10 Questions with Jeremy Wright.

Jeremy Wright is a serial entrepreneur, some have even said a blogpreneur for his focus on communications-oriented ventures. He has been involved in IT, programming and the business side of IT for nearly a decade. Jeremy is the President of b5media, a prominent blog network. He is the author of Blog Marketing, a business book on blogging and writes Ensight, a popular business and technology blog. Jeremy consults on blogging, communication, IT and time management. He is the father of two boys, Evan and Alex, and a semi decent husband to Shannon.

[1] Paul: First, describe to us Jeremy Wright in 5 words.
Jeremy : Blogger, author, consultant, father, drummer.

[2] Paul: We first read about you auctioning your blogging services at eBay, but the rest of your intro on 'being controversial on the Google IPO' and 'being accosted by US border guards' we did not manage to hear about it, care to share with us more about it?
Jeremy : Haha. It's funny. I find that people know me for one or two things, but very few folk (besides friends and blog readers) know about all of my misadventures. Some might say I'm blessed, others might say cursed, in that I've been involved in a number of controversies that have garnered various degrees of media attention.

About a year before the Google happened, back when it was still very much a rumor, I wrote a post which basically said that the current downturn would be violently turned around by the Google IPO. To such an extent that new mergers and acquisitions would happen at a dramatic pace, new venture finances would go into small and silly businesses and effectively we'd have a new bubble all over again.

While I was technically right, so far the bubble hasn't been all that negative - it's largely remained fairly healthy. However, for about 6 months, about half of the newspaper stories that ran a bit about the Google IPO included a byline that I was firmly against it happening due to fears of a new bubble.

The US border guards story isn't one I talk about much anymore (in fact, I should remove it from the sidebar). The long and short of it was that there was a major misunderstanding at the US border, where I was threatened and treated unfairly. It's over now, but it got more press than anything I'd done until then or anything I've done since.

[3] Paul: You even wrote a book 'Blog Marketing', what got you started on this?
Jeremy : In May of 2004, I (off the cuff) said that there needed to be a book for businesses on why blogging mattered. At the time, everyone thought it was a stupid idea. 6 months later, though, the entire climate had changed. I'd become more prominent, and many more bloggers began to realize that businesses could in fact use blogs in really great ways.

I pitched the book, with my agent, got a deal with McGraw-Hill and the book is coming out December 1st, at booksellers across North America.

The book is really about helping businesses understand blogging, helping them get into the right mindset and helping them develop an effect strategy for using blogs.

[4] Paul: You are the President of b5media, for those who are not familiar with b5media, want to tell us more about what b5media does?
Jeremy : b5media is a blogging network. In many ways it's similar to the large networks like Weblogs, Inc. and Gawker Media. However, where those networks focus on creating massive amounts of content, we prefer to focus on empowering our bloggers to express their passions. We don't really set out to start blogs, we just set out to find great bloggers with lots of passion who want a solid platform to talk to a larger audience.

We launched in September with 15 blogs, merged with About Weblogs in October and we now have about 60 blogs under the b5media banner, with the intent of growing to between 80-100 blogs by the end of the year.

[5] Paul: You have quite a number of weblogs under your name, which are the most famous few?
Jeremy : Beyond a doubt, Ensight is the most famous, because it's the one referred to in most stories. I also received a fair amount of press this summer when I sold WealthyBlogger. And earlier in 2005 when I started InsideBlogging, the world's first blog consulting company. I've also been involved in a number of other projects from b5media to running a hosting company to helping numerous tech companies get off the ground... I try and stay busy!

[6] Paul: For those of us, who wants to start a blogging network, any advice you would give to them?
Jeremy : My best advice is to reconsider. Doing a blogging network is a crazy amount of work. More than I imagined, and more than any of the 5 founders of b5 imagined. Even with all of us working our butts off, there is still too much to do.

But, if you're really set on doing a blogging network, make it niche. Very niche. The more the better. And produce the best content in blogging on your subject matter - don't just repost other people's stuff.

Beyond that, be passionate, care about people, don't be afraid to make mistakes (or admit to them when you make them) and be in it for the long haul. Blogging networks aren't get-rich-quick schemes, nor are they for the lazy.

[7] Paul: We haven't really been a President of any company before, do you mind sharing with us a day in the life of a President? =p
Jeremy : I get up later than I want, because the alarm clock isn't anywhere near annoying enough. I catch up on emails, any outstanding b5media issues (all the partners are in Australia, while I'm in Canada, so early morning and late evening are the only times we connect), read blogs and have breakfast. Then I 'get ready for work' and I typically start my real work at about 10am (having been up for 2-3 hours).

My morning is typically filled with doing whatever work the Aussies couldn't take care of, while my afternoon is spent talking, talking and talking. I talk to new bloggers, I talk to the press, I talk to advertisers and I talk to myself (when nobody else wants to talk to me).

I swear my jaw is the only part of my body burning any real calories.

I'll also go to conferences, talk to a variety of current and potential partners, spend time evaluating the network, be talking (there I go again!) to current bloggers about issues, thoughts they have, help they need, etc.

It isn't very glorious, but it fits my personality and experience!

[8] Paul: Any exciting projects we can expect from you in the coming months?
Jeremy : Besides Blog Marketing, b5media and another book? Maybe, but maybe not. If b5media continues to grow, I'll likely begin devoting myself to it full-time, which could be very interesting.

[9] Paul: On a lighter note, we read about ProBlogger bought a house from money made from blogging, what have you got yourself?
Jeremy : A puppy. Truth be told, blogging pays all my bills. So blogging has bought me and my family our livelihood. Oh, and our car.

[10] Paul: Last question, any favourite websites you particular like? Why?
Jeremy : Oooh. http://tech.memeorandum.com, because anything my feeds don't catch it does and http://www.scobleizer.com, because Robert's a good friend that I enjoy telling off.

Beyond that, I read about 200 blogs a day, some of which I'm sure I enjoy more than others (like the comics). I'm not sure I visit many other 'websites', that don't show up in my feeds, very often.