives. A renaissance perhaps?…

I hope so.

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