On-line News Junkies converge in Atlanta

It’s not often you get to pick the brains of people from Google, Twitter, Facebook – as well as those from the Washington Post, NPR and ESPN – all in one place. But that’s happening for journalists from across North America this week in Atlanta.

It’s the annual Online News Association conference.

As someone who is spending every moment absorbing every possible nugget about the new media business climate, the biggest problem is deciding which of the several, concurrent sessions to attend.

The best pick of the day for me was a “sermon” delivered by journalist turned entrepreneur, Harry Lin (now at Amazon.com). Here’s the message I appreciated the most: that a good journalist can transfer skills into entrepreneurialism for these four reasons (which I am paraphrasing):

A journalist is:

1)   Articulate: A journalist is a great communicator, good with words, and can translate information from the technology world to the rest of the world.

2)   Curious: Every journalist wants to know why. She can apply her natural curiosity to learn about business and technology to develop a new venture.

3)   Aggressive: A journalist will work hard to find users, audience, consumers, customers, readers. He will also be a dog with a bone to nail down the money needed for a start-up.

4)   Smart: A journalist can understand the solution to the problem: innovation; a disruptive technology start-up that is sustainable.

Lin had good advice and gave an enthusiastic delivery. It did inspire. I hope to spend the rest of the week collecting more business tools for this toolbox I’m building. Tomorrow Nate Silver speaks. There will be no indecision about attending that one.


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