I first met Dennis Keohane when he was writing for VentureFizz. A veritable one-man show, he was turning out great feature local tech and startup feature stories for our friend, Keith Cline, and helping to turn VentureFizz into much more than a nice local calendar and job board. Then he moved on to the Globe and Beta Boston, and continued to turn out great stories about local companies. Now it’s been announced that as of the end of the month, Dennis will be joining PandoDaily, the Silicon Valley “blog” started by Sarah Lacy after she left TechCrunch in the wake of the AOL acquisition.
As we all know, reporters move around. It’s a super tough market out there for journalists and it’s the unusual one who stays in one spot their entire career. So why am I so excited about Dennis’ move that I’m blogging about it? It’s because the Boston area will have its very own Pando reporter. A Silicon Valley centered publication will have a local reporter here. (Yes, yes, I know Barb Darrow has had that market position basically to herself for a number of years but with the closing last week of GigaOm, it was feeling mighty chilly in Beantown. After a suitable period of well-earned relaxation, please Barb, get another job where you can put your talents to work on a national or global stage. We need you.)
The Boston tech scene spends a lot of time talking to itself. We’re so lucky we have such good local startup reporters (Globe/Beta Boston, Xconomy, BBJ, Ars Technica and more) but unless you are only doing business in Boston, your media coverage needs to be broader than the hometown crowd. I get asked to help out on a lot of local projects where coverage in TechCrunch, Mashable, The Verge, Re/Code, CNET would help immensely and I am basically calling on strangers – voices on the other end of the phone or the random email. TechCrunch’s recent event/visit aside, not having a local reporter makes it harder for local entrepreneurs to establish the personal relationships that can lead to a fair hearing and eventually, coverage.
We’ve got plenty of news for the startup reporters too. Every month we launch ten new products at Mass Innovation Nights — 6 years this April and more than 700 new products. Web Innovators Group. Mobile Monday. Mass Challenge. We all got startups coming out our ears.
So, thank you Sarah Lacy. Congrats Dennis. And a wake up call/challenge to the other startup/entrepreneurial/tech/SV-focused publications. New York is still three+ hours by train that-a-way and you need local Boston reporters.