IR Version 2.0 is here and happening! I’m super-excited, as Madavor Media acquires the brand :-)
posted Tuesday, March 17, 2020 at 12:00 PM EDT
I apologize that it’s been so long since I gave any of our readers any update on IR’s status, but I can finally share some very, very good news today!
Madavor Media has acquired the Imaging Resource brand and website, allowing IR’s uniquely objective, balanced and always good-humored voice to continue into the future!
I’ve been wishing I could talk about this for a while now; I started talking with Madavor back in late October of last year, but a combination of holidays, travel and seemingly endless details mean that it’s taken until now to officially seal the deal.
Who is Madavor Media?
Madavor is a pretty unique company; their slogan is “The power of passion - The energy of enthusiasm”. That describes their publishing business very well; their strength has been how they’ve focused their mostly-print business on a range of subjects that people are truly passionate or enthusiastic about. In the photo arena, they publish the Outdoor Photographer and Digital Photo Pro magazines, and the Digital Photo and HDVideoPro websites.
IR will fit right in with those pubs, with a lot of strategic advantages on both sides of the equation.
My first priority in finding a long-term home for Imaging Resource was that it had to be a place I felt would preserve the editorial integrity we’ve always been known for. During the past 22 years, people have learned to trust IR for unbiased, objective reviews of cameras and lenses, free of favoritism, personal or commercial bias. (I take it as a point of personal pride, having seen over the years that we’ve drawn equal amounts of flak from fanboys of every brand ;-)
One of the things that makes IR what it is is that we have no brand preference. Everyone at IR has years of experience shooting with cameras from every manufacturer in the market, and ranging from entry-level consumer models to high-end professional ones. We’ve literally shot with everything, and have always prided ourselves on the objectivity with which we approach each new camera or lens we pick up.
The level of trust our readers place in us absolutely defines IR; we’re nothing without it. If IR is to continue in any form, it can only be in an environment that will support our decades-long commitment to objectivity and quality.
I think I’ve found that kind of home in Madavor.
I’ve been in the industry a long, long time, know almost everyone, and have counted many as friends for years now. In particular, I’ve known and respected the editors of both of Madavor’s photo magazines for a long while. The fact that they’re working for Madavor and continue to produce the quality of content I’ve always known them for spoke volumes to me. I don’t even know when I first met Wes Pitts of Outdoor Photographer or Terry Sullivan of the Digital Photo titles, but it was a good while back for both of them. I know them firsthand as good people, good writers and journalists of integrity. If they’re happy at Madavor, that’s a strong sign to me that it will be a good home for IR as well.
On the business side, I’ve only known the management of Madavor for a short while now, but they’ve uniformly impressed me as hardworking, thoughtful, good people, committed to quality in whatever they do.
I think this is going to be a very good move for the IR brand, one that will give it new life and maintain all that it’s stood for over the years.
What will this mean for the IR organization?
Going forward under Madavor, the IR staff will consist of just the two main IRHQ guys, Dave Pardue and William Brawley, hopefully with some support from freelancer Jeremy Gray as well. This is a lot more supportable than the 10 people (counting employees and freelancers) that we previously employed.
What does this mean for IR’s content?
With editorial headcount going from seven down to just two-plus-a-little, there’ll obviously be an impact on what IR produces, but perhaps not as much as it might seem, at first thought.
From the outside, reviews will look a lot like they always have; Dave and William will still look at the Still Life shots in great detail as part of forming their conclusions, but won’t spend the huge amounts of time that were previously consumed writing up detailed analysis. You’ll still see a balanced perspective based on lab results and real-world shooting experience, and as I made such a point of earlier, it’ll have the same objectivity and impartiality you’ve come to rely on IR for.
What does this mean for the IR site?
Here, I think there’s nothing but good news. It’s been well over a decade since the last major site redesign, and frankly it looks it :-/ It’ll take Madavor’s IT team a little while to get their arms around IR’s labyrinthine site code, but I’m so looking forward to seeing a clean modern design on the site(!) Madavor will also be investing in some professional SEO (Search Engine Optimization), so more people will be able to find the great content Dave and William will be turning out.
What’s up with Dave Etchells? (Will I still be involved?)
After 22 years of 6.5-day weeks, it's definitely time for me to step back a little; I need some serious time to clear my brain and relax in my basement workshops (woodworking, a little metalworking hopefully to be expanded on, electronics and 3D printing).
I also want to pursue other passions, especially intellectual property consulting and expert witness work. I’ve worked as both a consultant and an expert witness on patent cases, and absolutely love it, but I couldn’t pursue that work while simultaneously continuing to run IR.
I don’t remotely want to lose touch with the industry I’ve so come to love, and all my friends and colleagues in it :-) I also want to maintain contact with IR itself, that’s been such a huge part of my life for the last 22 years.
I’ll continue to be involved with IR, albeit at arm’s length. You’ll see occasional technical articles with my byline on them, and I’ll hopefully finally find the time to do more weather-resistance testing. Perhaps most significantly, I’ll continue visiting my industry friends in Japan, meeting with and interviewing executives, product planners and engineers there, and perhaps working on some custom content projects for different manufacturers as well. (See my piece on Nikon’s sensor engineering for one example, as well as my most recent article and video about weather-resistance sealing, sponsored by Olympus.)
I’m of course also looking forward to continued contact with Dave and William, acting as a sort of senior technical sensei for IR.
Recognizing this role, Madavor has bestowed upon me the largely honorary position of “Editor Emeritus,” and I already have dual English/Japanese business cards with that title on them :-)
As I said at the top, I’m so happy to have found a good home for the IR website and brand that’ll let it flourish into the future. I think Madavor’s the perfect place for it to have wound up, and I look forward to working with Dave, William and the whole Madavor team going forward to help ensure its future success.
Please continue to support IR with your page and video views, purchases through our affiliate links, and clicks on our ad banners. Even with a pared-down team, Imaging Resource still very much needs the support of all of you, our readers, to continue. We’re literally nothing without our readers; thank you all so much for all the support and encouragement you’ve given us for the past 22 years and counting!
(As always, feel free to weigh in with questions and comments below. I'll be monitoring this thread to answer any questions any of you might have!)