When you read the “about me” section of Andrew Nachison’s personal website, you get a brief glimpse into an incredibly eclectic person. In his own words, he’s a “a thinker, explorer, creator, futurist, catalyst, convener, producer, educator, geek, photographer, musician, artist, husband and dad.” In short, he’s a man of many interests.
He’s played clarinet on stage at Carnegie Hall, studied wildlife, development and environmental policy in Kenya, managed Lawrence.com, among the world's first digital newspapers -- a job that earned him a reputation as a pundit in the emerging digital news sphere -- and reported for a bevy of highly influential newspapers and magazines.
Right now, Nachison is the CEO of We Media, a digital media company and creative agency, as well as iFOCOS — The Institute for the Connected Society — both of which look to help companies make better use of the many, many connected devices in improved and new ways.
A Man of Many Interests
Nachison took a moment to talk to CMSWire about his career, his work, his many interests and how his work and his play interact to make a life.
Sobel: Tell me a bit about your background and what brought you to the concept and launch of WeMedia.
Nachison: In the 1990s I was a journalist and also a geek. I was into computers, technology and the Internet before I became a journalist and before there was a World Wide Web. I remember the first time someone showed me Mosaic, the early web browser. I knew, instinctively and immediately, like I had been struck by lightning, that the world was about to change. So I gravitated to the web and to web publishing. I talked my way into a job creating and running the web sites of a pioneering small newspaper in Lawrence, Kansas. It wasn't a hard sell. Most of the journalists around me weren't interested. That meant that within a few months I was considered an online journalism expert. It didn't take much to be an expert then -- and I perpetuated the myth into a career as a digital media strategist and thinker. Eventually, I was recruited to lead research and strategy programs about the internet and the future of news for The Media Center, a news industry funded think tank at the American Press Institute.
Around 2000, the news industry was concerned, a little, about audiences moving to the web, and a little more about classified ads moving online to non-newspaper web sites like Monster.com and Craigslist. But the web was still a small piece of what major newspaper and broadcasting companies saw as their grander destiny -- a joining of print and television businesses and journalism. They called this media convergence.