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Wm. Blake Fabricators


Richard Blumberg

Welcome to Wm. Blake Fabricators!

I am Richard Blumberg, Proprietor of the operation, such as it is.

I have had an active life in communications, and an unusual blend of experience. Here's a brief resumé, hitting the high points...

I formed one of the first multi-media production companies in Cincinnati in 1973, when multi-media meant 6 slide projectors, three screens, and an AVL Show Pro 3 to run everything. In 1978, Dale Wolf and Barron Krody and I founded the Wolf Blumberg Krody advertising agency, generally known as WBK. When I left that company as Executive VP, in 1991, it had become the second largest agency in town. It began to shrink shortly after that, and by the turn of the century it was a relatively small, but quite profitable, package design studio, which was sold, then sold again, then vanished as a distinct entity.

After I sold my interest in WBK, I founded Productivity OnLine, one of the earliest community online services in the city, and one of the first Internet Service Providers. I was in too early; I could not raise venture capital in Cincinnati for an Internet company ("the Internet?"), and I finally had to let the company go to get out from under our mounting debt. The organization continued to muddle along under various names; it seems, as of 2010, to have disappeared. I have not been involved with the operation since 1996.

Over the past five years, I have worked with several high-tech start-ups to define product lines, develop software, and create effective Internet strategies. One of those companies, InterLearn, had some great ideas involving distance learning, and we did some interesting projects for the American Press Institute, NASD, and Yale University, but the company itself lacked the resources to continue and the personnel dispersed. TalkPoint Communications, started by the clever and talented Hoyt Prisock, has a very successful set of web-based presentation products; the company itself was bought in 1999 by CCBN, and subsequently sold to iBeam. In early 2000, I worked with a promising local software development firm, Digineer, to develop a marketing strategy, prepare a sales prospecting program, and select an ad agency. Digineer was a tremendously talented team of developers, building ambitious and successful web applications for Fortune 1000 health care companies, but they were victims of their own success at raising venture capital, and of the collapse of the dot-com bubble; they went out of business about a year after I ended my work with them.

More recently, in the last quarter of 2002, I developed the concept for and wrote the components of a highly successful direct marketing sales prospecting program for Gold-N-Plump™, an innovative poultry producer in Minnesota.

I am more than a little bit of a techie. I understand software in some depth, and I'm a competent programmer in several different development environments. I keep my hand in, writing my own weblog, installing the Brew House wireless network, creating the website for the magical Hiram Blake Camp, where we vacation in June and September, and building simple sites for a few friends, all for the fun of it. Most of my time recently has gone into work that emerges from my interest in Buddhism. I teach classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Cincinnati, do meditation training and work with Buddhist inmates at Lebanon Correctional Institution, and I participate in several local sanghas. I designed, write, and maintain the Dharma Study website, where I post materials I prepare for the classes I teach; and the site, for the support of the small community that been gathering weekly to investigate the Buddha's teachings as a source of practical wisdom and guidance for living a flourishing life in very difficult times. Those two sites are where I've posted most of what I've written for the past few years.

I'm basically a writer/communicator, and most of my work through the years has involved writing, strategic plan development, and interface design.

I believe that there are a lot of good ideas in the world. I tend to hear a good idea a little more clearly than some other people and have sometimes been lucky enough to spot a good idea even before the person who voiced it. That ability (plus the peculiar blend of experience) has brought me in on some very interesting decision-making processes. I've learned some from that.

Having a good idea is where it starts, but if that's all you have, it's not worth much. What gives an idea real value is a lot of talented people buying into it. When designers and engineers and worker bees and managers and creators of smart words and revealing pictures all buy into a good idea and commit to making it work in the real world, that's what gives it value.

I am mostly retired now, mostly enjoying it, and not seeking new jobs. I do take on some web development projects, consult on internet/marketing/product development strategies, and even manage an occasional free-lance writing assignment, if the project is interesting enough. If you have a very interesting project and you'd like to talk with me about working with you, please drop me a note.

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