Sunday, November 12, 2006

Blogger Confidential: a conversation with Tom Foremski

If you missed my CXO Leadership Forum on Nov. 7th, you missed a great episode. You are reading this blog so no doubt you understand the influence of bloggers on opinions, trends and company stock prices. At my forum I had none other than Tom Foremski -- the *original* blogger, as my guest.

If you don't know about Foremski's history, it's pretty fascinating. He was the U.S. Technology reporter for the Financial Times and was the first major newspaper journalist to start covering Silicon Valley way back in 1984. Then, two years ago, Tom left the FT to become the first journalist to leave a major newspaper and make a living as a full-time blogger -- starting the popular "Silicon Valley Watcher" blog. It was a pivotal event that made both Silicon Valley companies and the media suddenly take notice and start to treat bloggers seriously. Foremski now writes for his own blog as well as ZDnet and some other major outlets. He's a very influential guy!

During the discussions I was expecting to get a lot of questions about how to get Tom's attention and adoration and coverage of XYZ company on his blog site. Instead, most of the people who attended were more interested in publishing their own blogs, and were asking questions about the business model of blogging. I should have known... this is an entrepreneurial Valley, after all.

In addition to blog business models (which are still being shaped, we learned), we talked about CEO bloggers like Jonathan Schwartz at Sun, the pros and cons of "citizen journalists" with no editorial supervision, the conflicts of interest potential with advertiser-supported blogs, how blogs can promote books and other nifty topics. It was truly excellent.

if you missed it, don't dispair. I have other CXO Forum topics coming up including: Confessions of a Marketing Rock Star – part II (March), Migration Strategies for Web 2.0 Business Models (May) and Sex, Lies & Internet Marketing (November).

All will be held at Fenwick & West's awesome offices in Mountain View (Fenwick is our very excellent sponsor of the CXO Leadership Forum series -- please consider them for your corporate legal services). Hopefully I'll see you there. -Mark


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