I’m Writing Tech News for You to Steal

by Michael Sheehan on January 20, 2014

in General, Intel, Opinion, Tech News

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Yes, you read the title correctly, I am writing tech news articles for you to take, use and put your own name on, and photos and videos as well. Long live plagiarism! While everything that I have said is true, I do think it is important for me to clarify things a bit. The stuff that you are reading here, on HighTechDad.com is not what I’m telling you to steal. Instead, it is on another site, Intel Free Press.

IFP-homepage

I recently started a new job at Intel, as a Staff Writer for Intel Free Press and Social Media Strategist for Intel. And, since all of my friends and family have been asking me questions about what, exactly, I now do, I thought that I would explain in a way that I do best, in writing.

Obviously for me, writing has always been a passion. Having quiet (or chaotic) time to be able to get jumbled ideas from my mind into a digital paper is comforting. If I go without writing for an extended period of time, I start to feel like I’m not only letting my readers down, but also myself. It’s an unwritten commitment that I feel that I have to uphold on a regular basis.

Ever since leaving my previous company, I have spent much of my effort on landing the perfect job. For a while, it was looking that I might focus purely on doing consulting. There are plenty of advantages to being your own boss, but on another side, I wanted to remain close to my passion – writing about technology. Call it part luck, part opportunity, part timing, and part hard work, I landed this new position at Intel.

What is Intel Free Press?

I have now been in this role for two months and I felt it important to explain what Intel Free Press is. To put it simply, we are writing stories about Tech and not just Intel. If you are a journalist, you know how hard it is to find a story amidst all of the competing stories and writers out there. And the plethora of bloggers doesn’t help with the clutter. I admit, writing on HighTechDad is something that somewhat erodes the idea of good journalism (but I will briefly go into the difference between blogging and journalism a bit later).

With Intel Free Press, the goal is to write articles that adhere to true journalistic style. We aim to cover tech news and write the articles so that they can be re-used or adapted or re-written to fit whatever story a writer is trying to cover.

We don’t always follow the same stories everyone else does, we try to cover things it from a different angle or to provide insight that others might not have. One story that I wrote at CES this year, for example, was about the new NFC technology being used in the badges. So while everyone else was talking about the gadgets of the show, I was investigating the new badges, talking to representatives from the CEA, the organizers of CES, and interviewing end-users.

We do not pay for content placement, nor do we advertise. While we do socialize the content, it is not part of any marketing campaign. Adoption and re-use of the content on Intel Free Press is organic. Often only images are used in other stories – all of the images on the Intel Free Press Flickr account are under a Creative Commons Share Alike license which means they can be used freely with attribution only. And, we have videos for free use as well.

In the About section, we clearly state:

“Copyright to all Intel Free Press content is owned by Intel, but words, photos and videos we share on this site may be republished, edited, and re-used free of charge unless otherwise noted.”

We do not hide that we are part of Intel Corporation. But that also doesn’t mean that we won’t write good things about our competitors. We want to cover the tech news without bias.

You are free to use the Intel Free Press content, as stated on the site:

Intel Free Press is a tech news site from Intel Corporation, covering technology and innovation stories that are often overlooked or warrant more context and deeper reporting. The news and information here is focused on people, technology, events and topics relevant to Intel and the computing industry.

take-our-stuff-button

As stated on the site: “Our goal is not to duplicate the news and cover every major milestone or event from Intel. Nor do we want this to be the kind of news you may find in a press release. We aim to capture and share interesting behind-the-scenes stories that provide insight into what’s going on inside Intel and indirectly, the tech industry. We are Intel geeks at heart, taking an editorial approach to producing stories with journalistic style and integrity, and doing it as objectively as possible while being transparent about who we work for. We hope our stories are compelling to anyone who is interested in technology, and the people and innovations that are changing our world.

So that is the idea about the site I’m writing for.

What about HighTechDad?

As I mentioned before, there is a difference between journalism and blogging. Unfortunately, the lines are becoming incredibly blurred in this day and age. With sponsored content, journalists moving over to start their own sites, technology oriented sites breaking news in the form of opinionated blog articles and the movement away from print media in general, we have entered a very gray area of writing journalistic content.

Interestingly, the division between blogging and journalism could not be clearer to me now. To me, blogging is about opinion – how you feel about something and what you believe in. It is extremely personal in nature. Journalism is about fact – telling the story as it is and removing as much bias as possible.

For a while, I struggled about how I could do both types of writing. They are very different. And while I was working through this in my mind, I slowed down in my writing on this site, HighTechDad. I needed to be sure that I wouldn’t make it a promotional area for Intel products, yet I want to be able to write what I think about technology trends that I may encounter during my day job. Conversely, I didn’t want any possibility to come up that Intel was endorsing HighTechDad in any way. While I do leverage my social media channels that I have built up over time to promote all types of tech news (including Intel’s – this is part of social media strategy), I need to maintain as clear of a separation of church and state as possible.

So, to put it simply, I will continue to do reviews and opinion pieces and how-to’s on HighTechDad since they are all about opinionated content. The volume may slow down as I now pour much of my writing energy into the production of Intel Free Press content, but my passion to keep the opinion alive on HighTechDad remains. To be clear, HighTechDad remains my opinion and mine alone, whereas Intel Free Press articles are written as a journalist working for the company.

I find it extremely refreshing to put on a journalist hat and report on technology adhering to journalism standards to the best of my ability.

Journalism and Blogging

As content continues to become more muddied, I’m excited to help push the line of clarity. Being what I call an “embedded reporter,” one who reports on company and industry news from within a company, is something that is relatively new to the content marketplace.

I encourage you, if you are a journalist or a tech blogger, to take a look at Intel Free Press, not only as a source for stories but also as a way that content is being created differently. Take the stuff that is being written there and use it.

And let me know how we are doing at Intel Free Press. Do you know of a tech trend that should be investigated or a new gadget that hasn’t been written about?

And, as always, as a dad that writes about technology in the family, I’m always happy to answer any questions that you have. Drop me a note!

HTD says: What is your view on the blurring of boundaries of content writing?

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  • http://www.secretsushi.com/ Adam Helweh

    Michael,
    I heard about the Intel Free Press publication not long ago. I didn’t realize, until reading this, just how unique of an effort you all are pressing ahead with. I will check it out. Congratulations on the new job.

  • http://www.hightechdad.com hightechdad

    Thanks @secretsushi:disqus, appreciate the kind words. Yes, it’s an exciting job and a great place to work. Glad that you have heard about IFP.

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