Saturday, February 17, 2007

Pharmalot ... Post-a-lot!

Depending upon how you interpret the play on words, Pharmalot could conjure up the fantastic world of pharmaceuticals a la Camelot -- with all its potential and promise, but heading for a fall -- or it could literally mean a lot about the pharmaceutical industry!

I think it's lot, not Camelot.

Ed Silverman, who is the "guy behind the curtain" at Pharmalot, has certainly been a prolific blogger! In one recent day (February 16, 2007) Ed posted 10 entries!

In comparison, I have posted about 340 entries to Pharma Marketing Blog between January, 2005 and February 16, 2007 -- about 0.44 entries per day, which is only about 4% the rate at which Ed works his magic!

There are other bloggers in the Pharma Blogosphere that post more than one entry per day to their blogs; PharmaGossip and Drug Wonks (see my review: "Drug Wonks Are PR Wonks") are two that come to mind. In PharmaGossip's case, the author ("Jack Friday" aka Insider), often merely posts a photo or video or text link to another blog or Web site. In the case of Drug Wonks, there is a bevy of contributors to spread the workload around.

But Ed appears to be a lone wolf at Pharmalot. How does he do it and still fulfill his duties as a veteran reporter for the Star-Ledger and as a father of three and master of a "sizeable labrador retriever?"

What's Behind the Curtain?
I suspect Ed has some help. The sheer volume of posts is one hint that Ed does not write all this stuff. The Pharmalot content is copyrighted by the Star Ledger ("all rights reserved" by the way). The newspaper must supply some help to Ed. I imagine a team of "cub" reporters "behind the curtain" with Ed, scanning news sources, fact checking, sourcing, headline writing, and producing draft copy that Ed edits.

It's all in a day's work for a "veteran" journalist.

Whatever the process, Ed manages to get his voice into it and his signature is the little quip he adds to the end of almost every post, as in the following examples:

"The legal battle may not be over, but Novartis is clearly losing the public relations war. But Dan Vasella doesn't appear to be listening." (Former Swiss Prez Tongue Lashes Novartis);

"Meanwhile, what will Novartis do with all those sales reps who were hired and primed to start pigeonholing doctors?" (Novartis' Galvus May Be Delayed: Analyst)
Dare I call these a bit "snarky?" which is a criticism I received once -- see "Snark Meter."

If it weren't for these little non-journalistic remarks, Pharmalot would be nothing more than a newsfeed. But Pharmalot is useful to me precisely as a newsfeed. It is one of the blogs in the Pharma Blogosphere that I read every day to "keep up" with what's going on in the industry. It's not a blog where I expect to find a lengthy discussion of issues.

Other journalist-driven blogs in the Pharma Blogosphere, like BrandweekNRX, take a different, more blog-like approach. But that's a topic for another review.

BrandweekNRX Up Next
I will be interviewing Jim Edwards, Senior Editor, Brandweek and creator of BrandweekNRX, on my Pharma Talk podcast this coming Tuesday, February 20, 2007, at 1 PM Eastern. For more information about this podcast -- how to listen live or access the audio archive -- see "Journalist Bloggers: An Interview with Jim Edwards."

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