Doing the business on Stilgherrian’s journalism

As 2012 draws to a close, it’s become clear to me that many aspects of my life should be reassessed for next year. One of the more important is my work — that is, what I do for who, how often and for how much.

Last night I made a couple of pictures to help me understand the issues I’ll need to think about. This first one shows the relative importance of each masthead, at least in revenue terms, based on the gross income they generated in 2012. I’m surprised.

Stilgherrian's income from journalism in 2012 by masthead: see story for the numbers

I knew ZDNet was my biggest earner. What I didn’t realise was that my written stories for them, either ad hoc commissions or as conference coverage, when combined with the weekly Patch Monday podcast, represent roughly five times the revenue of the second-place holder, CSO Online.

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A Twitter-related Sydney Morning Herald debut

Today I returned to the print media with an opinion piece, Trends on Twitter brief but telling, just like in the real world, in the Sydney Morning Herald.

It’s an overview of Twitter’s “Trending Topics”, including the observation that marketers who try to game the trends are probably wasting their time. Research by Hewlett-Packard’s social computing lab [PDF] shows that there’s probably no point in focusing on the “influencers”.

Topics will trend or not based on whether people found it interesting to retweet at that moment. Just like Yahoo! Research’s Duncan Watts said a few years back.

Somehow I managed to refer to the fisting incident without using the word “fisting” itself.

I wouldn’t have thought about writing this piece myself, being too immersed in Twitter to realise that it needed explanations. Blame Joel Gibson, the SMH Opinion Editor. He commissioned it and did a decent job of improving my Sunday-written words.

I think it’s quite sweet that Fairfax decided to explain my name.