When everyone blogs, all sides of a story can be aired

A couple of days ago, Patrick McGovern, the legendary media entrepreneur who founded IDG, was interviewed by Mark Glaser (MediaShift/PBS.org). (I have some disclosures, below.)

In addition to exploring topics related to the role of print and online media and events in the universe of B-to-B media (a great read for any B2B media followers), the interview turned to a specific transaction in the history of IDG related to the magazine, the Industry Standard. In the interview, McGovern recalls his version of the rise and fall of the magazine, one of the pillars (poster childs?) of the dot.com boom and bust.

As another participant in the story, best-selling author and entrepreneur and Industry Standard founder and CEO and Wired co-founder (I could go on) John Battelle, is alluded to (actually, referred to specifically) in the interview, he used his high-profile blog to quickly get into the record his version of the same events.

Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist who, like me, blogs about everything, was an investor in Industry Standard, and so he also provided his point of view of the events, which is close to Battelle’s.

I point to all of these, not to highlight the “he-said, he-said, he-said” taking place, but to note the way “conversational media” works when the participants in the events all have a personal publishing platform — when everyone is a media company. Very few people may care to connect the dots on this issue today. All of the people involved are very successful and have managed very nicely to overcome any setbacks that may have occurred because of the failure of the Industry Standard. However, one day some student or biographer or researcher or descendent of someone doing a family history will have a better chance of getting to the truth(s) because lots of individuals are filing away their recollections.

Disclosures: I have never met Patrick McGovern, but from my distant vantage point, I consider him one of, perhaps the, most pivotal figures in the history of what we now call business-to-business media. Beyond that, his story is one of great entrepreneural success and generous philanthropy. He’s someone I admire, again, from a distant vantage point. I do, however, know the President of IDG Communications, Bob Carrigan. He claims to read this blog. We exchange emails occasionally. However, those emails are never about B2B media or IDG. They’re about bluegrass music. Come to think of it, a side benefit of blogging about everything is that I’ve become friends with people like Bob Carrigan.

Sidenotes from the it’s-a-small-world, this tech blogosphere, department: The Industry Standard was the stomping ground of a lot of people I point to — or read — a lot, including Mark Glaser and John Battelle, and Jimmy Guterman (who independently edited its Media Grok blog-before-they-were-called-blogs with Glazer) and Matt McAlister, my geek muse who, from a distance, I watch do stuff, but do not point to because I’d rather not promote his ideas until I knock them off first. (That was intended as an inside joke.) And believe me, that’s a very, very short list of a long list of Industry Standard connections to the tech blogosphere.

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