By Rex Hammock, CEO

From its ho-hum reception by critics and moviegoers, I may be the only person you know who has seen the social media-themed film, The Circle. Despite excellent performances by Tom Hanks and Emma Watson, its dystopian plot lacks some key backstory elements that make the Dave Eggers novel on which it is based a far more compelling story. 

When you compare a corporation’s website from the early web era (the late 1990s) to the same company’s current website, you can easily recognize the DNA of the early site in the 2017 model.

For example, if you use the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine to view the 2001 version of Ford.com you’ll immediately be blown away by the dramatic changes in aesthetics and “wow” factors.

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Recently I joined some members of our church on a Habitat for Humanity building project. I was part of a four-person team whose job was to hang exterior siding.

Another team from our church was a group of retired men. Since it was so hot, I was concerned about the other team, as I expected them to struggle to keep up.

Daughters of the American Revolution recently launched a new Facebook page for its magazine, American Spirit. Hammock has been a proud publications partner with DAR for more than 14 years, and we’re excited about this new way of interacting with our loyal and engaged audience.

The new page helps readers interact with other readers, receive updates on the latest issue and discover behind-the-scenes details of how stories were crafted.

“All businesses are media businesses.”

That axiom sure sounds believable in 2017. Being a media company means you have the ability to create and distribute your message directly to any audience, without having to pay a toll to intermediaries.

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute and author of the book Content Inc., recently paid a visit to Nashville. Pulizzi offered great insights for marketers, particularly those who are looking to launch content marketing efforts for their companies.

More than 100 healthcare marketers were in attendance. Here are seven points Pulizzi made that we at Hammock subscribe to wholeheartedly.

By Rex Hammock
Founder and CEO

Earlier this week, I heard Cisco Systems Chairman and former CEO John Chambers speak to 700 social marketers who work at some of the nation’s savviest and most successful brands. After hearing Chambers share Cisco’s approach to marketing, these all-star marketers were buzzing in the hallways about how far their companies need to go to truly transform their customer relationships.

Back in 1996, during the earliest days of the web browser, the magazine-business B2B magazine, Folio:, featured a youthful-looking custom publishing “pioneer” named Rex Hammock on its cover as part of a story on the nascent move by custom magazine companies into digital media. Earlier this week, 20 years later, the author of the first story, Tony Silber, caught up with Rex for an update on whatever happened to that thing called the internet.

Here’s Tony’s introduction to the updated Q&A with Rex. The full story can be viewed here.

In September 1996, nearly 21 years ago, Folio: published a cover story on the state of custom publishing. The article was organized as a quasi-Q&A, posing 10 questions custom publishers were asking themselves at the dawn of the digital age as their businesses were fracturing. Suddenly alien ideas like HTML — and alien platforms like Compuserve and America Online — were emerging, and print-based media services firms were worried about the impact on their business.

The article asked several custom-publishing sources to provide answers for each question. The most prominent of those sources was Rex Hammock, owner of an eponymous custom content agency, and one of the pioneers in a nascent market — using high-quality content in a magazine format as a communications vehicle for marketers. Hammock is also the founder of Rexblog.com, which goes back to the year 2000, and has been consistently and faithfully maintained in all those years — a rare accomplishment by itself, without even considering that it’s also been a media-business thought leader all that time.

Recently, Rex suggested to me that we revisit that Q&A, and try to make sense of the questions and answers from the nineties and seek their corollaries for 2017. The frequently fascinating results follow.

Continued | Foliomag.com

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

As marketers, perhaps our first and most important responsibility is helping our audiences solve problems. What I appreciate most about Nashville and the healthcare industry here is the spirit of collaboration that exists to tackle problems together across competitive divides.

By Rex Hammock
Founder and CEO

Earlier this week, I spent several hours in one-on-one discussions with engineers and product managers who head up various research and development innovations for Intuit. Their work covers all of the current buzzwords: machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, big data, speech recognition, blockchain technology and more.

In some cases, the work of these talented experts is already making its way into the platforms on which millions of individuals and small businesses manage their finances (e.g., Mint, TurboTax, QuickBooks, etc.). However, most of their work is about understanding the impact of next-generation technology on their future customers.