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, 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 |

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.

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

When it comes to executing a successful content-based lead generation strategy aimed at healthcare professionals, the first challenge is developing the type of must-have information that can help these professionals fill knowledge gaps and carry out their responsibilities.

Since most healthcare professionals’ inbox are already filled with offers for such material, here are five tips for converting your must-have information into the start of conversations with prospective clients.

In an Idea Email sent in 2013, we suggested that a möobius strip, or infinity loop, is the best graphical representation of the customer journey, or the “customer life cycle.” We like the möobius metaphor because it demonstrates there are two distinct states of being a customer:

By John Lavey | Hammock President and COO

I recently met with leaders of a healthcare company who told me they had been purchasing articles for their website from a large provider of medical content. But rather than improving their search engine results, the content kept scoring lower and lower. Upon analysis, we discovered that Google was penalizing the company’s site because its content appeared on numerous other sites. In other words, they had filled their site with duplicate content.

By Rex Hammock
Founder and CEO

I used to hear adults complain about the way teenagers’ symbol-laden language was taking over communication. I don’t hear that complaint anymore. Those adults now text me complaints. ?

I am fascinated with the evolution of the symbolic text we are using @ ?  & @ ?. Of course, emojis are the most pervasive examples of symbols replacing letters, words, and phrases. But I’m more interested in the evolution of what I describe as business and professional “font icons.”

By Jamie Roberts, Editorial Director

“Every time you see duct tape in the world, that’s a design opportunity. Why? Because that’s an indicator that something is broken. Something didn’t perform the way it is designed to. And there is an opportunity to improve it.” — Joe Gebbia, Airbnb

A Hammock team joined 42,287 of the “best and brightest minds in health and IT” at the HIMSS 2017 conference this week in Orlando. The mile-long exhibit floor featured eye-popping technology and next-gen innovations from 1,200 vendors, including Hammock clients Amplion and emids.

The following is a guest post from Elizabeth Partridge, Magazine Publications Coordinator at the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). For 14 years, Hammock has proudly partnered with DAR to publish American Spirit magazine and Daughters newsletter. This post first appeared on the Today’s DAR blog

Documentation is such an important aspect of obtaining DAR membership, and many older records required for admission into the organization may be difficult to read, require extensive preservation or may even be lost or missing. With that in mind, the January/February 2017 issue of American Spirit features stories that spotlight the importance of historical documents and resources and also highlights the work of archivists who preserve and protect them.

Our cover story, “The Art of Early American Handwriting,” details the history of early American script and offers a few tricks to decode historical handwriting. The most important rule? Don’t assume anything! A feature on the War of 1812 Pensions shows how these vital records provide a direct link to the past and what several organizations including, the National Archives and Fold3 are doing to help preserve and digitize them.

By Rex Hammock
Founder and CEO

Earlier this week, the craft and handmade marketplace Etsy announced that, in April, it will be launching a new B2B marketplace to expand the services the company provides to its maker/sellers. In addition to its current emphasis on helping members sell their products, the new Etsy Studio will provide members easy, direct access to vendors they use to create their crafts and other products.