Tag Archives | Technologizer

It’s 2018. Maybe Technologizer Should Be a Newsletter

Next month, it will have been a decade since I started Technologizer, a blog which later became part of TIME but has been largely dormant since I joined Fast Company. The whole notion of a “tech blog” now seems very 2008.

But some of the things that made tech blogging fun–the freewheeling informality, the ability to experiment, the direct connection to an audience–have lately shown up again in a new package: tech newsletters with a bloggy, personal feel. Last week, I was editing an article by JR Raphael about newsletters as a publishing medium–and particularly those created using a platform called Revue–when it dawned on me: Why not revive Technologizer in newsletter form?

So here we go. Over at newsletter.technologizer.com, you’ll find a signup form for Technologizer the newsletter. Issue #1 will go out on Sunday. (At the moment, someone still has the opportunity to be subscriber #1.) [UPDATE: Thank you, first 22 charter subscribers!]

I plan to send it out a few times a week and use it for stuff that’s meatier than a tweet yet doesn’t feel like it should be a Fast Company article. I’ll share what I’m working on, link to what I’m reading, and indulge in a certain amount of tech nostalgia. And I hope you’ll join me.

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Technologizer and TIME.com: The Details on Our New Partnership

If you’re the type who examines Web sites really carefully, you may have noticed something new at Technologizer: the “in partnership with TIME.com” labels at the top and bottom of each page. I’m thrilled to say that our site and TIME.com are expanding the collaboration we established back in September, when I began writing a weekly original Technologizer column for TIME.com. (It also shows up in the magazine–for instance, my story on Quora will be in this week’s issue.)

What does our broader arrangement mean for the Technologizer community? In some respects, not much: The site remains an independent business. I still have the honor and responsibility of calling the shots on editorial content and all other issues; the same folks will be writing for the site. But TIME.com’s sales team will be responsible for selling the ads that make Technologizer a viable business. You’ll also see links to Technologizer stories over at TIME.com, alerting new readers to our existence.  I’ll continue the Technologizer column for TIME and guest contributions over at TIME’s Techland site–and will contribute some more ambitious stories to TIME.com as well.

In short, the idea is to use our editorial and business partnership to bring more Technologizer to more people than ever. And while Technologizer continues to be an experiment in small-scale, hand-made, small-batch journalism, it’s exciting to team up with one of the most powerful media brands ever.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank all the smart people at Federated Media, the company which signed on to be our advertising partner before the site even existed. Without their enthusiasm, creativity, and hard work on our behalf, there might not be a Technologizer at all; I’ll be grateful for their support forever, and am happy to say we still have some irons in the fire together.

Thanks to you, too: As I never tire of telling people, Technologizer is the best job I’ve ever had, and it’s you guys (here, on Twitter, and on Facebook) that make every day a new adventure. You’re an inspiring bunch.

Here’s a story from MediaBistro on the news.


Technologizer Turns Two

A year ago, I declared July 14th as Technologizer’s birthday–which means that we’re turning two today. I almost forgot.

When people ask me what my job is like, I have a standard response: It’s both the toughest gig I’ve ever had and the most fun. I’m not one of those journalists who seethes with doom and gloom about the media business. I choose to be an optimist about the amazing changes this industry is going through; I find new reasons to get excited every day, and can’t imagine a better place to ply my trade than right here.

This is the first era in journalism history in which a paperless, not-many-resources-required microbrand like Technologizer is even plausible, and I feel fortunate that I happen to be around to give it my best shot.

The best thing about my job by far is hanging out with smart people–by whom I mean the community that comments on our stories, chatters with me on Twitter, and visits our Facebook page. Thanks to all of you. I’m in awe of the quality of conversation that goes on around our content, and am immensely grateful that you choose to share your insights and knowledge with us.

I’d also like to thank…

  • …all of our contributors, especially the prolific and venerable Benj Edwards, Jared Newman, Ed Oswald, and David Worthington, plus Christian Johnson, who’s helped out behind the scenes with proofreading;
  • …Steve Bass of TechBite and Dave Zatz of Zatz Not Funny, both of who let us borrow some of their stories;
  • …the fine folks at Federated Media who handle the advertising side of Technologizer and otherwise help make it a sustainable business proposition;
  • …the tech wizards at Automattic’s WordPress VIP hosting service, who make sure that Technologizer doesn’t choke even when a popular story leads to a 60X spike in traffic;
  • …my old pals at PCWorld, who syndicate our articles and get them in front of an even bigger audience.

These first two years have been a blast. There’s lots more to come, and I hope you’ll stick around as we continue this little experiment over the next couple of years and beyond.


Comments Under Construction

If you’re a regular in Technologizer’s comments, you may have spotted a new look today: We’ve switched from plain old vanilla WordPress comments to IntenseDebate, a much fancier system that, like WordPress itself, is a product of our pals at Automattic. It brings a bevy of new features with it, including threading (so you can reply to a particular comment) and the ability to log in using your Facebook or Twitter account. (As before, you can long in with a WordPress.com ID, or comment without registering for or logging into anything.) We’re also displaying tweets that refer to a particular post along with the comments on it.

One of the best things about IntenseDebate is that it’s highly customizable. So let me know what you think–I expect to tweak our setup a bit in the days to come.


Meet the Technologizers: All About Ed

Ed OswaldWhen I started Technologizer back in June of last year, it was never my intention to be a one man band. I knew I wanted a bunch of other folks contributing–in part because I can’t crank out an unlimited number of words a day, but mostly because I wanted the site to benefit from the voices of multiple contributors with different sensibilities and areas of expertise. I’ve been remiss in not telling you more about the people behind the bylines. I’ll correct that in a series of posts I’m calling Meet the Technologizers.

It’s utterly obvious that the first such post should be about Ed Oswald. Other than yours truly, Ed is Technologizer’s longest serving, most prolific author: He contributes one or most posts most days, and sometimes tackles stories before I’ve gotten up in the morning or after I’ve hit the hay. (He does work a different shift from me that gives him a head start–he’s based in Reading, Pennsylvania–but as far as I can tell, he never sleeps)

I first came across Ed’s work when he was a reporter over at BetaNews, a site where he worked for four years before going freelance last year. But tech reporting, it turns out, was not always in his blood:

Journalism was actually not my first choice of profession. Actually as a kid I wanted to be a TV weatherman. Seriously. However, once high school came around I joined the TV crew and took an interest in reporting. My grades in math and science just weren’t there, so I decide to pursue a career in journalism.

Getting into tech journalism seemed natural to me. I have been a tech geek for as long as I can remember. My first computer back in the early 1990s was an old Panasonic portable computer with an included thermal printer and two floppy drives that I picked up at a ham radio swap meet. Couldn’t do much on it, but I could get on Prodigy, and I was in heaven. I can even tell you my first username on there–VSJT79A. Yeah, I’m a dork.

Writing about technology is great fun to me, and comes natural. I love gadgets, and I’ll say the best part of this job is the chance to play with all the latest and greatest stuff. A techie couldn’t ask for anything more.

As you can tell from his Technologizer contributions, Ed is a generalist–but he’s particularly passionate about anything relating to digital media, as well as the products of a certain company headquartered in Cupertino, California. Other beats include “net censorship,  the intersection of politics and the Internet, and online copyright.”

Oh, and his post about a weird auction site called Swoopo ranks among this site’s biggest hits–he wrote it four months ago, and commenters continue the conversation to this day.

Outside of tech, Ed is still a weather buff. And a Volkswagen fan. And a snowboarding newbie. I’m very happy to have him on board–and I’m glad that he’s happy too.

Okay, that’s one Technologizer introduced; stay tuned, and I’ll tell you about the rest of the crew…


Technologizer’s Ten Biggest Hits of September

Is the month over already? Nope–but it will be in a little over seventeen hours, Technologizer time. So it’s only a little early to count down our ten most-read stories of September. Read ’em all!

10. Is Swoopo Nothing More Than a Well-Designed Gimmick? A new auction site from Europe has landed in America. It promises brand-name products at low, low prices. Are there any catches? Yes!

9. Google Chrome: Hey, That Logo Looks Vaguely Familiar! Idle musings on the look, feel, and color scheme of the logo for Googe’s new browser.

8. Twelve Bizarro Googles. We mark the search kingpin’s tenth birthday with a look at weird variants, from Klingon Google to all-spam Google to design-your-own-Google.

7. Windows 7 Starts to Come Into Focus. Slowly. Microsoft is playing it closer to the vest than usual with the next version of Windows, but little by little, it’s beginning to reveal its plans.

6. Apple to iPhone Developers: Don’t Compete With Us? The company appears to maintain that iPhone applications that tread too close to Apple apps will be rejected from the App Store. That can’t be healthy for anyone involved–including Apple.

5. Are Macs More Expensive? Let’s Do the Math Once and For All. We published this story in August, but folks are still discovering it.

4. Project Fakebar: Improvising a Google Toolbar Substitute For Chrome. When I discovered that thousands of Chrome users missed the Toolbar, I tried to help.

3. Ten Questions About Google Chrome. Even before I got my hands on Google’s browser, the implications were rocketing around my brain.

2. Needed for Chrome: The Google Toolbar. Once I tried Chrome, I discovered that it neither supported the Google Toolbar nor replicated its functionality. I was sorry to learn that. So were thousands of other folks, and they all found this post.

And Technologizer’s runaway #1 story of September:

1. The Thirteen Greatest Error Messages of All Time. I named ’em, from Abort, Retry, Fail to Does Not Compete to the worst one of all time, which you’ll need to read the story to learn about. (OK, a hint: Its initials are BSOD.) And then hundreds of thousands of people read my list, and chimed in with hundreds of messages about other famous and infamous error messages they’ve known. They’re great reading in themselves–and will form the basis of a sequel.

Thanks for making September by far the busiest month in Technologizer’s short history. We’re having fun here–and we hope you are, too…

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Harry, Elsewhere on the Web

Just a quick note on some places you’ll find me other than Technologizer:

–I just launched a new blog! It’s called McCracken on Media, and it’s aimed at folks like me who are riding the bucking bronto that is the media business in 2008 and beyond. I plan to share much of what I learn as Technologizer grows there, so if you’re into behind-the-scenes stuff, please visit.

–I also guestblogged recently for the American Society of Business Publication Editors on some early lessons from the Technologizer experience.

–And I’m part of a conversation going on at Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends on entrepreneurial experiences. Here’s a post on technology that’s been unexpectedly helpful. Here’s one on achieving profitability. And here’s one on defining moments.

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Harry @ Small Business Trends

Got a growing business? Then I think you’ll like Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends, a Web site that’s chock-full of real-world advice for small companies that don’t want to stay that way. At the moment, it’s also spotlighting some advice from…well, me: I was invited to contribute to the site’s Small Business Success Center, and had a lot of fun writing a post about some of the dopey things I’ve been known to do when it comes to technology. My post, “Oh, the Tech Mistakes That I’ve Made,” is here. And I’ll be answering a few questions from Anita in the coming weeks about my small-business experiences as the founder of the very small business known as Technologizer. Stop by if you have a chance!

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New at the Technologizer Community: Groups!

If you haven’t checked out the Technologizer Community lately–or at all–here’s a good reason to pay a visit: We’ve launched ten special-interest groups on popular tech topics that a lot of people are interested in.

Each one features a discussion forum and a wall; they’re a great place to find folks who share your interests and exchange opinions and advice.

Registered members can participate in any or all of the groups–and registering is free and easy. (Still skeptical? As with the rest of the Technologizer Community, you can read content in the groups without registering.)

Here are the new groups:

* Windows
* Apple/Mac
* Linux
* Firefox
* Google
* Digital Photography
* Social Networking
* Games
* Vintage Computing
* HDTV/Internet TV

We plan to add plenty more groups, but don’t wait for us–registered members can create their own groups on any topic.

Me, I’m a member of all of the Technologizer Community’s groups. I hope to see you in one or more of them…

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