Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

Leading bloggerists heading to Napa for conference...the end of marketing is nigh

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 25, 2005

by Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher.com

If the cupboard is a little bare on Silicon Valley Watcher over the coming couple of days, it might be because I, and my colleague Candida Kutz, are out and about to bring you fresh, original content. This is a fundamental and fanatical core principal of our editorial goals: original reporting, exclusives, interviews, and scoops. Especially scoops. All the traditional attributes of compelling journalism in a format that makes full use of the variety of writing styles that blogging provides.

We're heading up to Napa to the New Communications Forum, where I will be on a journalism panel Thursday morning. The rest of the time, we'll be hanging out with some of Silicon Valley's leading corporate bloggers, and swapping notes about this powerful and perilous medium.

Andy Lark, who recently resigned as comms chief at Sun Microsystems, will be keynoting the conference. Andy pioneered corporate blogging at Sun and he might let slip something about his new venture. Various bods from Voce, the Silicon Valley PR firm, will be there too. The firm has been quick off the mark in this area and is already well on the way to establishing an enviable thought leadership position.

Unfortunately, our favorite PR blogger Mike Manuel (AKA, Media Guerilla) has been asked to stay behind and toil at the Voce server farm, getting ready to launch Voce's corporate blog. It seems a bit unfair. Mike was one of the first PR bloggers and developed a large audience the hard way -- with his writing. He didn't start off with a large personal brand, he built it with hard work and a focus on producing compelling content. I'd love to hear about his early experiences as one of the first bloggers in the PR industry.

I'm not the first journalist to blog; but I seem to have stumbled into the distinction of becoming the first journalist to resign from a newspaper to become a professional blogger. I didn't plan it that way, or even at first notice it, but that's how it turned out.

And I should add that I took a decent-sized risk and jumped out of a much coveted position covering Silicon Valley tech companies for the Financial Times, ---which I'm told is the leading choice in most airline business sections :-) , not to mention Europe and Asia, and holds a decent chunk of the US markets.

I resigned because I became convinced that the blogging format and blogging software could be used to build profitable media businesses with very low capital costs. Although there was no business model for blogging yet, I instinctively knew that we must be on the cusp of developing one that was not based on blog hosting services or aggregating blog feeds.

Media Guerilla knew something was up, way before everyone else. In the early summer, Mike was the first to ask who would be the first of the top tech journalists to jump ship and become a professional blogger. His readers voted for Dan Gillmor, an obvious choice and a maven of the blogging movement, with his famous San Jose Merc blog and recent best seller on blogging, We the Media, I received far fewer votes, but I got all the the savvy votes! (Seven months later Dan left the Merc for an outside blogging venture.)

Links:

Media Guerilla can be found here:
Media Guerilla

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