There are 2 types of interviews…

A post on Fred Wilson’s blog prompted me to write something that has been on the back of my mind. I think there are two types of interviews, especially at our industry conferences. One’s that focus on information and others that focus on insight.

I like both formats and find both useful. It is just that, these days informational interviews are more popular because they result in details that can become “news fodder” for the hungry & hyper blog-based media machine. The ensuing link-swarm activity results in better SEO rankings.

The insight-focused interviews don’t provide as much link juice or sharing on Twitter/Facebook. And you actually need people – subjects, interviewers and audience that is willing to listen, pay attention and converse.


  1. Adriel D. Mingo says:

    May 24th, 2012 at 11:14 am Reply

    I agree with @lyramck I’m not much of a reporter but I’ve seen that happen to interviewees first-hand. Also @Om I think it’d be nice if reporters did more of the insight-type interviews so we could really get into their brains rather than the common info-grabbing types like which platform are you expanding to next, earnings etc.

  2. eideard says:

    May 23rd, 2012 at 6:52 am Reply

    Though you do both well, your insight targets are superb.

    Presuming the subject has insight to offer. :)

    1. Om Malik says:

      May 24th, 2012 at 9:23 am Reply

      I think I am good at the “slow cooking” style.

  3. lyramck says:

    May 23rd, 2012 at 4:24 am Reply

    In terms of interviews, I think the biggest mistake we as reporters make is asking “hard questions”. It may look good to aggressively challenge a VC onstage and it does much for the reporter’s ego but the subject just freezes up and so real answers never emerge. Just a thought I had when I read this.

    1. Om Malik says:

      May 24th, 2012 at 9:23 am Reply

      Very well said. I think sometimes letting people talk is more important that just jumping and doing the Fox news/CNN news style faux-hard questioning. in my experience, people normally tie themselves in knots as they speak for longer. :-)

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