Wired.com Senior Editor and Blogger Dylan Tweney stopped by the Racepoint San Francisco office today to engage in some lively conversation around what’s happening at WIRED, how Wired.com is forging new approaches to online journalism and how journalists and PR people can more effectively work together.
Some key highlights from the conversation:
• Blogs and microblogging tools like twitter have made journalism more “personal” and yet impersonal at the same time. While tools like twitter have allowed journalists to more directly connect with readers, with more followers it becomes increasingly difficult to really have any meaningful 1:1 interaction with everyone.
• The ability for readers to post blog comments is currently an under-leveraged feature. While journalists gain the immediacy of feedback on stories and blog posts, there could be better basic moderation to enable more intelligent conversations that get past the tone and actual add value to a story. People who comment (on blogs) can be harsh and highly critical, but if journalists can get past the tone and forge deeper conversations and more meaningful interaction, there’s a lot of great information that can be harnessed that will result in a better story.
• The journalist’s role is not to provide the definitive answer, but to be a conversation starter. By pointing out interesting discussions, the journalist can make something greater, beyond his/her own point of view.
• Journalists and PR people need to better collaborate because journalists no longer have exclusive access to the news. With the proliferation of bloggers, pundits and other sources online good journalists understand that they need reliable PR people with useful information that will help them keep abreast of latest developments.
• twitter is largely suited for bragging in its current state and the future of twitter is in becoming an advertising platform. Tweney reminds us that the number one rule in twitter is to “be useful.”
• With the demise of daily newspapers, there will be an information vacuum for bloggers to access information. Companies and their PR leads have an opportunity to fill this void by creating useful blogs that can become reliable sources of information.
Tweney is certainly one of the most open and innovative journalists we’ve talked to, and perhaps one of the most evolved as well. When asked which print media are likely to survive, he mentioned Vogue as a great example of continuing to feature rich, engaging ads true to their brand. He’s also an avid follower of Jeffrey Steingarten.