The Accidental Journalist

Who becomes a journalist “accidentally?”

I, for one, and you’ll never guess how.

It was 1994.  I was running PR and advertising for Interop, a huge information technology event.  At the time, it was my job to know all the editors-in-chiefs of the magazines that mattered, when printed publications were the norm.  I could foresee, based on the technologies of the day, that the World Wide Web had the potential to be more than a collection of digital brochures.  It was going to become a medium through which people would buy things. (I’m sure that sounds obvious if not incredible to you now, but it certainly wasn’t obvious to many people at the time.)

Armed with my flash-from-Heaven insight, I tried to convince every editor I knew that e-commerce was going to be The Next Big Thing.  I wasn’t looking for a writing gig.  I was trying to clue them into one of the biggest news stories of the time.  None of them believed me.  Finally, the editor of Internet World said, “I don’t believe you either, but write a story and let’s see what happens.”

What happened was nothing short of amazing.

Two publishers contacted me, asking to contribute e-commerce chapters to books they were publishing.  Soon thereafter, I chaired and helped plan an oversold e-commerce conference that attracted more than 500 professors and executives of some of the world’s largest corporations in Japan.  It was an unexpectedly great start to my eventual role as a journalist- certainly one I never expected.

I guess in my case, the ghost came out of the closet, although yes, I am still ghostwriting.  I am also writing under my own name for publications including InformationWeekSD Times, and All Analytics.  And, you can look forward to hearing more from me here.

Got questions or topics you’d like me to address in this blog?  Feel free to speak out in the comments section below or use the form on the Contact Me page.

Oh, and I teach writing workshops 1:1 and to groups at PR agencies in case you’re interested.