Old is the New New

I have always taken considerable pride in our association with The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Not only is the Almanac drenched in considerable history — it’s North America’s oldest continuously published periodical — but the work we do for them is right up our alley: creating simple, useful web-based tools that let you do things like look up weather history and find out when the sun is going to come up.

The sister publication of the Almanac, YANKEE magazine, presents us with similar opportunities: answering challenges like help me plan my vacation, and I need a recipe for Boston Cream Pie.

This spring sees two significant events in our relationship with Yankee Publishing, publisher of both the Almanac and YANKEE.

First, it’s the start of our ninth year working with Yankee: our first job — a small programming job that lives, in much-modified form today, as the travel search (see the 1996 archive) — was launched in the spring of 1999.

Second, we’ve just renewed and strengthened our working relationship, with the signing of a new contract today.

It sometimes seems odd to have our primary client located almost 700 miles away. But it works. Both because the folks at Yankee are smart, creative, and flexible, and also because the nature of publishing has always included working with authors, illustrators and photographers who are far-flung. Why not far-flung web developers too?

So please bear with me while I send thanks to our colleagues on the Yankee web team: Group Publisher, John Pierce; Corporate Director of Production and New Media, Paul Belliveau; Almanac Senior Editor, Mare-Anne Jarvela; YANKEE Internet Editor, Ian Aldrich; Internet Design Coordinator, Lisa Traffie. Special thanks to Steve Muskie, who joined us on the “outside” as a Yankee contractor a couple of years ago, but who was a Yankee employee back in 1996, and brought us “into the fold,” and to Yankee President Jamie Trowbridge for believing in the Internet and its possibilities for Yankee well before most publishers had begun to do so, and with a continuing consistency and commitment that few publishers have been able to match.

And thanks as well to the myriad others at Yankee, from Linda who answers the phones (with what is arguably the best phone voice in North America), to Mike who installed our weather station (and keeps Yankee running otherwise), to all of the writers, art directors, production artists, editors, fact checkers, copy editors, ad salespeople, photographers, circulation staff, mail order sales staff, accountants, clerks and other support staff who always make us feel welcome when we visit, and who have been so uncommonly willing to welcome the web into their day-to-day life.

And, perhaps most importantly, to my brother, and Reinvented’s second employee, Johnny, who, from a standing start, has become an accomplished programmer and designer, and whose work you will see on all of Yankee’s sites.

This is fun.