19:42 PM

Another day another panel another conversation about my two favorite subjects: Silicon Valley and disruptive media

By Tom Foremski for SiliconValleyWatcher

trowel.jpgAs media and communications and marketing professionals, we are all taking part in something very interesting: the birth of a new media landscape.

We will never again, in our lifetimes, experience/witness/participate in anything of such scale and importance as what is now developing in our industry sectors. imho.

That's one of the things I said Wednesday lunchtime to a very interesting group attending the monthly meeting of the San Francisco Publicity Club.

Was I being too dramatic? I don't think so, I'm certain it will be seen that way by historians :-)

It's another day and I'm on another panel, and I like taking part in things like this. But what's not to like about being in the Waterfront Restaurant at Pier 7 on a gorgeous day, talking with a smart and ambitious group about my favorite subjects: Silicon Valley and disruptive media technologies?!

My fellow panelists were interesting picks. Event organizer Ellisa Feinstein and colleagues picked Don Clark, deputy bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal; Mark Robinson, a senior editor at Wired magazine, and Lindsey Turrentine, an editor at Cnet's gadgets review section. The panel was a nice spectrum representing old to new media organizations.

The Q&A part of such events is the best part, because that's when talk turns to conversation. And I get to hear stories, concerns and issues.

A large subject for this audience of communications professionals, is trying to figure out how to deal with online media, which is fast becoming the dominant form of media expression.

Yet online media can appear as a confusing mish-mash of different forms: Podcasting, blogs, wikis, RSS feeds, news readers, news aggregators, and many different online communities. There are different rules, and different processes. And you still have the traditional media to deal with while trying to implement and use these unfamiliar publishing and communications technologies.

And you are often expected to do it all with the same budget, headcount and management. But you can't.

I told the group we were all lucky to be here, at this time, at this important point in the transformation of the media and communications industry. There are many questions, and we only have some of the answers.

That's why we are lucky, because this time, we get a chance to discover/create/develop the future. The software engineer was important for enabling Internet 1.0. In this second major phase in the evolution of the Internet, it is the "media engineer" that will be important.

I define this as a media/communications professional that understands how to create compelling online content/services, and how to use the latest media technologies. In that order, btw.