I got a new job at work last week: rebuilding the APC website.
I won’t be physically doing the programming: that will be the job of our excellent new developer Declan “Standards Compliant” Kennedy.
However, much of my APC magazine workload will be taken up by other people on the team to give me time to work on developing the content mix, features and usability of the site full-steam.
I have no intention of stopping news journalism though: I will continue to edit the front-of-book news section and will coordinate and contribute articles for the website.
I don’t think anyone would argue that the current apcmag.com site is a “renovator’s delight”, “filled with potential” and in “period style”.
My involvement with Whirlpool taught me that building the popularity of a website for tech enthusiasts isn’t rocket science: it’s common sense, persistence, providing usefully organised information and reacting quickly to feedback from users. That’s the approach I’ll take with apcmag.com.
It’s interesting to look at the online tech landscape in Australia: AustralianIT and ZDNet do well in the IT space, covering computing for business. But no-one does particularly well in the personal computing space. I realise that’s a big call, but it’s what I think. I’m happy to hear contrary views.
In my mind, IT and personal computing are like chalk and cheese; enemies of each other. IT is all about stability, redundance and predictability. It often involves ‘locking down’ and preventing users from doing things that introduce risk into a computing environment. On the other hand, personal computing is all about pushing the boundaries, experimenting, trying out the latest stuff, and doing more with your computer.
At the same time, I don’t think ‘personal computing’ is the same as ‘the overclockers/modding crowd’ which is served by Overclockers.com.au and Atomic. Nor is personal computing as limited as the world of “gadgets” that get a lot of page space in newspapers and on cnet.
Ironically, Whirlpool, a site which has stuck very closely to its core mission of ‘broadband news’ since its inception, is probably doing the best job at the moment of providing a valuable site for Australian PC enthusiasts. This is incidental to its core mission — over time, generalised computing forums have been introduced to meet demand, but it has never been the thing that the Whirlpool admin team focused on.
I have many ideas about how we will provide a useful site for Australian PC enthusiasts at apcmag.com (and I have no intention of competing with Whirlpool – APC’s site will be complementary).
In other news, Dan Anderson from Intel sent me this pic of me at the press conference for the launch of the Viiv platform recently.
I think I was in the middle of saying that it was all very well to be able to set up a wireless network using only a remote control, but what about entering credit card numbers, expiry dates and CCV numbers for each DRM’ed movie/music service you access? (The answer was: errrr… we really like the idea of a unified payment login but we don’t have it yet.)