Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Revision3 and Tech News

While scrolling through the YouTube frontpage tonight I noticed a new video from TekZilla.  While it was three weeks old, it was still new to me.  The Best College Laptops!  I found this strange since the show had its last episode a week before that.  I totally understand how something like this happens; if you have content then you should post that content because it will get views and views generate ad dollars.  It's just a kick in the ass on the way out I guess.

What really frustrates me is that it leaves a void of quality online tech content.  Not that Tekzilla has really been knocking them out of the park in recent times.  It was a well produced show with good hosts.  I really liked the addition of Shannon Morse but miss seeing Robert Heron, Veronica Belmont, and Roger Chang.  Speaking of Shannon Morse, she's also on another great web show called Hak5 that has managed to maintain it's high quality content much longer than I thought it would.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was the next on the chopping block by Discovery though.   They managed just fine before Discovery and Revision3 though, so I think they will be just fine.

Luckily there are some alternatives out there.  Youtube has allowed anyone with a webcam to monetize their content and some people with good content are able to make decent money doing what they love.

Marques Brownlee MKBHD is one of them and the quality of his videos is great, but his content focus tents to be on phones and wearables these days.

Linus Tech Tips is another.  I don't particularly like Linus but I appreciate his dedication to things that are outside of the norm and sometimes a little crazy.  I often find myself thinking "That's a stupid idea, why would anyone watch this" then watching the whole video.  Recently he had a video about wireless access points and ends up throwing a pretty nutty amount of clients on them.  He also has a currently running series of videos of about tieing several water cooled rigs together and placing the radiator outside...

Tested is advertised as a new show with Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, but is mostly hosted by Will Smith and Norman Chan.  Good content in just about any form you want: RSS, YouTube, several podcast, and social media.  I didn't dig too much to figure out how it's sponsored, but the content is good so who cares right?

Tek Syndicate is another YouTube channel that I like, but don't necessarily like the main host.  I find Logan Hale to be more of a personality like Patrick Norton and not really an expert on anything.  Enthusiast?  Yes.  Bear lover?  Apparently so.

TWiT is Leo Laporte's current thing.  You'll also notice other familar faces from Revision3 G4, TechTV, ZDTV... etc.

I'm sure I'm forgetting several, but I'm going to shift gears into what I consider Short Format Tech Reporting.  They are sites that are mostly focused on ad driven tech reporting and not in depth reviews or reports.  Most of these are sites that have a solid web presence and kick out videos that don't really add much, but do send a few more dollars their way.  The Verge, Ars Technica, Re/code all fit into this category.  I read all three almost daily because they are still a good source of news.  Others haven't fared so well and should be avoided.  Engadget went downhill when it was acquired by AOL.  SugarString was sponsored by Verizon and as such its journalistic integrity was completely compromised and the content wasn't anything you couldn't find elsewhere.  Others such as Gizmodo, TechCrunch, TechRadar and a million others are all the same.  Pick the website that is most pleasing to your eye or just use an RSS reader like NewsBlur.

The last real foothold of quality tech content on the internet is what I consider Long Format Tech Journalism.  Sites like AnandTech, Tom's Hardware, Bits (NY Times), and SmallNetBuilder.  They all have long format articles that go very in depth and take a long time to write.  They will sometimes mix in short format news, but usually only the good stuff.  You probably won't see Samsung's latest middle of the road Android phone press release poorly reworded into a "post" on these sites.

Lets wrap this up.  Tech news is just like any other news.  They will all probably be acquired by someone else or change into something else at some point.  ZDTV became TechTV became G4 became Twit and Revision3 which was bought by Discovery.  AnandTech works with Tom's Hardware now.

If you want good content then figure out who is actually making it and follow them.  Focus on people not companies.

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