It’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
- Kara, her partner (GOOG exec Megan Smith) and their two children (shown here pleading with Yahoo’s Jerry Yang to meet with Kara at a charity lunch) live two blocks from me in a beautifully renovated Victorian. That’s just a few streets over from guy-pal John Markoff!
- A MacFan Girl, Kara has a HUGE Mac monitor and also introduced me to iMovie ’08–results seen in today’s video!
- Kara once blogged a series of posts on Huffington Post chronicling the life of a gay household raising kids
- She’s not wholly convinced of Twitter’s greatness, but after a little prodding, I’m sure she’ll grow to love it
- Kara has authored a couple of books, including There Must Be a Pony in Here Somewhere: The AOL Time Warner Debacle and the Quest for the Digital Future and Aol.com How Steve Case Beat Bill Gates
- If you can’t get enough of Kara’s All Things D videos, check out her YouTube channel
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.