Welcome to the new FortySeven Media

by Jonathan Longnecker


Today I’m introducing a leaner, meaner FortySeven Media. I know what you’re thinking. I kind of already did that a while back when Nate jumped off to start his own adventure. True. But not much changed after he left.

I was transitioning into radically different life traveling with my family full time and didn’t have the mental space to reboot the company, too. A guy’s brain can only handle so many changes at once.

And then when I was finally ready to start thinking about rebooting the company, I realized I wasn’t ready at all. How do you take something that was built with your best friend and make it your own? I’ll tell you how. You just ignore it because you’re scared to death you’ll screw it up.

Then you man up, put your big boy pants on and get to work. Because sitting around trying not to screw something up is the dumbest excuse for not doing anything I’ve ever heard.

Anyway. I had to get way out of my comfort zone, dig deep and wrestle to understand what this company looks like with just me at the helm.

Sitting around trying not to screw something up is the dumbest excuse for not doing anything I’ve ever heard.

It took a while (and it wasn't easy), but I’m finally emerging on the other side with a clear vision! It’s pretty simple and I wanted to share it with you:

Focus on what I love to do

That means brandingdesigning and building websites, and working with clients long term, helping them to do well and grow their own business. I know, doesn't sound that different. But sometimes saying it out loud helps smile

Don’t try to do anything else

Nate was great at photography and video, but that’s not something I’ll be focusing on in the future.

Expand my development knowledge

We’ve traditionally used ExpressionEngine to build content managed sites - and while it’s still a great platform, there are newer, more modern and exciting CMS’s that have finally matured to the point that I can recommend them. I’m focusing on Craft CMS, and have spent the last couple of months learning the ropes. I don’t want to be pegged as a shop that focuses on one technology. I even rebuilt my family’s travel adventure blog with Craft to see how it compares. Spoiler alert - it can hold it’s own and then some.

Make consulting official

I’ve realized through this whole process that I really love helping clients though issues - whether they are technical or business related. It’s something I’ve always done as part of our projects, but it was never “official.” After years of teaching other web shops how to streamline processes, be more profitable and grow their companies, I feel like it’s time. The consulting arm of FortySeven Media is officially open for business!

This new site really is 'me'. I hope you love it as much as I do. Seriously.

So that’s my vision moving forward. And to go with that I’m launching a new version of the FortySeven Media site. It’s unlike anything we’ve done before. It’s not overly retro, grungy, or texture-filled. It’s simple, streamlined and uncluttered. It’s less about flashiness and more about readability and usability. It also represents the change my family and I have gone through the last year - simplifying our lives and reassessing priorities. This new site really is “me.” I hope you love it as much as I do.

In a future post I’ll be digging into the actual design and code details, but all of this started with a “why,” and not a design. As it should be smile

Also, this is just the beginning. Stay tuned because I’m launching a really awesome project soon. You’re gonna want to be a part of it.

July 25, 2016

Design, Business, Personal


  1. Why not learn something proven and long-term like Magento? Why pick another niche CMS like Craft(basically just a newer EE)

  2. @John MooreWhy would you pick Magento for a CMS? I have no problem with niche. I’ve routinely found mainstream apps like WordPress, Drupal, Magento to be clunky, bloated, insecure, and not worth the hassle to make something truly custom. But that’s just me.

  3. @John Moore

    Why not learn something proven and long-term like Magento? Why pick another niche CMS like Craft(basically just a newer EE)

    Magento is an e-commerce solution, not a content management system, @John Moore. When you say Craft is “basically just a newer EE,” you realize the reason EE has enjoyed its popularity is *because* of the efforts of Pixel & Tonic, who helped change the fieldtype landscape thanks to the introduction of field types like Matrix and Playa?

    A large number of us using Craft are also longtime users of ExpressionEngine, many of us have been around using EE since 2008. Craft has been used by us for more than 3 years as well. We use the tools that we enjoy, and that’s what this is.

    It’s perfectly fine for you to not want to use a particular piece of software, but suggesting an e-commerce platform to run a portfolio and agency site seems… daunting at best.

    If you want to continue to use a shovel to hammer a nail, be my guest.

  4. @Jonathan Longnecker Magento was just an example. While the mainstream ones are clunky until you modify them and clean it up, you have so much power and thousands of tools available to you. I’m just trying to understand your reasoning, I would think its much harder to get clients on a less popular CMS.

  5. @Christopher Kennedy

    I was just curious why they tend to stick with the smaller niche CMS Versus Perfecting a popular solution. Magento was just an example and I wasn’t suggesting to build a portfolio on it, I was referring to him spending months to learn this CMS for use with all clients. I personally love EE and Craft when it comes to building small business websites with mostly static content but I largely work with enterprise type websites.

  6. @John Ah, I see you’re working in the larger enterprise space. Now your comment makes more sense. Truth is, I have no interest in those types of projects. RFP’s and huge committees aren’t my style. Craft and EE are the perfect balance of solid, proven products without the baggage and complexity of something like SharePoint, Magento or ASP.net.

    I feel like it’s the same as trying to use a CSS framework. You think it’s going to save you time, but you end up modifying it so much it defeats the purpose. Should have just built small, lean and custom to begin with.

    Anyway, I think it’s clear from the tone and copy on this site that I’m weird, irreverent, and not looking to break into the large corporate space any time soon. So a smaller, more nimble CMS is exactly what me and my clients need.

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