Mary Jane Watson… sorry, I mean MARY JO FOLEY… has announced she is no longer writing for Microsoft Watch and is now going to be writing a blog about Microsoft as her own business.

I’m interested in this for a few reasons.

  1. I had the opportunity to meet MJ last year at a flashy party in NYC and she was lovely. She even pretended to know who I was. I had been reading her stuff for many years and even though I suspected she was just doing a Clinton on me, it had the right effect – my ego was inflated.
  2. For a while now when I’m discussing the future of the media business with newspaper folks, they harp on and on and on and on and on and on and on (get the idea) about "why the world needs journalists". I am usually quick to agree (unless I’m just trying to annoy them, which can also be a lot of fun) but then I ask "but do those journalists need YOU?". We’ve started to see journalists break out on their own and I hope this is a trend which will continue. As I said on G’Day World last week – if Chris Masters, Australia’s #1 investigative journalist, wanted to go out on his own, I’m sure he could find enough corporate sponsorship to pay his annual salary and legal/travel expenses. He has his own brand. What does he need a publisher for these days? Dan Gillmor did it. Om Malik has done it. Now MJ is doing it.
  3. I’m wondering what MJ’s model is. She’s blogging, not under her own brand, but under ZDnet’s. I don’t get that model. I’ve asked her on her new blog how it works and I’ll try to get her on the show for an in-depth discussion.