The last five years at MedTech Media have seen the company evolve from a print-focused publisher to the fully-integrated media company it is today. And Chip Means has been a major factor in the evolution every step of the way.
“I started as an associate editor at MedTech in 2006,” Mean explains. “The monthly tabloid print newspaper was our main source of revenue. We were just starting to do some interesting things on the Web, but it was mostly static and aggregated content. Part of my job was to maintain the sites and add content when we had it. We were one year into a three-year enterprise CMS contract when we decided to get onto Drupal open source CMS and start doing our own development work.”
It was at that point that everything began to change for Means and MedTech. “Our CEO Jack Beaudoin gave me an opportunity because I had some self-taught HTML and CSS skills,” says Means. “He said we needed someone who could be more involved with the newsletters and the Web site, and I had to make the decision whether I wanted to continue to work in editorial or try something that was more Internet-focused.” Means headed for the Web and never looked back.
The transformation to an integrated media company was slow, but steady. “We had our first million page view year in 2007 for healthcareitnews.com, and that just seems funny now that it was considered a benchmark back then,” says Means. “We hit two million page views in 2008, and three million in 2009, and have seen similar growth every year. In 2009, our Web revenue accounted for more than 50 percent of our revenue for the first time.”
In addition to partnering with Mandarin Media for Web development, Means and his team do a great deal of in-house development. “We absolutely love Drupal because we can do iterative development, as opposed to living with something until it’s outdated and then re-launching it,” says Means. “Using Drupal, we built a proprietary tool for building newsletters that plucks content from our sites, sends it to editors for proofing and then sends it to our list. We’ve taken a process that previously involved a ton of cutting and pasting, and Dreamweaver, and reduced it to a series of clicks.”