Choire: Who are you, and what are you doing in my office????
Michael: I’m your new Associate Publisher! I come from HuffPost where I was most recently leading their content marketing efforts.
Choire: Oh good, then you are not a burglar. Michael Macher, can you explain to me what content marketing is? That’s something I should probably know but just don’t.
Michael: Content Marketing emerged from the insight that brands are now becoming content creators. Rather than injecting advertising into banner ads, they are creating things that users actually want to engage with. It also comes from the insight that social media is becoming a more viable way to distribute those creations. So now we get to use flashy new words like “native advertising” to talk about how brands are partnering with publishers to create integrated experiences.
Choire: This is great, you are like our own personal Siri, I can just ask you crazy made-up questions and you will tell me. So, when you were a younger man, having grown up in Dallas and then attending Vermont’s terrific Marlboro College, what did you dream of being when you grew up? Was it that you were watching “Sex and the City” and therefore decided you must move to New York City?
Michael: Like most young men living in Dallas, “Sex and the City” was a huge influence in my formative years. But actually my first professional aspiration—when I was six years old—was to be a priest.
Michael: Mainly because I had this weird notion that priests travelled the world and lived and ate for free. Anyway THAT was weird. Later on, as a philosophy student in college, I was convinced I was going to go to grad school and try for a career in academia. But by the time I had finished my undergraduate thesis I was pretty disenchanted with that scene. So I moved to New York! I got a job as an intern on the editorial side of HuffPost and the rest is history.
Choire: That is an amazing story.
Michael: It is my life story.
Choire: Lightning round! Žižek or Spivak?
Michael: Spivak! Her idea of “strategic essentialism” makes a lot of sense to me! Or it did in college?
Choire: Judith Butler or Eve Sedgwick?
Michael: Eve Sedgwick, because Judith Butler’s prose style is impenetrable.
Choire: Oh, #roasted. Cats or dogs?
Michael: Dogs. Sorry! I used to work at a doggy daycare in Richardson, TX and it was the best job I’ve ever had. They helped me get over my humanist phase.
Choire: ICE CREAM OR CAKE?
Michael: Ice cream.
Choire: Finally, and most importantly: what is your signature recipe?
Michael: My signature recipe is actually a dish my mom completely made up and it is called “Cowboy Food.” It’s ground beef, spanish rice, and black beans all mixed together. Cook a bunch and then add one bottle of whatever hot sauce you like. Then top with frito chips and chipotle cheddar cheese. Classy and delicious.
Choire: My God. Welcome to the team, Michael Macher!