It’s 10 more days till Affiliate Summit West (ASW) and I’m stoked at the opportunity. (Incidentally, the event is sold out)
It’ll be my first trip to the US in about 4 years and I’m planning to hit Fry’s, Best Buy, get my fill of prime rib and margaritas in Vegas.
Here’s my to do list for ASW:
- Attend the great sessions planned
- Meet and greet the affiliate managers present, as not many have a point of presence in Asia.
- Finally put a face to many of the personalities whose blogs I’ve been reading, or emailing, or catching their web radio programs, or whose forums I’ve been participating on.
- Get a Shoemoney t-shirt (one of the new black one maybe?)
- Get some nice WickedFire merchandise at their booth
- Catch some great parties
This is one of the few times I’d be heading halfway around the world (I’ll be battening down the hatches in Asia to work on a couple of major projects once I get back).
So far, I look forward to the opportunity to meet and greet with Shoemoney, Jon F, Anik Singal, PlanetAndrea, Chris Hooley, Scott Jangro, Robyn Tippins, Shawn Collins, Missy Ward, the LunarPages blogging team (including Joe Whyte) and it looks like Pepperjam will have a good presence there too.
I might be approaching some of you to do interviews, so you are forwarned, and perhaps forearmed.
If you’re planning to interview any of the folks at ASW, here’s a couple of pointers from my days as a tech journalist.
- Do Your Research
Nothing’s more irritating than being asked, ‘What do you do?’, ‘What is your website/blog address?’, ‘Can you explain what you do?’. My all time favourite had to be the story of another tech journalist who went to IBM and asked, ‘What’s a server? Is it some kind of maid or butler?’
We live in the online world. Google your intended target. Use technorati if you need to. Look through PRWeb, scan article directories. Visit their blog/website. Look through their milestones. Read through the past 6 months or 1 year of archives. Look through major trends in their industry/niche. How does that impact them?
- Be Prepared
If you requested the interview, think through the angle of the story. Don’t expect your interviewee to propose an angle. If you do any copywriting, you don’t have any reason not to be able to come up with an angle for the interview. The interviewee is there to sit in front of you and answer your questions. Look at your research, figure out the angle.
- Be Thorough
If you’re asking the questions, follow a logical sequence and be thorough.
Use the ‘inverted pyramid’ content structure (starting in general terms before coming to specifics questions). Think like your reader. How would you like the information to be presented? Structure your questions in that manner.
Note down key statistics and facts, list your questions down so you can refer to them.
If your interview subject sidetracks, bring them back to focus.
Coming up with quality content requires laser-sharp focus.
If your subject is getting majorly off-point, gently interrupt them and bring them back to your original question.
- Assembling the Jigsaw
Newer interviewers tend to follow a chronological sequence when presenting the interview. I’d suggest reorganizing your information to follow themed segments might be more useful for your reader.
A major shortcoming of verbatim transcripts is that related points might be scattered through the discussions. This tends to present a somewhat schizophrenic picture, unless your subject is very used to being interviewed.
- The Biggest Success Factor
It’s related to adopting a reader-centric approach to interview. If you’re able to present the information clearly to your reader, you’ve succeeded.
PS: If you’ll be at ASW, leave a comment below or drop me a note via the contact form, including your email address. I’d love to meet up.