Thursday, February 8, 2007

Early Bird Blogger vs the Journalist

Now that we have such a crowded pharma blogosphere and professional journalist bloggers like Jim Edwards and Ed Silverman, I'm going to have to get up very early in the morning to keep up with the Jonses!

Sometimes I beat them and sometimes I don't.

Take today for example. Up at 5 AM; run out in the freezing cold and dark to get the Wall Street Journal; shake the snow off it; take it into the "library" for a quick scan; come up with some blogworthy slant during breakfast; start writing; help my son get off to school; finish by 7:00 AM -- hopefully while Jim and Ed are still on the IRT subway (do New Yorkers still distinguish subway lines that way?) heading to their offices in midtown New York or Newark as the case may be.

Today, for example, I wrote about GSK's anti-smoking campaign antics (see "GSK: Don't Go Cold Turkey!"). This piece was published at 6:45 AM. Some time later, Jim Edwards published his own take on the story (see "GSK's Anti-Smoking Debacle"). Jim doesn't include a time stamp in his posts, so it's impossible to know what time of day his piece was published -- but, believe me, it was after 6:45 AM! Take that Jim!

It's more difficult to beat Insider over at PharmaGossip. He has an edge. He's 5 or 6 hours ahead of us here on the east coast of the US. However, he can't get the news much sooner than I can because most of the good stuff is published here in the By the time it hits the streets, Insider is busy at work.

Actually, it's not as competitive as it seems. Each blogger has his or her (mostly his; see "It's Raining Men in the Pharma Blogosphere!") unique perspective. In my piece about GSK I focused on GSK pooh-poohing the cold turkey life style approach to quitting smoking, whereas Jim was more interested in how bad Nicorette gum tasted. Jim did put in a sentence about GSK's "Don't Go Cold Turkey" campaign, but he couldn't add anything new because I GOT THERE FIRST! Nya, nya, nya! Put that in your pipe an smoke it!

But here's how Jim beats me. He's sitting there all day with amazing resources and news feeds coming at him and through him and around him.

So what happens? Anna Nicole Smith dies! When did that happen? I dunno, but Jim gets the news immediately. Of course he links it up with the pharmaceutical industry in a neat post entitled "Anna Nicole Smith Is Dead; Trimspa Goes Into Crisis Mode."

Actually, I beat Jim to the Anna Nicole Smith/drug industry connection when I posted "If FDA were as Powerful as FTC" back in January. Jim followed with his own FTC vs. pharmaceutical industry post "What Drug Marketers Have to Fear from the FTC" in February. So, technically speaking, I beat Jim twice on that that topic. Nya, nya, nya!

But drat! Jim scooped me with his interview of FTC chief Deborah Platt Majoras! These people won't talk to me! I don't even get return mail from PhRMA!

This all goes to the influence that journalists will have on blogging for better or for worse.

I hope to sort this out a bit more when I interview Jim in a live podcast on Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 1 PM eastern (that's dinner time over there across the pond, Mr. Friday!). See "Journalist Bloggers: An Interview with Jim Edwards."


Anonymous said...

Seems to be hard work.

PharmaGuy said...

Yes, it is. But may I say that nothing worthwhile comes easy? The work pays off by keeping me informed and better able to publish my newsletter (Pharma Marketing News), which is my real bread and butter job.