November 2004 Archives
November 10, 2004
One of the fun things we did at Red Herring in the 1990s was something called "Bait and Switch." I became a bit tired of the formal company profiles and interviews and wanted something fresher. After having a particularly interesting dinner conversation one night I thought "why can’t THAT be editorial?" So the idea was to take a technology/business leader out to dinner, fill 'em up with food and wine, and try to provide a candid, impromptu conversation to have something fresh to print in our pages. The idea worked well (until the editors started racking up T&E budgets in the thousands of dollars) and was a nice form of conversational journalism.
The blogosphere has of course taken the idea of conversational journalism to new heights that we couldn’t have imagined in the 1990s. I bring all of this up now because the guest (victim?) of our first bait and switch was Marc Andreessen, who has just now started a blog of is very own. No more will the brilliant and pithy insights of a man like Marc need to wait until magazine editors bust their discretionary budgets pumping him up with Carpaccio’s best wine—they are out there, for free, updated up to the minute. Marc joins another successful friend and entrepreneur from the 1990s, Joe Kraus, who started blogging recently. In fact, countless entrepreneurs and VCs are now blogging, not to mention former Herring writers, and what used to be Red Herring’s core advantage—access—is fast becoming a commodity. This is yet another example of how the old model of media just isn’t translating online and new forms of media will need to focus on guiding folks to what is already out there, rather than creating everything that is fit to read.
Marc, a Lieberman Democrat who has had the intellectual courage to take on Lou Dobbs on the issue of outsourcing, call his blog "Nutbar: As in, I deeply resent how this administration makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist," and smacks of a male Wonkette (Wonker?). Marc has a great sense of humor, and it comes across here. Strikes me as a centrist who is unhappy with both the Bush Administration and the Democrats’ inability to do anything about it, and while Marc and I won’t agree on everything, we may be closer together ideologically than to the extremes of our respective parties. Still, while Marc’s scratching the political itch, as I have been doing in this blog for years, I hope he also shares some of his brilliant tech insights over time as well.