Sunday, February 12, 2006

Oh, how my life will change

Engadget founder/EIC Peter Rojas is on the cover of New York magazine. In the article, there's a super interesting perspective on Rojas, who I'd describe to be a good friend and confidante. Peep this exerpt:

The age of the blog moguls is here. For Pete Rojas, blogging paid off handsomely. Last fall, AOL bought Weblogs, Inc., which includes his blog Engadget, for $25 million. “I didn’t intend to become a millionaire,” says Rojas, “but I wound up there anyway.”

I've been working with Peter, and Ryan, for the better part of a year (like 8ish months) and I've had a great time, and a hard time. A great time, because they've enabled me to head towards my dreams and opened soooo (ooo[o times 30000]) many doors for me that I'm about to embark on a grand vision of my career. They gave me a shot at Engadget, which led to me blogging at DV Guru, and the DV Guru Vodcast, which led to me being full-time (and getting health insurance, yay!) with my new project (more on that later.)

I owe a lot to Peter, and thankfully my work ethic might someday lead to the sort of payoff Peter has seen. While I was working at KSL, I didn't really have these grandiose ideas about where I wanted to go, or what I wanted to do. I've always had a broad goal to end up on some sort of cable outlet, reporting on technology. I thought TV news was going to get me there. Then, once I had seen the (sometimes) seedy underbelly of the beast at one of the best local TV stations nationally (after seeing the NYC Fox affiliate, and some of Denver's major networks,) I realized something: Local TV news is a great training ground, and it's definetly fun, but it will suck your soul away, and they take advantage of everyone as much as possible.

It's a sad fact to realize to be honest. I realized it after I had been working multiple 50-60 hour work-weeks. That's not their fault. They didn't intentionally schedule me that way, I actually chose to work that schedule. I realized it though, after seeing the way they (management) treated the news product. It is a product, and like any product, it needs to be produced as cheaply and efficiently as possible. Without regard to the management's charecter, (they were the best managers I've ever had the pleasure of working for) I realized that the TV news animal has a tendancy to suck the creativity out of everyone. Every person in every department that had been there longer than a few years had the exact same story: They used to care about their job, but they didn't see any sort of associated benefits, so why care? Other than sheer pride, I couldn't really answer that question.

That's what leads me here... to New York City, and back to Peter Rojas. Working at Engadget, he frequently works from before dawn, till after dusk, on nothing but the world of gadgets. It's that kind of enthusiasm for the world of technology and consumer electronics that drives Peter, and now other Engadget editors, to come up with the best content on the Internet. Why is KSL the number one news station in Salt Lake? Other than the built in audience factors, its a quality of news product that is unrivaled in that DMA. (Notice, how sparingly they use the term breaking news? A measure of sensationalism is definetely the term breaking news.) People at KSL care enough about what they're doing to have the best product on air. People at Engadget (and when I cover digital video, myself at DV Guru) revel in their coverage. Since I was doing both simultaniously, and had the chance to see what the grass looked like while straddling the middle of the bridge, it's a dynamic that definetely turned me off of TV news for a while, at least. Not withstanding those issues, becoming a reporter in TV news, unless you're one of the "chosen few" who can make it into a market 36 station without paying any dues, you basically are working for experience.

My brother, who just sold his website [doesn't this post sound like it's 1999 all over again?] has had to deal with the annoyance of TV news for the last 10 years. Being the youngest sibling, I've been lucky enough to be able to see what my family is doing, and then circumnavigate the world based on their experience. I think I truly am spoiled, not so much with temporal items as much as priceless knowledge from familial experience. Ryan, my brother, gave me some advice last year as I was (fake) graduating from school. (Yeah, I'm still 6 credits short. Don't worry, I'm going to finish in the fall. I swear.) He said something that kind of sparked my whole Engadget / Weblogs, Inc. / DV Guru / (other project) revolution. He said everyone had told him for the past 10 years at least, that there was no money in TV, and more specifically no money in MMA. He proved them wrong, and he said to follow my dreams. Sounds kind of corny, but totally true.

This mammoth blog post needs to get wrapped up, right now. Basically, I'm in New York following my dreams. I'm uber nervous / excited about the future, partly because I can't talk about how this new project is going to change the Internet, and partly because I'm not sure about how this new project is going to change my life. I'm not doing this for the money, the glory, or any of that, I just want to have a job that I love, and a job where people around me are striving for the same sort of quality I'm striving for. I want this new venture to be a changing force in the Internet, and I've kind of downplayed that fact to anyone who I can talk to about it because I'm so nervous. I want to be up front with everyone, but my entire hopes and dreams are pinned on the next 10 weeks. I want them to be perfect, and now that I have a temporary address, I'm going to work as hard as I possibly can to make sure that they are.

No comments: