Tag Archives: John Markoff

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Kara Swisher, All Things D, Part 1”

“Kara Swisher is looking at YOU, yes YOU. You know who you are.” by Mark Monteiro from flickrIt’s Thursday afternoon and time for 2008’s first installment of “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.”

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday, socialTNT presents the first of two chats with Kara Swisher, Co-Executive Editor of All Things D. In today’s “3 Q’s in 3 Min” Kara tells us her interpretation of what the Wall Street Journal represents and why she’s never going back to print.

Kara is my video-interview idol. Her spy-cam style impromptu interviews with leading figures in the tech industry, coupled with her sardonic wit, will get you the day’s news and leave you in stitches.

All Things D sprung from the annual D: All Things Digital conference. Hoping to take the same type of forward-thinking commentary from the conference and hard-hitting journalistic integrity from the Wall Street Journal, Kara and colleague Walt Mossberg grabbed “Good Morning Silicon Valley’s” John Paczkowski, and set out to launch an innovative site to chronicle the digital revolution–Web 2.0 style. Although it’s owned by Dow Jones, parent company for the Wall Street Journal, this ain’t you father’s news source. Its perfect mix of text and video blogging make it any social media geek’s dream.

Kara and I met at the Dow Jones’ San Francisco offices, conveniently located across the street from my office. Although not laced with as much intrigue as my trip to the New York Times’ San Francisco Bureau, entering the Dow Jones offices still came with its own difficulties.

First off, the receptionist asked me three times if I was sure I was meeting Kara in the office. Kara doesn’t try to hide the fact that she graces her print counterparts once every six months. In fact, she spends so little time in the office, she wasn’t quite sure where her stuff was. We found it later, boxed up in a cube, identified by a single piece of paper.

Also, the Dow Jones SF offices aren’t quite as comfy as the NYT’s SF Bureau. In fact, with its rows of cubes, it really reminded me of a sweatshop. Like the Stock Exchange floor so oft covered in its princess publication, the Dow Jones office smelled a little like a mixture of stale sweat and white-collar fear. My nose couldn’t quite pinpoint whether it was coming from the sales team worried about declining print subscriptions, or whether it was coming from the editorial staff worried they might not be conservative enough for their new overlord, Rupert Murdoch. Kara isn’t scared of Rupe; she thinks he’ll offer a little more edginess and creativity than previously existed.

Kara’s Boomtown, originally a weekly feature covering Silicon Valley on the front page of the Marketplace section in the print edition of the WSJ, did snarky-for-tech years before ValleyWag–or Weblogs for that matter–existed. She is direct and honest, but in that BFF sort of way. When Kara dishes harsh criticism of Facebook, she is doing it out of love–if not for Facebook, for Silicon Valley and it’s beloved cast.

And Kara’s view of the Valley is quite the ensemble cast. Her subjects become characters with their own personalities. She finds the drama and absurdity in the Valley, and then tells a story without compromising the integrity and reliability promised by the Wall Street Journal brand. All commentary and analysis is based on hard facts, something that many feel the blogosphere is lacking.

Fun Facts About Kara

Check out today’s interview and listen as Kara explains her quest to legitimize blogs and the importance of staying relevant.

Join us next week for part two when Kara teaches TechCrunch how to “Just Say No” to PR pitches, gives PR Profs a few tips on relationship building, and shares some of her videographical secrets. Don’t miss out: Add us to your RSS reader, or sign up for our email.

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[The above photo, “Kara Swisher is looking at YOU, yes YOU. You know who you are.” by Mark Montiero on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: John Markoff, New York Times Part 2”

It’s Thursday and time for another exciting installment of “3Q’s in 3 Min.” Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This week is part 2 of our discussion with the New York Times’ John Markoff. Last week, John discussed his beat and pondered the future of social media. Today, he declares RSS the new newswire and Robert Scoble the new John Henry. He also discusses the evolution of the PR pitch.

Quick, all you tech geeks out there, figure this out: If John has been covering tech since one year after Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple; two years after Bill Gates and Paul Allen partnered up; and 5 months after I was born, how old am I? (Hint: Check this article Markoff wrote about last May’s big Gates/Jobs Lovefest at the D:All Things Digital conference.)

Yup, you figured right, which means John has seen it all. So listen closely to his advice on best pitching practices:

In this age of social media, how often do you send personalized paper mailers to your top targets? Do consider reporter relations as important as blogger relations?

Once again: Thank you John for a great interview!

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Best Practices, Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: John Markoff, New York Times Part 1”

It’s Thursday afternoon and time for another exciting installment of “3Q’s in 3 Min.” Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. In addition to helping PR peeps pitch these individuals more effectively, the videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday, socialTNT presents our first of two chats with John Markoff, Senior Writer covering Tech in Silicon Valley for the New York Times. In todays “3 Q’s in 3 Min” John tells us specifics about his beat, key differences between NYT and WSJ, and ponders the future of social media.

If you like tech and read the New York Times, there’s a 99.9999% chance you’ve read John’s column; he’s been with the Times since 1988. His resume includes The San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Examiner and two seminal tech magazines: Byte and Infoworld. Broadly speaking, if you have a Hardware or Security client, John’s probably on you list–but don’t pigeon hole him, he writes about what he likes. For a tech geek like myself, the thought of meeting Markoff was a little intimidating.

That anxiety was even more amplified when I realized that getting into the San Francisco Bureau of the New York Times is pretty much like entering Fort Knox; I reckon there is more security getting through to the NYT than there is trying to get into the US Secret Service’s office on the same block. First off, it’s in a nondescript building with a Starbuck’s in the lobby (Yeah…THAT one!). After sneaking past a guard, entering a top secret code on a touch-pad and going through TWO sets of double doors, I really expected to be escorted to John by security guards. Instead, I was greeted by the man himself, who cordially welcomed me into the offices of one of the world’s top daily publications.

Let me state this for the record: John Markoff was one of the most pleasant reporters I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Talking to him before taping reminded me of my favorite college professor: approachable and full of wisdom. I guess that’s why our warm-up interview stretched into a full hour!

For me, it was crazy to hear about the rough-and-tumble days in Silicon Valley, you know: back when Infoworld wasn’t sure if there was enough news to validate weekly coverage. Over the span of his carrier, John has encountered many a chance to analyze the changing ways we communicate, so discussing social media came naturally. He’s currently really into IM and Google Reader, but feels Twitter is just too much.

Fun Facts about John:

  • He lives 5 blocks from me on the edge of San Francisco’s beautiful Noe Valley
  • Has two Mac’s (one is a black Macbook!) and a PC running Vista
  • Is on Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Felt Twitter was information overload
  • Occasionally writes on Bits, the NYT’s tech blog.
  • Moonlighting as an author, Markoff has written several books including one about the take-down of infamous hacker Kevin Mitnick (for the complete details of THAT truly outlaw era in computer history, see this wikipedia article), and another book attributing the 60’s counterculture to the rise of personal computing

Compare this interview with John from 2003 about online media and blogging with the answers he gives in today’s video, and you’ll know that with Tech anyone’s guess can be a winner.

Where do YOU see the future of tech going?

Join us next week for part two where John walks us through the history of PR pitching and gives a few tips to those looking to get into the pages of the New York Times.

[Due to technical difficulties with YouTube, I was unable to post this piece with video until late (pay back for yesterday’s post on future of online video?). Sorry guys.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Future of Media, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media, Video Interview