I thought I’d take a step back from product reviews and random tech news to discuss why I personally started this blog.
This post has no pretty pictures and is just a look into my desires for getting my hands on technology and sharing that knowledge learned with other people. Read at your own risk.
The Deciding Factor
The final tipping point of starting a blog came when I wanted to try out a new Xoom tablet to see exactly how it compared to an iPad. My only problem was that I wanted to use it more than a few minutes in a Verizon store and I couldn’t afford to keep dropping several hundreds of dollars on new technology that seems to come out at least every month. This was the culmination of many years following tech news and always having advice for my friends on the question “What phone should I get?” I decided to take those experiences online to share with more people.
Following Tech News
Prior to this tipping point I had come to thoroughly enjoy looking at the newest tech news. I would become almost giddy with new iterations; a testament to my inner geek. I had known about CNET and Ars Technica for a while, reading articles every once in a while but never following them. Once I got into college I became more impressed with these tech gadgets. You really appreciate exactly what they can do when you take computer engineering classes and have to code and design some things.
It was some time in college that I started to follow Engadget. That site really excited my interest in gadgets. It also helped that Apple shook up the mobile industry with the iPhone. It was an amazing product in its own right. I think the biggest impact this device had on me was watching the industry innovate after the threat of the iPhone. Before it, the world knew BlackBerry and Windows Mobile as the smartphone platforms. Oh, how things have changed.
My First (and current!) Smartphone
My first personal smartphone was the HTC Incredible, which I still rock today with Cyanogenmod 7 (sorry HTC, you update too slow and CM7 runs faster). The months leading up to me getting this phone consisted of following details on the Nexus One, including at Android Forums. I really wanted that phone. It was first released for T-Mobile, and was announced to be released for Verizon later in 2010. Perfect, now it was just a waiting game, right? Except Google/HTC/Verizon decided that it was not going to release it for Verizon anymore. Ugh! Good thing I followed some Android Forums threads so that I was aware of the HTC Incredible. It was definitely the right call with all the research I did leading up to it.
After my first smartphone purchase I continued to be a regular reader of Engadget. I enjoyed their concise reporting on tech happenings. It never seemed bland but I still got the pertinent info I needed. Then I started making time to listen to their podcasts – oh man that was awesome. They had an awesome time doing those podcasts and I could tell they enjoyed what they did; being on top of what’s new in technology and being able to share this with the rest of the world.
Wanting to See the Next Technology
I loved using my Incredible but always liked seeing what other friends had when they got new devices. I think the Incredible and a lot of other devices at that time were such improvements over the OG Droid that I started to pursue seeing what was next. I could tell what phones were when people would take them out of pockets or go to unlock the phone. Nerdy for sure, but I like this stuff. The only problem is that I never get to use their phones or devices for more than a couple of minutes, so how can I see what is a truly great experience or feature?
The solution? Buy a new device! Oh wait, which one to buy? There are so many I want to use and see! Well I am somewhere in the 99% that everyone keeps talking about so I couldn’t keep going out every few weeks to buy the latest device. This is when I decided to venture in to the blogging world and try to contact companies for potential reviews.
The Results of my Blogging Efforts
This little blog is no way a smashing success that changed people’s lives but it helps me express my love for technology. I also appreciate all the great content that professional writers create as I find it challenging to create content sometimes. Sure I am very passionate about this stuff, but sometimes life happens and you don’t feel motivated all the time to work on a blog.
I have been lucky to receive some devices for review and I really appreciate these companies allowing me to keep up with the latest technology so that I can share that knowledge with my friends as well as on this blog and the web. There have been plenty of companies that do not respond to me or do not have any devices for me to review, and that’s okay I guess. I still keep up with the news and other sites that do get to review these things. Just another lesson to myself to not give up on what you enjoy.
Even after I started my own blog I had continued following the Engadget website and podcasts until a lot of the editors and contributors started to leave the site. Some stated issues with AOL and how they started to run things as money only. Clearly it seemed like they wanted to still have fun every day they did their posts and podcasts. The legendary Engadget crew (Joshua Topolsky, Nilay Patel, Paul Miller, and plenty of other very talented people) recently launched their new site The Verge, under VOX Media, and it looks pretty awesome. They set out to rethink how a tech website should be instead of simply using a news format. It looks pretty cool and you should check it out. But still check out my site!
I still read some of the Engadget articles and listen to their podcasts, but I feel that the people over at The Verge have more fun with their site.
Follow Your Passions
I think the take away point I want from this post is to follow what you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid of doing something that other people typically don’t do. Heck, maybe you’ll be wildly successful at it. When that happens, you can send me a check for being a muse!
Your quality of work and what you talk about shows when you are passionate about it. Hopefully the posts on this site show that for myself.