Michael (who pointed out the typo in my title! it was, of course third Tuesday, not Thursday…) and Joe were live-blogging last night’s Third Tuesday Toronto meet-up with one of Canada’s leading technology journalists and renowned blogger, Mathew Ingram. For a blow-by-blow, I strongly advise you to check out their posts as well as Mathew’s post with his thoughts.
However, as you’re already here, you might as well read my key takeaways from Mathew’s talk and the resulting discussions. They are, in chronological order –
Mathew on: Readership
- Mathew’s column readership dropped from 10,000 to 300 when his bosses slung it behind the paywall. This raised an interesting question – should you charge readers directly, through subscription, or indirectly through advertisements? I completely agree with Mathew when he says that more “eyeballs” will generate more revenue and that it’s hard to take a bag of cash and ask finance to replace it with a fictional, yet bigger, bag of cash from ad revenues
Mathew on: Comments on corporate sites
- Use a light hand. When the Globe launched their comment functionality on all stories, he advocated a “when in doubt, post” policy. Sure, some people will say stupid things but they will be ignored and a true conversation will evolve in spite of these people
Mathew on: Blogging as a journalist
- “I just kind of make it up as I go along!” For me, I know I’m still trying to figure this stuff out so it’s refreshing to hear even the very clever people in the know have the same problems
Mathew on: Why the collaborative web is so popular
- People are stupid; a person is smart. People act as a heard; a person wants to express themselves, their opinion and to interact with other people. Although, as Mathew said, nothing beats a real conversation, in person, in a bar, over a drink. It’s better to read someone’s social and physical clues instead of their carefully edited text
Mathew on: Pitching stories
- Don’t be a dick
Mathew on: Pitching stories part II
- “Hang on, I’ll just transfer you to” *click*. Know who you’re pitching; know what they’re writing about; know what they’re interested in and know them. Don’t waste their time spamming them. If you’re pitching the MSM, you should at least know what they’ve said about the topic in the past. When pitching a blogger, it shouldn’t be your first interaction with them. If it’s a key blog for your client’s industry, you should be reading it regularly and even throw in the odd comment. See Tris Hussey’s post for more details
Mathew was incredibly generous with his time last night and, despite the poor acoustics in the Spoke Club (coupled with our inability to get a sound system for the night) I’m pretty sure that no questions went unanswered either to the group or in person. He was one of the last to leave and I’m sure he’d still be toiling away in front of us PR and marketing types if Joe hadn’t have hauled him off.
For me, my favourite moment of last night came when he was asked to tell tales on the worst pitches he’s received from PRs. Having both pitched Mathew for Yahoo! Canada stories, Julia and I exchanged some pretty worried glances but, thankfully, we weren’t called out by name!
Thanks to all who made the night such a great event by braving a filthy Toronto evening to grace us with their warm smiles and great conversation. The Third Thursday Toronto group look forward to welcoming you all back to our third event featuring the incomparable Shel Holtz. Mark your calendars for November 14 (the second Tuesday) at an as yet unconfirmed venue. Hopefully I’ll be able to have an actual conversation with the big man this time round!