Meet the Analyst: Paul Sweeting talks digital platforms and Tom Waits

Each week GigaOM Pro chats with one of its analysts to find out which technologies they read about, write about and can’t live without. Today we talk to Paul Sweeting, GigaOM Pro’s Connected Consumer curator, whose recent work, “After the blackout: How the IT industry can stop SOPA in the long term,” looks at the political fallout from the heated SOPA/PIPA battle.

1. Who are you, and what do you do?

I’m the founder and principal of Concurrent Media Strategies, a consulting business in Washington, DC. In addition to my work as the Connected Consumer curator for GigaOM Pro, I provide research and consulting services to companies in the media and technology space. I also produce conferences and I’m working on a book.

2. As a GigaOM Pro analyst and curator, what are your areas of focus?

In the broadest sense, I focus on content monetization on digital platforms. I’ve written reports for GigaOM Pro on the digital living room, over-the-top video, connected devices and digital publishing.

Paul Sweeting, GigaOM Pro's Connected Consumer curator

Paul Sweeting, GigaOM Pro's Connected Consumer curator

3. Talk about a favorite article you’ve written.

I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but the one I’m proudest of was the article I wrote a couple of days after 9/11 about my brother, a New York City paramedic, who fortunately survived both tower collapses. Unfortunately, that magazine is no more and its digital archives were wiped.

4. What was the last piece of media (music, video, book, etc.) you paid money for?

Not sure what the last one was, but I still buy a lot of media, especially books and music. I recently bought the new Tom Waits album, Bad As Me. Not his best, but there are a few good cuts. I also bought the new John Hiatt, Dirty Jeans and Mudslide Hymns. As for books, I’ve recently bought a number of titles related to a research project dealing, in part, with the history of the book itself. I’m currently reading The Book in the Renaissance by Andrew Pettegree; it’s very well researched. I’m also reading the new P.D. James (I’m a bit of a mystery fan). I also still subscribe to a lot of newspapers and magazines, both print and digital, some of which I actually get around to reading once in a while: The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The Economist, Vanity Fair and the digital edition of the New York Times.

5. What are the first 3 media outlets (websites, blogs, actual physical publications) you read in the morning?

I get the Wall Street Journal delivered so I read that. Then I hit Google Reader, where I have all the feeds I use for curating the Connected Consumer page for GigaOM Pro. I also check out what the other curators are posting on GigaOM Pro.

6. You’re stranded on a desert island: what are the five gadgets/devices/services/apps you can’t live without? (Presumably, there’s electricity and wifi on this desert island).

A Kindle, a laptop, Google, (for e-books, music and video) and NHL Game Center Live. I’m a big hockey fan.

7. When you’re not writing for GigaOM Pro, what’s your favorite thing to do?


8. What’s your favorite non-tech blog?

My favorite at the moment is probably Charles Pierce’s On Politics blog for Esquire. He’s one of the great online stylists, even when I don’t always agree with him. I’m also a big fan of Talking Points Memo, which regularly proves it’s possible to be intellectually honest in your reporting even when you have a clear point of view.

9. Bonus question: what are you most excited about in 2012?

I’m getting married.

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