Jay Small

I am a digital-focused executive living near Nashville, Tennessee. And I’m a guitarist who has played in a few variety bands.
When they’re too much to tweet, sometimes I post thoughts and ideas here.

Category: Digital

  • Digital ads are still not with the program

    At Christmastime, a family member gave me a gift card for Sweetwater, an online retailer of musical instruments, pro audio gear and accessories. I browsed the Sweetwater website (while logged in to my long-established account — that’s important), and used the gift card to buy some nice locking tuners as upgrades for a couple of my guitars. […]

  • What’s wrong with online customer service: An example

    It should not be difficult, slow or aggravating to use the website of a leading virtual fax service (eFax) to cancel a $16.95/month account. But it is all three. For starters, you can’t just fill out a form and cancel. Ugh! Anytime you enter a customer service web interface and find that canceling or downgrading […]

  • Why I still say ‘interactive’ instead of ‘digital’ et al

    Sorry, nits. Meet your picker. It bugs me (yes, puny play on words intended) to hear leaders of legacy media businesses refer to their “digital” strategies or products, meaning all their online/internet/web/social/mobile stuff. How did “interactive,” as the adjective of choice for such stuff, lose favor? It is both more accurate and more aspirational. I […]

  • Areas of strategic focus for news media

    A friend from a newspaper industry association asked this morning what I thought were the most important problems, issues and opportunities facing our ragtag fleet. Here’s what I said — all aimed at the whole U.S. newspaper industry, not any company in particular: We need to organize ourselves in ways that emphasize journalists and salespeople […]

  • Tim’s Qs, my As on online journalism

    Ever-industrious Tim Harrower, working on a new edition of one of his textbooks, recently asked me some questions about journalism, online and the intersection of the two. My replies follow. I know he asked others in online media, so I hope maybe some of those folks will share what they said, too — start of a […]

  • Real R&D: An answer for the newspaper business

    This article by Jay Small was originally published in 2001 in the Future of Print Media Journal at Kent State University. Technology fans are easier targets for sarcasm than technology skeptics. Think about it. A technofan’s boundless enthusiasm for the latest and greatest gizmos, games and gewgaws begins to resemble a happy addiction. A technoskeptic, […]

  • Economics 101 of internet news

    This article by Jay Small originally appeared in the Winter 2000 edition (3.6 mb PDF) of the Nieman Reports from Harvard University. Sssss … bzzfft … whine … screech … “Eighty-nine, WLS, Chicago.” Ahh, I’m dialed in. In the mid-1970’s, even in a hazy coal town in deep southern Illinois, any youngster with a decent AM radio […]

  • Ideal Web design: No one knows what it looks like

    This article by Jay Small was originally published in 2002 in the NewsFuture section of the American Press Institute Web site. In what I’d call a biorhythmic convergence, several things happened recently that opened a window of clarity in my thinking about Internet design: Chuck Jones, the cartoon director, died. The Pew Internet & American Life Project released […]