When I grow up, I want to be like Jeff Jarvis

As an observer of life, the greatest joys are beyond the mundane. That, after all, is the real attraction of the news business, isn’t it? Aberration IS news, while most of life is the rest. Differences of opinion in journalism all flow around the definition of aberration — the source of your bias.

That said, I experienced great joy twice this week while in New York with a client. We held meetings with software providers, and I got to meet Dave Morgan, CEO of Tacoda, the online contextual advertising innovators. To be in the room with Morgan is to sense the presence of genius. He’s smooth and articulate, but what makes him unique is his downstream focus and an ability to translate that into reality.

I had a similar — but even more intense — joy when Jeff Jarvis joined us for lunch on Tuesday. Jeff and I have been online friends for a couple of years, and his blog, buzzmachine is daily reading for me, but this was our first actual meeting. I would put Jeff in the same category as Morgan but with even more energy. Here he was, in a room with a dozen broadcasters, methodically navigating his way through local media issues, citizen’s media, blogging, RSS and, of course, the FCC, and his audience was completely engaged. Jeff has a command of these matters that others can only envy, but — most importantly — he’s able to communicate their complexity in a manner that’s clear and easy to understand (even though he’s talking at 100 mph). I absolutely love the guy.

Here’s what I think. Broadcasters of every hue need to engage Jeff Jarvis in discussions about themselves and the future. We ought to give him keynote status at the NAB next year, although that’ll never happen. Too bad.

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