Jon Udell, arguably the most talented guy working in B2B journalism, is leaving B2B journalism.
Jon is departing InfoWorld for a new gig at Microsoft. But according to Jon, little will change in what he does each day. "The details aren't nailed down, but in broad terms I've proposed to Microsoft that I continue to function pretty much as I do now. That means blogging, podcasting, and screencasting on topics that I think are interesting and important; it means doing the kinds of lightweight and agile R&D that I've always done; and it means brokering connections among people, software, information, and ideas -- again, as I've always done."
It's too early to tell just what Jon's work will look like when it's published by Microsoft. But I'm not worried. First, it's a pretty good bet that Microsoft hired him because it respects him, not because it thinks it can control him. More importantly, Microsoft has already demonstrated with Scoble that it has the wisdom to let its workers share their thoughts with the blogosphere. (In fact, with nothing more to back this up than my hunch, I'm going to say that Microsoft is hiring Jon partly because it misses the credibility that Scoble lent it before he jumped ship.)
Certainly Jon's decision is a blow to IDG. And since IDG is a client of mine, and one of my favorite B2B publishers, his departure saddens me. Besides, there is something a little sad for all of us in B2B publishing when one of our own decides the opportunities are greater elsewhere.
For an earlier post of mine about Jon, click here.
For Rex's take on Jon's new job, click here.
Click here to see how marketing sites are becoming more like media sites.
tags: journalism, b2b, media, trade press, magazines, newsletters, business media