Greg Williams is a leading authority on technology trends and the ways they impact business and society. As editor-in-chief of WIRED, Greg meets the innovators, thinkers, scientists, entrepreneurs and creatives who are changing the world and writes on a variety of subjects, including innovation, technology, business, creativity and ideas.
A journalist and author of six novels, Greg formerly served as the executive editor of WIRED for seven years before taking the publication’s helm.
We are looking forward to hearing from Greg at this year’s Digital Day.
You were appointed Editor-in-Chief at WIRED back in Jan 2017. Have you made any major changes to the publication since you took the reigns?
Yes, we’ve changed our approaches to a number of things, including events, the magazine and website in order to make WIRED ever more incisive and timely. We’re fortunate that technology is now front and centre of the news agenda, whether that's fake news or artificial intelligence. We need to ensure that we remain agile so that we can maintain our reputation as the authoritative publication covering how technology is shaping business and society in the broadest terms possible.
Who is the WIRED reader?
Someone who wants to understand how the world is changing and embraces the opportunities of the future. They’re curious, open-minded and keen to engage with what’s new.
How important is it for an Editor to know who their core readership is?
It’s a fundamental part of the job. You’ve got to think about your reader every step of the process.
You’ve recently reduced your print frequency. Does that decision speak for magazine publishing as a whole or for WIRED readership specifically? Is print dying?!
No, sales of our print edition are robust and core to our brand and identity. Our recent special on China is one of our best-selling editions ever. Clearly, all publishers have to produce content that reflects reader consumption habits, which is why we publish across a broad range of platforms as well as having established a thriving events and Consulting businesses. Print is part of a broader mix now and I think that’s true of most of the industry.
Where does your interest for technology, business and science come from?
We’re living in fascinating times, and not just in terms of tech, business and science. Business models are changing, industries are reinventing themselves, culture is evolving at breakneck pace. It’s a huge privilege to be working for a publication that’s at the centre of that.
Content marketing seems to be king for any business at the moment. Do you think it’s a fad or is it the future of business marketing?
I’m not an expert on content marketing but, from my perspective, there are only two types of ‘content’: good and bad. I’d advise businesses to produce the former if they want to engage consumers.
What magazines are currently on your coffee table?
Clearly, I need to read a broad range of publications. In terms of magazines, I get the New Yorker, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist, The Spectator, New Statesman, MIT Technology Review, Harvard Business Review, The Atlantic, Science, New Scientist, National Geographic, WIRED US and British GQ. I try and skim the New York Times, Financial Times and The Guardian most days. Online, the Buzzfeed news team is doing great work and I really like Axios and Quartz.
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Greg will be with us on Digital Day in Edinburgh on May 17. Grab your tickets here.