It was about 3 years ago that I got into something I had no idea what I was doing . . .
I left the Financial Times at the end of May 2004 because I could see that there was something enormously game changing going on in the media industry. I felt it at a gut level at the time ( I can quantify it much better today . . .).
I took most of the summer off, lunching and hanging out with friends. It was a perfect way to spend a sabbatical (every four years at the FT + 6 weeks vacation.) But after the summer I didn't have a safe office, and a safe job to go back to, I was on my own, I had decided to be independent, to see if a professional journalist could make a living as a blogger.
And I didn't realize that I would become the first mainstream journalist to leave one of the top jobs in the media industry to become a "journalist blogger." It just felt like the right thing to do.
After my carefree summer it it was suddenly September and I needed to get into gear. I had to start writing, but I was facing a blank screen, and thinking what is blogging?
My friends Om Malik and Dave Galbraith had taunted me for a long time (at our Harrington sessions (where unique business formulas were developed)), "start blogging Tom," they would say. My reply, which is the reply of all newspaper journalists, was "yeah, yeah, I write all day long... stfu."
At the FT, it wasn't uncommon to produce three news stories a day, two before 10am, a news analysis for the next day, and if you were really lucky, a lead feature for the next day too. We could write bloggers under the table.
But Om and Dave were right. And I had no idea what they were talking about at the time. Because it wasn't until I started "blogging" that I realized that this is totally unique activity and experience.
I will write about some of my totally unexpected times as a journalist blogger in the next few weeks...