Business and Pleasure
I’m going against my pledge to quit blogging about blogging for a while, but I just had to write this thought out because it occurred to me as I was making the bed this morning in the flurry of domestic straightening-up that I do before the cleaning lady comes. Hey, at least I do it.
Many years ago, when I worked for E! Networks as a TV producer, I depended on a woman in the talent department to score interviews for the show I created, “Revealed With Jules Asner.*” This talent executive often referred to publicists, managers, agents, and coworkers as her “colleagues.” As in “my colleague will call me back with a firm commitment,” or “I’ll consult my colleague and let you know.” She used the word frequently enough that whenever she did, I remembered. I thought it was an odd way to refer to someone, early in my career as I was. But even since then, I have rarely come across people in any industry who employ that label in conversation as often as this woman did.
These days, as I forge alliances with bloggers, editors, photographers, community managers, fundraisers, conference producers, startup leaders, and pioneers in internet platforms of all types, I find myself using the term “colleague” much in the same way that talent manager did with me so many years ago. (It wasn’t that many. Just a Y-generation ago.) The people with whom I collaborate aren’t just fellow bloggers who have become my friends, although those are valuable relationships, too. They are businesspeople who have turned their online writing into paying jobs, book deals, TV pilots, blogging empires, and more. If I hook one of these people up with an opportunity and it falls through, I feel it the way I feel when a project at my day job as a producer falls through. These are my colleagues, and I respect them, and I feel a responsibility to support and celebrate their successes the way I hope they do for me.
As my day job and my online activity are colliding more and more, I trust that the relationships I have built over the last five years of blogging and facebooking and tweeting and whrrling (whew!) will serve me in my 9-5 professional life the way my entertainment connections have served my web community. It’s kind of a dream come true, when I didn’t even have that dream yet.
*This is the first I’ve seen of this Wikipedia listing. For the record, Jules was not unwilling to ask more than softball questions. She was forbidden to do so quite often by the celebrity publicists. So there.