Mar 10, 2008

Orlando Sentinel: Sarah Lacy who?

By now it's old news, but a Newsweek writer Sarah Lacy got booed/jeered/raked over the coals both in person and on twitter/blogs/news sites for her keynote interview with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO/whatever of Facebook. She became, as CNet put it, the story of the interview. And what did the Sentinel have to say about the keynote on their new tech blog? Not much.

I'm not writing this post to bash the bloger (Etan) or the writer, but I do want to point out that this writer got sent to cover a keynote and all the Sentinel ended up with was a list of five bullet points. No video. No audio. Nothing unique. Just... a list. If i were the tech editor, I'd be like "Um, why did we not send a camera with her?" or "Since there was SO much coverage of the event already, why do we, a newspaper of no tech-import, need to send someone out there? And if it's a blog, then why are there not clips of the interview on the blog post?

I'm just a bitter actor who dreams of being paid to write/cover/whatever the tech/creative industry. So when I see this lack of effort, I get a little ruffled. So I guess i should not be a hypocrite and write what I think about the whole Lacy/Zuckerberg event.

Drama. From a spectator's point of view, the coverage (twitter, CNET, etc) read like Perez Hilton. I like Perez, so I liked the coverage. The TechCrunch twitterer (I assume it's Mike Arrington, but I don't know right now for sure) fired back at Scoble and CNET for treating her so poorly. I say the story warranted this type of coverage.

I've only been to one tech conference, and it wasn't even a real one: the Portable Media Expo. The keynotes I attended weren't interviews, but speeches. So my question is... is an interview format for a keynote the norm? If so, then ok. But I don't see a need for it. He knows what message points he wants to communicate. he knows what people also want to know (that may or may not be the same as his list). So why not get out there, talk for an hour, then be done with it?

And as for this writer, Lacy, she doesn't carry herself off as polished from the two short clips I saw (and they were very short). The first was the portion of the interview where she monologues at Zuckerberg then gets a face-full "Why don't you ask me a question?" from him and an audio standing ovation from the crowd. The second was some quick interview she gave in what looks like a parking lot. She curses and comes off like a sorority girl who just happened to get assigned a tech term paper.

I think it's FAB that Newsweek is hiring atypical writers. And I've NEVER seen her other work. Apparently she has an online tv show. So, I can only judge her from the two clips I've seen.

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