Zeldman on Journalism and The Web
Onstage at An Event Apart New Orleans, 2008, conference co-founder Jeffrey Zeldman discusses one reason the information we get about web design is often inaccurate: namely, the vested interest of website owners and creators.
(Shot by Bonnemaison of Baltimore, MD. Edited by Ian Corey. Music courtesy Jason Dove.)
Zeldman: I started zeldman.com in 1995. And I wrote what I guess now you would call a blog post … about Lawrence Welk, a little thing about Lawrence Welk that seemed funny to me. And I put it out there to see, to see if anyone else would read it. And The Wall Street Journal called me. A reporter from The Wall Street Journal called me in 1995 and said, “Uh, why are you so fascinated with Lawrence Welk? Are you obsessed? Is it a cult?”
Zeldman: So I, you know, and I thought, “I’m kind of getting into the web design business and I’m talking to The Wall Street Journal. That’s never going to happen again. I’m going to let this guy think whatever he thinks. I’m not going to lie to him, but I’ll let him, …” So I said, “Well, Lawrence Welk certainly is interesting, isn’t he.” And he said, “Yes, Lawrence is interesting.” I said, “Well, what do you think?” And I got him to talk and then he wrote an article. And, so, my website was in The Wall Street Journal. [Gestures.] And this is the result.
Zeldman: Okay? So. What I’m suggesting is that, if you’re in some kind of web business, or even just have some home page, and a newspaper reporter starts talking to you, if they think there’s a story, and you play to it, you can get coverage.