5 things a reporter is thankful for

Ok, granted that reporters are cranky by nature.  We hate being spammed. We hate when people call on deadline to tell us about the press release they just sent. We hate when they use words like “leverage” or “paradigm shift” or “synergy” in those releases. So much hating. So it’s good to step back, focus on the positive, and consider what we have to be thankful for. And what better time than now?

Here’s my list.

1: The cloud wars

Cloud reporters are one lucky bunch. There’s never (well hardly ever) a dull moment with [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services trying to build on/retain the lead it built over 8 years as newer players, including behemoths [company]Microsoft[/company] and [company]Google[/company] fight for market share and credibility. And watching legacy IT vendors — [company]IBM[/company], [company]HP[/company], [company]Dell[/company], [company]Cisco[/company] et al., scramble to adopt (or co-opt) cloud while managing cannibalization of their key businesses is fascinating.

Amazon SVP Andy Jassy speaking at AWS Re:Invent 2014

Amazon SVP Andy Jassy speaking at AWS Re:Invent 2014.

2: YouTube

Face it, YouTube videos are a godsend for many personal and professional reasons. Miss a major conference? You can recap it in a day or two on YouTube (which wins bonus points by letting you fast forward through the slow bits.)

Need to learn how to replace a washer? Tie a bow tie? YouTube is, as the son of a single-mom told me: “the father I never had.” Poignant? Maybe, but YouTube as the go-to site gets the job done. Plus (true confessions) I’m a sucker for videos like this especially if I’m down in the dumps: [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4LnorVVxfw]

or this (for really bad days):

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2MmzTKOAOA]

(Note to Google, please don’t screw this up.)

3: Seeking Alpha

This site compiles and posts transcripts for earnings calls and other major financial events. Miss something CEO Meg Whitman said about HP’s impending break-up on the [company]Hewlett-Packard [/company]fourth quarter earnings call? No biggie, it’s all there.

It doesn’t completely obviate the need for frantic note taking or taping of these calls, but it is a huge help and back-up resource: Seeking Alpha transcribes so you don’t have to. If you cite or quote from one of those transcripts do not forget to link and credit Seeking Alpha. It truly is the least you can do.


Credit: Seeking Alpha

4: Twitter

Sure, RSS feeds are still very useful — Feedly for me, since Google deep-sixed Google Reader (and boo on that, by the way.) But nothing beats [company]Twitter[/company] as a tool to crowdsource what is/could be going on in a specified beat or company. Or as a tool to informally poll tweeps on a given issue or technology.

As always, it’s “trust but verify” with things sourced via Twitter, but it truly is a treasured tool for reporting stories and interacting with readers and colleagues. And (sigh) trolls, if you are so disposed.

Photo: Cienpies/Pond5

5: Larry Ellison

Here’s hoping that his transition from CEO to chairman of Oracle will not keep him from sounding off. (Safe bet.) We love the yachting tales, the oddly high-pitched laugh and the fact that — joke as we must — the guy is a tech and business powerhouse. My favorite Ellison story is when he announced widespread price cuts on stage at Oracle Open World that his PR team had no idea about.

And, I love the fact that Larry Ellison and The Wrestler era Mickey Rourke look strangely alike as has been pointed out by CheezBurger.com, our own Derrick Harris, and others.

Credit: Gigaom illustration adapted from Shutterstock Link: www.shutterstock.com

6: Bonus item: The Structure Show
To those who tune in to the now-year-old Structure Podcast. Thanks so much for your support and comments. Yes, even the burns. Here’s our Thanksgiving edition, with guest [company]Facebook[/company] director of network engineering Najam Ahmad.

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