Welcoming Mary Jo to the BWW Family

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Paul with 78 Comments

Welcoming Mary Jo to the BWW Family

Some key members of the BWW family: Tony, me, George, Mary Jo, Michele, and Megan.

Today, my parent company, BWW Media Group, announced that Mary Jo Foley is partnering with us to build a community of technologists. I’m excited to welcome her to the BWW family. And to explain to you all what’s happening here.

As you probably know, Mary Jo and I have been partnering, in a sense, for years: We’ve co-hosted the popular Windows Weekly podcast with TWiT’s Leo Laporte each week for almost six years.

But our relationship is deeper than that. Despite beginning as rivals, we’ve developed a wonderful friendship and camaraderie over the years. It’s something I’m incredibly happy about, and we interact on a daily basis, discussing things both personal and professional as we navigate through this ever-changing industry.

That relationship is part of a broader series of friendships I’ve developed over the years. It spans those I work with—before, at Windows IT Pro, and these days at BWW—those who do similar work in the industry at other publications and websites, and those who work for Microsoft and the other companies we cover regularly.

These relationships matter. Looking back at over 20 years in this industry, what I’m most happy about, most proud of, are these relationships. Ultimately, they are the only thing that really matters. They are what persists.

As you might imagine, these relationships can intersect in interesting ways. After a Microsoft event in mid-2015, Mary Jo and I had a meet-up at Rattle ‘N Hum, as we often do, and there were a number of BWW co-workers there, as well as several bloggers and Microsoft employees. Internally, we had been discussing the difficulty of hiring someone across both Thurrott.com and Petri.com—BWW’s main websites—and finding exactly the right person. And it wasn’t until the next morning, when I was reflecting on the interesting interactions of the previous night at Rattle, that it dawned on me. Brad. Brad was the one. Harried phone calls ensued.

Trusting someone enough to let them into your most important work—and into your private life—is difficult, and that decision is not made lightly. It’s happened with Rafael, of course. And it’s happened with Mary Jo, though until this week it has been more informal than formal. But we’ve been collaborating for years, of course. I assume that is obvious.

Well, now we are formally collaborating as well. BWW—again, my parent company, more on that in a bit—has announced that it is partnering with Mary Jo to create a community for technologists over on Petri.com, a sister site under BWW. She is the community magnate—love it—and will help us find content and, perhaps more crucially, form relationships that will shape our progress in the years ahead.

Speaking of relationships, I suspect many of you are confused about the relationship between this site, myself, and the broader BWW family.

I can explain this. 🙂

BWW Media Group—formerly Blue Whale Web—is the parent company of both Thurrott.com and Petri.com. I am a minority partner in BWW, so I’m a co-owner, of sorts. BWW is run by George Coll, so in addition to being a great friend and boss, is also a business partner. How’s that for an intersection of relationships?

We’ve wanted to bring Mary Jo into the BWW fold from the beginning, of course. But as you probably know, Mary Jo already has a regular gig at ZDNet, where she writes the All About Microsoft column. So it may have seemed that such a linkup was impossible. But as it turns out, this new role is perfect. For all of us.

Mary Jo and BWW Media Group have separately explained the why of this partnership. But for me, this new type of relationship simply expands on something Mary Jo has already been doing with me, or perhaps for me, which is expanding my relationships with others in the industry. And not just the experts who speak at events or write about technology, but the readers and technology enthusiasts who matter most of all. Through meet-ups all around the world, Mary Jo has helped me reach out to others in ways I’m not sure I could have done on my own.

And now she’s doing it formally for BWW—and for Petri.com—as well. How wonderful is that?