An interview with Purav Desai, author and co-admin of the technology blog, TeckComesFirst, with inputs from Usman Hussain, founder of the site. They spoke to us about the content strategy in place, working with PRs and why wearable tech is a big focus for them this year.
Why should people read your blog? What makes it different? At TeckComesFirst, we have a “less is more” philosophy. By that I mean, we might not always cover everything in the tech world but we cover the most important news and find niche pieces of content to talk about. The less is more approach is further emphasised by the fact that every piece of content we push out is always well detailed and informative.
How do you measure the success of your blog? Most people would argue that the success of a blog lies in page views and unique visitors alone. While this is important, we see more value in the actual feedback on the particular pieces by our readers. This not only helps us to improve content but also allows people to suggest ideas for future content and helps us to know what we are doing right and what people enjoy reading.
What’s your favourite blog and why? I don’t really have a favourite blog, I frequent a wide variety of blogs and technology websites to learn new things and catch up on product announcements. The one I frequent most is TechnoBuffalo – I really enjoy the level of detail that goes into their reviews and the founder of TechnoBuffalo, Jon Rettinger, was my main inspiration for starting to make tech videos which then further developed into tech journalism. This is the main reason I keep an eye on his work closely to learn tricks and improve my own content.
Usman Hussain: I enjoy reading CNET and MacRumors on a regular basis because of the regular content that is published and the also due to the high quality of videos and images that go with the articles. I also read various tech journalists’ opinions on modern technology, particularly MacRumors.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a blog? I asked this question to David McClelland, a well renowned tech journalist last year and he said “write, write lots.” I would further add to that by saying try and reach out to other blogs and do guest content for them. I’ve done a few guest pieces on other sites myself and it’s not only helped me to reach new audiences but it’s allowed my readers to visit the external sites and discover their content too. For any new reader wishing to start a blog, I would say have a focus and if it’s a product announcement or something, don’t just reiterate specifications anyone can find online, share your own impressions even if you haven’t seen the product in person. Some readers will find worth in your words and opinions alone and you can build a great following from this. As an aside, TeckComesFirst does take guest post submissions and who knows if you’re good enough and if we like your work, you might even become a permanent writer!
Who do you work with in marketing? PRs? SEOs? And how do you work with them? I work with quite a range of PR agencies in order to acquire products to review.
I reach out to them by email or phone.
What can marketers do better in liaising with you? While not everyone will agree, email can be quite frustrating. Not only do you have to reply but you have to keep track and remember to send follow ups if people don’t reply. I know some agencies don’t mind if you call them to speak to them directly but I wish some more agencies would also embrace this idea. Talking on the phone is quick and to the point and you get your answer there and then. Another thing is meeting PR people at events is great because you’re not only able to put a face to a name but you can also remember them better so I would say marketers should try and do blogger events more often if possible.
What was your blogging highlight of 2013? My blogging highlight of 2013 has to be the #TalkToTCFTuesdays interview series I started on TeckComesFirst. As part of this series, a new interview is posted every second Tuesday of the month on the site. I had begun discussing this idea since May of 2013 with Usman and he was very excited about it. I reached out to some companies informing them of my idea and the first one Kaspersky was on board and that became our first interview in August as part of this series. Since then, we’ve managed to do written interviews with companies such as AMD, Cambrionix, Nano Magnetics and BURG to name a few. I’m very proud of the fact that I made this idea a reality and that our readers enjoy the interviews. With every new interview, we have another piece of content to show potential companies our work which helps us to reach people higher up in the company. The highest we’ve gone is Vector Unit’s CEO but who knows, maybe one day we’ll be able to interview the CEO of Samsung, Motorola or HTC.
What will be big in your blogosphere in 2014? I think this year is all about smart, connected wearable devices. Especially with major tech companies getting on board and with rumours of Apple and Google getting into the mix, it will be very interesting to see how these products develop. Oculus Rift is another big talking point, mainly because it was recently acquired by Facebook; there could be another paradigm shift in terms of gaming as we know it depending on the success of this product..
Usman Hussain: I feel that the focus will be on technology in glasses and wearable technology like watches. I’m really interested to see how products such as Google Glass and Samsung Gear evolve and how competitors also bring their own products to the market to compete with existing technology. I’m interested to see how this technology advances and how well it is brought to market.