Reporter's Notebook: Shhh, We're Writing

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CHICAGO -- What's the atmosphere in the press and speakers lounge at Ad:tech Chicago? It's noisy, resonates with positive energy and is where speakers take victory laps in front of peers after their session ends.

There's also the obligatory food and drinks table, full of fresh fruit, cake slices, coffee and soft drinks in the mornings. The fruits are the last to vanish. And let's not forget to mention the computers -- never enough of them, but always useful to check your e-mail.

In previous days, it was customary for room minders to enforce silence in the press room. How else does a journalist churn out story after story for his or her newspaper, Web site, online newsletter and blog? Now, silence is no longer golden. Loud cell phone conversations and boisterous, often gossipy exchanges between speakers -- 122 at Ad:tech Chicago -- are common. Room minders are afraid to offend almost anybody. So for writers trying to organize their thoughts, good luck.

But then, not every registered journalist (bloggers excluded) organizes his or her thoughts on paper or computer at trade shows. Take this Ad:tech. Twenty-two registered journalists from national publications showed up. Only one filed stories from the show for Tuesday and Wednesday -- to the best of his knowledge. Yes, yours truly.

Mickey Alam Khan covers Internet marketing campaigns and e-commerce, agency news as well as circulation for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting


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