Who The ____ Are You, and How On Earth Did You Get In Here?
I'll never forget when I first heard that expression. I was just starting my consumer electronics journalism career, writing for a car audio enthusiast magazine, a city slicker from New York interviewing a down-home Southern boy about a high-end install he'd done in his old Acura. I asked him how he'd managed to win all these big car stereo competition trophies, and he let loose that platitude as a way of saying, "well, if you work hard enough and just keep stumbling around, eventually you can't help but get lucky."
I've borrowed that a few times through the years, and I'm mindful of it now as I take the helm at Home Theater, a magazine I first worked at as a senior editor more than a decade ago. I couldn't be more excited or feel more fortunate. That Home Theater is still being published after all these years and continues to have a passionate, dedicated audience is homage to some of the talented editors-in-chief who came before me, among them Brent Butterworth, Maureen Jenson, and most recently Shane Buettner. Let's also give credit to the lieutenants and colonels — all the other staff editors and contributors — who once brought or still bring their love of A/V, their insights, and their technical expertise to Home Theater's pages. Magazine issues are a collaboration, and I've toiled on enough of them to know that a magazine's staff, not the editor, is its heart and soul. You all know who you are, and you share my thanks for allowing me to inherit a strong publication whose readers care deeply.
I won't bore you with all the historical details, but if you're a Home Theater or hometheater.com reader you have a right to know a bit about me. I started as an audiophile who landed an editorial assistant job at one of the small high-end audio magazines back in the 80s, then spent a good number of years honing my craft at a series of consumer electronics trade and newsstand publications. Along the way I have reported on format wars — way too many in my view — and gushed publicly as a reviewer about breakthrough products that have changed forever the way we enjoy our entertainment. In the last couple of years, I've been running my own small custom install business, gaining useful insight on how thrilling, yet frustrating, it is for both the average consumer and even enthusiasts to use our industry's products. Suffice to say I feel your pain, though that's the topic of a future blog.
So where are we headed now? That is partly up to you. As the editor of the magazine, it's my job to keep my eye on the future trends and call it as I see it, and make sure we bring the highest level of expertise and detail to all our test reports. That won't change — our product reviews will remain the essence of the magazine — and I am committed to not dumbing them down or diverting our product focus far from our core home theater interests: A/V electronics, speakers, and displays.
But this is not a one-dimensional hobby, and I'm curious to know what else you'd like to see in the magazine or here on hometheater.com going forward. Is there more commentary or reporting you'd like to see on technical or industry-related topics? How-to articles to help you build and tweak your dream system or theater? More shopping tips? What technologies would you like to understand better and have us delve into more deeply? And with editorial print pages being at a premium, how can we use the website, our computer/iPad edition, and future mobile phone/iPad apps to enhance your Home Theater experience? Please help me shape your magazine by sharing your comments below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As I said, every once in awhile even a blind pig finds an acorn, and, with your assistance and feedback, this is one acorn we can plant and make grow.