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

A week in the life of a blogger journalist: Blogger swagger in the heart of New York city...

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 23, 2005

Part One: Friday May 20
By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

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Is that Barry Diller over there, someone asks? I look around and see some people walking past our table in Michael's, one of the power centers for the media elite in Manhattan. I don't think I could recognize the media mogul anyway...

It is Friday and I'm having lunch as the guest of Andy Plesser of the PR firm Plesser Holland Associates and his long time friend Nancy Smith, the sharp and savvy managing editor of Smart Money magazine.

It has been an exhausting but fulfilling week. I moderated two panels at the Syndicate conference and made a ton of interesting contacts, gave a presentation at Financial Dynamics, caught up with buddies and now I'm telling Andy and Nancy about my first SiliconValleyWatcher sponsors, that we launched our sister site ionRSS.com, and our plans for the future. “So that's why you walked in with a swagger,” Nancy teases.

I am not conscious of the swagger but appearances can be deceiving - and that is usually fine by me! As a semi-famous blogger journalist with a burn rate that could lead to flame-out, I sometimes enjoy playing the part of what I'd like to be: a successful micro-media mogul.

The poorer I get, the more affluent I like to appear. If I look like a million bucks, I probably could do with a million bucks. I'm wearing my favorite lightweight gray check suit and floating on the heels of my extremely comfortable Ecco dress shoes.

A humble blogger

I think the swagger Nancy noticed was just my “front” in case the management of Michael's spotted the humble humility of a blogger in motion and had me ejected (I think I spotted Nick Denton and Jason Calacanis photo ids by the door ;-)

Andy recounts successes for some of his clients, particularly the Iron Horse Winery in Forestville, (a superb winery, in the town where my children live) and new clients such as the Finnish and Singaporean governments. He also says that his vacation home in Puerto Rico was mentioned that very day in the New York Times.

I tell Andy that he should be careful not to get more publicity than his clients, something other celebrity PR bloggers have discovered to their cost. I wish I'd had my camera. The look on his face would have made for a marvellous flickr post.

This is my first meeting with Nancy and we run through an impressively long list of media topics ranging from the furious pace of M&A activities in the media sector to whether the old media truly gets the new new media.

Andy asks me if I can be part of a conference he is putting together in Silicon Valley next month, and I say no problem. I've been speaking at a lot of conferences this year and also visiting a lot of PR companies to talk to communications professionals about blogging and how companies are trying to use this medium (“you cannot spin” is a key point of mine along with “blogging is the most honest form of promotion bar none.”)

The coffee arrives and so does one of Andy's many blessings, his 20 year old son who is studying at Dartmouth College. However, I have to head off and prepare for my flight back to SFO.

I thank my hosts and stroll out of the restaurant and into the majestic canyons of Manhattan. I soon realize that I am just around the corner from the US HQ of my alma mater, the Financial Times. At which point a slight swagger creeps into my stride :-)

[Find out what happened the day before, in part two: Thursday--A blogger on Wall Street...]

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