Interview with Rene Millman (@ReneMillman), Freelance Cloud and Mobile Writer

January 10, 2013

By @Rose_at_O, @Olivia_at_O

Rene Millman 1

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers mobile technology and the cloud. He has previously worked as an analyst for IDC and Gartner and as an editor at Dennis Publishing, SC Magazine and VNUnet (now V3). Recent work by Rene Millman has appeared in Absolute Gadget, CloudPro and others.

Q.  Tell us a bit about yourself.

I have made numerous television appearances to give my views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. As a presenter, I specialize in technology and gadgets, benefitting from my many years of experience working as a journalist and analyst working with most of the world’s largest technology companies.

Q. Tell us a bit about the titles you write for and their interest in mobile technology. 

I write for a lot of different publications. I write a lot about the cloud. In many ways, the cloud is really suited for mobile technology, as it frees us from the dreaded desktop and, by extension, the office. We can work anywhere and don’t have to put on a suit and tie anymore!

Q. What’s hot in mobiles and telecoms this year? 

Cloud-enabled apps. Native apps are great and fast on the platforms they run on, but you still need something to do the grunt work. This is where the cloud comes into its own. IT has turned the client-server paradigm on its head.

Q. How many events do you attend each year?  Which ones are you most looking forward to?

I don’t attend many events nowadays unless I can get a company to sponsor the trip. I’m afraid not many seem to do this nowadays (more the pity). The ones I look forward to the most are the ones in London I can actually attend.

Q. What types of stories or companies are likely to attract your attention this year?

I think the stories that will be of most interest will be the ones from hot startups or where a market hegemony will get disrupted.

Q. What’s the best way to pitch a story to you? And how many interviews do you do per week?

Email, really. Phone calls can be a pain when talking to a PR consultant who doesn’t know his or her client too well.

Q. Who is worth listening to (about mobiles and telecoms)?  And what are your favourite blogs?

I don’t tend to read blogs nowadays. I follow a few people on Google+ as this tends to attract the tech notables. I always see what Robert Scoble has written on there. Otherwise, I chat mainly to other tech journalists down at the pub. It’s much more convivial!

Q. What is your favorite piece of technology?

My wife would say she is an iPhone widow as I spend more time with that than I do with her!

Rene Millman 2Q. What is the best piece of advice for companies pitching stories?

Don’t make the mistake of pitching everything you do all the time. Hacks haven’t the time for it. Besides, we are interested in the sexy stuff and the controversial. Unfortunately, what vendors think of as sexy and controversial is not necessarily the same thing we think it is. For a fee, I’d love to chat to these guys and teach them a thing or two about what journalists want. Also, don’t embargo stuff.

Q. What was the best press trip you’ve ever been on? Worst? Why?

The best was the Intel Developer Forum – stayed at the W hotel in San Francisco – that was a great hotel. Intel hasn’t invited me back since. The worst would be any trip where news was promised and not forthcoming. That has happened too many times now. It puts us journalists in a bad position with editors expecting copy.

Q. Are you a social media lover?

Yes, and I’m on them all. With a name like mine, I’m easy to Google!

Q. Tell us something no one knows about you.

It’s not really a secret, but I’m a keen kilt wearer. I’ve been trying to encourage the fashion, and so I sometimes turn up to meetings in a rather fetching contemporary kilt suit (no tartan in sight!). The trend hasn’t quite taken off with other men yet, but they’ll catch up with me soon!

Q. Are you available for hire?

Yes. I can turn my hand to most writing work!

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