Last week, Energy Collective
blogger Marc Gunther and I met face-to-face for the first time in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. Marc was there to blog about the second World Future Energy Summit, billed by its organizers as "Davos for energy," and his posts appeared both on TEC and Greenbiz
. Frankly, we were amazed at Marc's "real-time" turn-around. While we were still rubbing the jet-lag from our eyes, Marc had already contributed a terrific introductory post. His daily-and-more postings were elegantly crafted (no copy editor in sight) and acutely observant of both the significant (the U.A.E.'s announcement
of a commitment to producing 7% of its energy from renewable sources) and the telling detail
(its new, electric personal transportation system.)
Marc is one of those far-sighted "traditional" journalists who understood early that blogging was a means to extend one's audience. His blog now appears on CNN/Money's site, HuffingtonPost, and Greenbiz, and he generously agreed to allow us to include it on The Energy Collective as well, shortly after we launched the site. Unlike many of today's bloggers, who until yesterday were marketing deodorant, Marc's journalistic bona fides are real: he's spent more than 30 years as a reporter, first for newspapers, then for FORTUNE magazine from 1996 to 2008. He's been a suburban news reporter in New Jersey, a state capitol bureau chief in Hartford, CT, and a TV critic and entertainment industry reporter. For the last several years, he has focused on energy and the environment.
What has the blog done for his reputation as a journalist? "I'm surprised, frankly," Marc told me, "at how seriously some people take the blog. Just today, I emailed a big utility company for what I thought was a routine comment on a story. They offered me an interview with their CEO."
Since December last year, when FORTUNE laid Marc off
(keeping him on, however, to contribute reporting and organize the magazine's green business conference), the blog has become his primary business, and as such, Marc finds himself in the same position as many leading business bloggers, who must now act as their own business managers. As one of the most respected writers and reporters on, arguably, the world's most important beat, we're confident that Marc, like Garbo to the talkies, will glide easily into this new media realm.