One of the best things about my new gig as the Editor-in-Chief of the WorldTradeDaily.com virtual forum on Trade Intelligence (a blog by any other name) is that I don’t have to be anybody’s _____. (You can fill in the blank.)
As Founder/CEO of CenTradeX as well as in the string of business ventures that preceded it, I had to worry about the feelings, opinions and perceptions of investors, boards of directors, advisors, clients, prospects, the media, employees (and their spouses) and of course the governing tax and legal authorities.
Being an Internet journalist, reporting on a subject that I know quite a bit about, is not only fun, but I can say whatever I want to. My editor (who also happens to be my girlfriend) hones down the rough edges and grammatical spills. She occasionally steps in when my irreverence or sarcasm gets out of control. But, by and large, I can state the “truth” as I see it.
Not to say that I am insensitive to the sensibilities of my friends and colleagues in the field about whom I report. Generally, I’m a great person to tell secrets to. I’m not going to publish candid criticisms of your company, boss, clients or competitors. Your dirty laundry is safe with me. That being said, I don’t mind ranting and raving occasionally when it strikes me.
There are a few things I have always really enjoyed about working in the International Trade field. No coincidence that these are also the categories I write about on WorldTradeDaily.com every week. Monday through Friday are usually reserved for “meatier” topics:
•@Data. Like a kid in a candy store, I am really awed by facts and figures, charts and graphs, imports and exports of this country and that. Looking at the scope of the entire world. Global Trade data is cool!
•Technology and innovation. Ways to shape, connect and transform raw data into something useful, beautiful and well engineered by those of us whose task it is to create Trade Intelligence is pure joy. I abhor ineptness and distain mediocrity. We report on Suppliers of trade data and information @Sources.
•Applications. Nothing feels better than see your brainchild perform well and be recognized in the world. Vicariously since the sale of CenTradeX, I still appreciate a well-crafted TI product providing good service in the marketplace. How is data and technology being applied to make a difference in business? @Uses.
•TI Professionals. I’ve never met a better bunch of people than those in International Trade. Prophets, philanthropists, innovators, well traveled, citizens of no certain country, committed to their craft, folks who really want to make a difference and an impact on their world. Best known after a few drinks in an informal setting. @People.
•Research & Learning. Personally, I learn by live, dynamic interaction with people about subjects that I have an interest in. Our “Pick of the Litter” series gives me a good excuse to be on the hunt for interesting stuff about International Trade being published by others. A way to feel connected to the World, hence @World.
•Weekends are more relaxed and personal. They provide an opportunity to publish articles on topics that may not fit neatly into one of more of the above categories. @WTD contains articles about the WorldTradeDaily.com site itself, just like working around the house, mowing the lawn or retiling the bathroom on Saturdays. @me, as the name implies, are articles about my personal/professional journey or stuff I just feel like talking about: “Op-Ed” pieces and the like. It’s always good to indulge in creative license and diversity of taste and experience.