Natali Del Conte is the tech savvy, sweet as apple pie, gorgeous correspondent for The CBS Early Show, WCBS, host of "Loaded" on CNETTV and co-host of the daily podcast "Buzz Out Loud." I did forget to mention her most notable attributes though... she is intelligent, warm and fearless. Del Conte is also a regular contributor on about every major media outlet from BBC to Fox.
Lucky for us, Natali has stopped in for an interview. Our feature Twitter, "Webdev Geekette " Daynah, has also asked Natali some "twestions." Actually, Daynah sent so many great twestions I let her take over my interview!
Daynah: What is your process of gathering technology news every morning?
Natali Del Conte: It isn't limited to the morning. I pretty much have my email and RSS reader fed to me intravenously. I pour through thousands of blogs and news sites but I also have news sent to me based on relationships I have with companies that send me their news under embargo. Still, every morning I wake up early and plop my laptop down on my lap Indian style, and crawl through headlines to make sure Loaded isn't missing anything.
Daynah: When did you first have interest in reporting technology news?
Natali Del Conte: I was always interested in technology but I let it get away from me while I was in graduate school. When I was done with graduate school and came back to the Bay Area, I just wanted to write. Tech was an easy target because there is such a rich field of resources there.
Daynah: You review a lot of gadgets, but what are the favorite ones you use personally?
Natali Del Conte: I hate this question because I feel so trite. I would love to say that I love all gadgets equally but really I'm a closeted Mac fangirl. I use a MacBook Pro, an iPhone, a BlackBerry Curve, a Kindle 2, and a Flip HD. I also have the new Zune, which I love, but it doesn't work with my Mac so syncing it can be a pain. I wish I had some cool gadget that nobody has but I'm pretty conventional.
Daynah: What do you miss most about San Francisco, and what do you like best about NYC?
Natali Del Conte: My family. I miss my family every single day. I also miss the beauty. San Francisco is picturesque in a way no other city in the world really is. It is also a place where people respect each other and respect healthy living. New York pushes you. You learn what you're made of here. I love that too but I miss the balance of my San Francisco life. It took me a good 6 months to stop crying for San Francisco and be grateful for New York but I am grateful for it now. Most of the time. I wasn't so grateful when I saw the first cockroach in my apartment. That never happened in San Francisco.
Daynah: You are a role model to many aspiring young girls. What advice could you give them about getting their careers started in the world of technology?
Natali Del Conte: Be flexible. If I hadn't been flexible, I wouldn't have considered podcasting as a real career. I wouldn't have been willing to move to New York. I wouldn't have been willing to do my first broadcast reports on national TV instead of some small local station in a small town. I don't know to be nervous until it is too late so I just leap before I look.
Gabrielle Reilly: Do you ever get nervous when you are reporting?
Natali Del Conte: No. I think I am missing the nervous gene. It just doesn't occur to me. Before I started my first show, TeXtra, I was nervous and I called my father. He said, "Natali, who else can do this better than you? Can you think of anyone?" I paused for a second and thought, "Heck no! I can do this as well, if not better, than anyone else. I'm ready!" Sometimes you need a pep talk like that but ever since then, I pretty much never get nervous. It just isn't in my emotional repertoire.
Gabrielle Reilly: How did you develop your personal presentation style and did you practice in front of the mirror/camcorder to begin getting comfortable being in front of the camera?
Natali Del Conte: Ha! I didn't! There is no Natali-in-front-of-the-camera and Natali-off-the-camera. She is the same girl. CBS sends me to a voice coach to try to round out the edges and I'm eternally grateful for that. It helps me stop talking in run on sentences like a 15 year old girl at the mall. But for the most part, I am just myself on camera. I think that shows through. Or at least I hope so.
Gabrielle Reilly: How many hours a day do you typically work?
Natali Del Conte: 24. Or at least it seems like that. Probably more like 12-16.
Gabrielle Reilly: What is your favorite part of your job?
Natali Del Conte: Really everything. There is very little that I don't like about my job. It is always changing, always challenging me, always pushing me. Plus, it keeps me out of trouble. I guess if I could pick my least favorite thing it would be the fact that I can't ever get the black eyeliner to completely disappear from below my eyes. Camera makeup is bullcrap. I hate it. I wake up looking like Rocky Raccoon every single day. Glamorous, don't you think?