(Most recently updated: April 12, 2015)
I’m Rex Hammock. (More introductions below.)
RexBlog has been my personal weblog since its creation in the year 2000, or Y2K, as we called it back then. These days (2K14) I’m writing about business things on RexBlog…so it’s less personal. Observations. Opinions. Experiences. Help. Things like that. The fun stuff:
- I post photos on my Flickr account.
- I collect extremely random things on my Tumblr account: rex.tumblr.com.
- I tweet random things at @R (Scroll down and you’ll find the answer to the question, “How did you get that Twitter username?)
- The one thing that I plan to do more of in 2015 is Vine, where you can find me at Vine.co/Rex.
Currently, a significant portion of my time is spent working with the users, developers and others interested in the future of SmallBusiness.com. I also post lots of articles there. Here is a blog-like, chronological look at the items I’ve shared there recently:
About Rex Hammock’s RexBlog.com
This blog was created in the year 2000, but because of the Y2K bug that shut down the electrical grid and caused the internet to go offline for 14 months (you remember that, right?), I did not start blogging regularly (too constantly?) until January 1, 2002. The next thing I know, it’s a dozen years and nearly 9,000 posts later. There would be even more posts, but my Twitter account, @R gets most of the one-liners that used to happen here.
Obligatory FAQs, although “frequently” is not really that often:
Why is this blog called Rex Hammock’s RexBlog.com instead of just RexBlog?
I don’t remember. Perhaps I thought that would keep it from being confused with the countless other RexBlogs that I thought may appear one day.
How does one contact Rex Hammock?
Who is Rex Hammock?
I’m founder/ceo of the customer media and marketing services company, Hammock Inc. I also am sometimes called the Founder and Head Helper of SmallBusiness.com. Before starting it in 1991 in Nashville, I had stints as the founder/partner of a public relations subsidiary of one of the largest regional advertising agencies in the south, a congressional speech writer and press secretary. I’ve served three two-year terms on the board of the century-old association of business-to-business media companies, American Business Media. In 1999, I was a co-founder of the national trade association today called the Content Council. My wife and I have two incredible children in their 20s. We also have two dogs. Or, to be more accurate, they have us.
For 25 years, the company has been a specialized marketing services company focused exclusively on Direct-to-Customer Media and Content; the types of print, digital and video marketing services that some people today call “content marketing.” We don’t typically use the term “content marketing,” but we don’t correct anyone who describes us as a “pioneering content marketing” firm. We work with some of the largest companies in the healthcare services field, as well as large associations and companies that serve the marketplace of small business decision makers. Our services include all of the types of activities you’d find in a traditional media company that produces recurring print or digital magazines, newsletters and digital media. The only difference is our business model: We are an out-source provider of such services to organizations who use media and various types of content to serve (“help” is a word we like) their customers or members in a better way. Our services are designed to help our clients fulfill a strategic objective–they use media, they aren’t in the media business.
What’s the deal with bicycles?
While I have several personal, family, “fan and fun” interests that make Nashville the perfect place for me to live, over the past few years, I’ve rediscovered my childhood love for the bicycle. I’ve ridden bikes as an adult, but I grew tired of the type of riding that involves wearing lycra, obsessing over speed or using words like “performance.” I rediscovered the bicycle as a simple joy that is focused on transportation and fun.
When the weather cooperates, I try to commute to-and-from work (about 15 miles, round-trip) at least three days a week. On the weekends, I love to take long rides to parts of Nashville that are communities or neighborhoods I’d never get to see, otherwise. (Some find it odd that I ride in-town on the weekend, as the country back-roads of Middle Tennessee are extremely beautiful and include some routes (most notably, the Natchez Trace Parkway) that people travel from around the world to ride).
I try to ride year-round, but Nashville isn’t quite ready for me to share the road with cars during a downpour or the early darkness that comes with living on the easternmost edge of Central Standard Time.
I don’t ride fast nor do I wear lycra (at least, that is visible), but I’ve been known to ride for long distances, as in a 415+ mile ride from the Alabama-Tennessee border near Florence, Alabama to Fairhope, Alabama, on Mobile Bay in November, 2013. I’m always thinking of the next such trip I’d like to take.
But riding a bike anywhere makes me happy. So making Nashville safe and fun for bicycle riding (and walking) and for commuting to work and school is both a “community thing” and personal thing for me. So I’m happy to serve as the vice-chairman of the Nashville-Davidson County Mayor’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee.
How did you get the Twitter username @R?
I asked for it. Actually, the credit goes to a young member of the fictitious club called People Named Rex, Rex Pelcher. I got to know Rex through Twitter where he is (@rex). As I had tried to register that name when Twitter first launched and was unable to get a three-letter name, I asked Rex how he was successful in getting the name. He said, “I asked for it” and then suggested that I ask for “R” as it was still unregistered. And the rest is history. All this happened back when there were maybe five people working at Twitter and Oprah was about three years away from hearing about it.
Where can I find more about Hammock Inc.?
You can learn about Hammock Inc. at the convenient to remember web address Hammock.com. However, I can tell you this much without making you click over there and be disappointed: we don’t sell hammocks. However, if you’re looking for a hammock, I’m a big fan of the camping hammocks and related gear from Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO). They are great for bike touring (although I tend to spend bicycle touring nights in motels, when possible).
Where can I find more about SmallBusiness.com?
At the easy-to-remember web address SmallBusiness.com/about.
Why do you (keep a, have a, do a) blog?
I see this blog simply as my base for my part of a bigger conversation that is taking place. To me, having a blog is like having access to a phone or to email. Except, with a blog, you have a platform to say your piece to anyone who wants to hear. If this isn’t a long enough answer, here is link to an answer to this question that will put you to sleep.
What is your business model for this blog?
Oh, you noticed! This blog doesn’t carry advertising.
And, because it’s a personal blog, I’ve never tried to directly “monetize” it. However, since there is a company that I’m associated with that is related to some of the topics I write about, the blog often gets categorized as a CEO blog or a “small business” blog. In that way, one could argue the entire blog is an advertisement. As I said in the answer right before this one, this blog is like a telephone or email or any means I have to communicate with people who may turn into employees or partners or customers or referrers. So, yes, it’s business-related…but it doesn’t have a business model. But it supports my other business models.
I do, however, have one direct means of generating revenue from this blog, but it rarely generates much…
The last time I checked, I directly earned about $30 a year from the Amazon.com affiliate account I set up on and link to if I mention a product that may be sold there.
How do you find the time to do your blog?
I used to get this question a lot. That’s when I used to post things throughout the day. Typically, they were short items or links and comments. Those are now tweets. Back when I blog here a lot, I wrote most of the posts at night. Also, my kids were at the point of going away to school when I blogged the most. All that “family time” became a lot quieter when they left.
How much time do you search for stories to link to?
Again, I could not do this in the limited time it takes were it not for the amazing Goggle hacks and RSS tools that work in the background to keep me from having to search for news by going from site-to-site.
Is there an archive of this blog?
Look over on the left-hand column. You can use the calendar to access specific days. Also, there is a search box in the right-hand column.
What’s the deal with you being the first White House blogger?
Rather than answer that here, I’ll just link to several posts on that topic .
Why don’t you run your posts thru a spell-check?
In the early days of this blog, my blogging tool had no spell-checker. I’m trying harder now that I use a tool that does. It still doesn’t always work. If the editors at Hammock weren’t busy working for and being paid by clients to edit their content, I’d probably run what I write here past them. (Those who actually read this blog are quick to IM me if they see something grossly screwed up.)
Because lard is the substance you are left with when you boil down hog fat, a fitting metaphor to what one has after spending time reading this stuff. Also, when used as a verb, lard means to enrich or lace heavily with extra material or to embellish. Actually, my wife found that neat Rex Lard can at a flea market in Maine and I thought it would look good somewhere on this blog. That was in 1999.
What are the copyright restrictions on using content from Rexblog?
Rexblog is covered by the Creative Commons Deed called, “Attributioin-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 2.5 .” If you’d like to do something more than what is covered by that deed, feel free to contact me.
No one actually asked the question, but here are some places you’ll find me online.: