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It takes six years to become a doctor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery... or to read this blog

Six years ago today I launched this blog.
My initial reaction to reaching this milestone is that I should say something about how quickly the time has slipped away. I feel I should say something like "it doesn't seem possible that six years have passed."
But that feels like a lie.

The truth is that when I look back over the past six years, it seems the time has dragged on forever. I want to scream "Six years! It feels like 600 years!"

Back when all this started, B2B journalism seemed so extraordinarily exciting. Time was flying. There was an urgency about things. Less than a year after starting this blog I had a sense that large numbers of journalists in B2B were making themselves unemployable by refusing to keep up with the pace of change. I wanted to do something to help. I felt invigorated and enthusiastic.
Now hundreds of those people are gone. But hundreds more remain. And as a result of the lingering malingerers, much of traditional B2B publishing turned into a technological and journalistic backwater.

But one man's stumble is another man's opportunity.
Thus the most amazing change from six years ago is how much of the B2B editorial world (both people and dollars) has moved into content marketing -- a term (and arguably an industry) that didn't even exist when I launched this blog.

A few hours ago, Junta 42 released its Content Marketing & Social Media Predictions for 2011 from 100 of the content-marketing industry's "thought leaders." (Disclosure: My predictions are included.)
I was excited to see the predictions. But before I even started reading them I was haunted by the question: Could anyone put together a credible list today of 100 thought leaders in B2B editorial that are NOT in content marketing?

For that in a nutshell is what has changed since this blog launched. At the start it seemed that each day introduced me to another remarkable, fascinating, ambitious person who believed that a new era of B2B journalism was emerging. Many of those folks were quite young. All of them were thought leaders. Getting to know them was the most extraordinary experience of my career. Those people were excited about B2B. And they kept me excited.

Now many of them are gone -- drifting off to law school, MBA programs and the like.

Many others, of course, are still in the business of B2B editorial. Perhaps half of those have moved into content marketing. Some others are still struggling to turn their traditional publications into something more suitable for the present era.

And so today, at the six-year mark, I feel I should say something to the folks who have been here since the very beginning:

Here we are. Six years later. And I'd like to thank you. Every comment, every email and every tweet from you has been great. More importantly, those all-too-rare meetings in the real world have been remarkable. You folks have been wonderful.
I'll be back with more posts in 2011. And you are all welcome to come visit. But I feel obliged to tell you something.
If you had enrolled in dental school on the day I launched this blog, you would now be an expert in pulling out other people's teeth. And certainly that has to be better than reading a blog that feels like having your own teeth pulled.
So think about that before you spend another six years here.