January 2009

Jonathan Ross on Twitter According to the Dail...
Image by jem via Flickr

Short is sweet; success is best served rare; and Twitter‘s valuation reaches $250 million.  While there are no revenues that I’ve heard of, the company has nonetheless increased it’s valuation on the back of the impressive uptake it’s seen the recent months.  I confess to being a bit of a Twit myself – checking in throughout the day to see what is being said and who is saying it.  It’s been interesting to see how BusinessWeek has embraced the Twitter conversation in their “Vox Stimuli” experiment while all of the reporters and editors have prominently displayed their Twitter names on the site.  From industry luminaries like Walt Mossberg to celebs like Demi Moore (@mrskutcher) and Ashton Kutcher (@aplusk) to the UK’s lovable talk show host Jonathan Ross (@wossy), people from all walks of life, work and leisure are signing up to chat us up in 140 characters or less.  Maybe this bite0-sized attention span of ours has found it’s ultimate venue in the microblogging land of Twitter.

You can find some of my colleagues on Twitter too:  @mdelavina (Mark de la Vina); @andiepear (Andrea Heuer); @heddicundle (Heddi), @Dominic_Johnson (Dominic); and @Kathy_Johnson (me).

Mark de la Vina
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Consort has further enhanced its team by hiring Mark de la Viña, a staff writer, podcaster, videocaster and blogger for the San Jose Mercury News. This somewhat unconventional hire – just weeks ago, Mark was fielding pitches rather than crafting them – demonstrates that Consort is adopting new, innovative ways of enhancing its services.

“We’re growing at a time when other people are contracting,” says Consort co-founder Dominic Johnson. “Hiring Mark brings us deeper relationships straight from the journalistic field.” With a 20-year career at major metropolitan daily newspapers, Mark will develop pitches, strategize, write articles, newsletters and blogs while also using his multimedia skills with Consort.

“The transition has been surprisingly painless because I am using the same skill set that I developed as a daily journalist,” Mark says. “I’ve always tried to approach journalism in a variety of ways, whether by writing up a package of stories or shooting a one-on-one video interview, so I’m excited that Consort approaches each client project with a fresh, creative eye and tailors its execution to each individual scenario.”

Mark also worked for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Orange County Register. His articles, which have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, American Demographics, In Style and Latina, have inspired the names of at least two punk rock groups. Since 2003, Mark has tutored at 826 Valencia, a writing center established by Dave Eggers in San Francisco’s Mission District. Mark stands firmly in his belief that rice in burritos are a sin against nature.

Steve Jobs for Fortune magazine
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This week San Francisco is playing host to journalists from around the world as MacWorld kicked off and many wondered what the big news would be.  While the announcements weren’t earthshaking (most notably – iTunes will be DRM-free), there was significant discussion about the health of Steve Jobs and his revelation of hormonal issues as the cause for his dramatic weight loss.  Whatever is the culprit, I do hope he has a healthy recovery.  Apple‘s stock has slightly risen – a reflection that pulling the wool over our eyes and saying Steve was simply suffering from a “common bug” wasn’t convincing anybody.

Meanwhile, while in Silicon Valley, Rory Cellan-Jones of the BBC gave viewers an inside peak into the Google campus – lavish in all its amenities and providing all the accoutrements to fill a tech worker’s heart and mind.  Then he popped over to the Kosmix office – quite humble in appearance but formidible in entrepreneurial spirit.  I enjoyed the humility, optimism and sheer determination that was evident in the interview.  Kosmix recently announced the launch of its beta version, as well as a significant new round of funding led by Time Warner.  Their appearance on the internationally-acclaimed BBC News is a great way to start off the new year