Hello friends! I hope you've been well -- I know we're all breathing a little easier now that the drama in Boston, Xconomy's home city, is over. My heart goes out to all of the victims of the week's senseless attacks.
In my last update late March, I hinted that something big was on the way. Now I can tell you all about it.
It's called Xperience, and it's the new consumer section of Xconomy. It's a place where we'll bring readers stories about the users of today's latest technologies, rather than just the creators.
Xperience will feature the same kinds of thoughtful, in-depth stories that have always been Xconomy's hallmark. But in contrast to our usual focus on the nuts and bolts of high-tech entrepreneurship, the goal is to help orient readers to the changes going on in the world of consumer technology and help them find the best digital tools for their own needs, in areas like health, fashion, food, travel, entertainment, and education. Here's a 1-minute video explaining the whole thing.
This project has been in the works for a number of months. In a way it represents the expansion of my Friday column, which was always more consumer-oriented than my regular Xconomy writing, into a five-days-a-week format. I've described Xperience to some people as Xconomy's version of the weekend or lifestyle section of a business newspaper; you can think of it as fitting somewhere on the continuum between Engadget, Lifehacker, and The New Yorker. If you check it out, you'll see that it has a very different look and feel from Xconomy itself, courtesy of Web and mobile designer Rob Hunter.
We soft-launched Xperience on March 28 (the same day we introduced Xconomy Boulder-Denver) and we formally announced it on April 17. It's the new home for my column, which was formerly called World Wide Wade, and is now called VOX: The Voice of Xperience.
Among the first flurry of Xperience stories:
- A long feature on Lynda.com, the online library of software training videos and other instructional videos. (To an extent many people don't appreciate, Lynda.com was one pattern and progenitor for the whole online education movement.)
- A column asking whether you really need a to-do list and surveying the best to-do-list apps for your smartphone.
- A profile of Boxbee, a San Francisco startup that's adapting cloud-style storage for the real world -- they'll pick up and deliver your boxes on demand.
- A column about the domestication of 24/7 home video surveillance brought about my companies like Dropcam.
- A look at apps that help you navigate the uncharted wilderness of YouTube videos, with a focus on 9x9.tv, maker of an Android tablet app that organizes Internet videos according to the time of day.
- A round up of 15 great food and cooking apps for iOS and Android.
- A piece about a quirky little project to build a digital fork that tells you when you're eating too fast.
- A thought piece about the narrowing gap between amateur and professional video editing tools, and when it makes sense for amateur video producers to set aside tools like iMovie and instead use advanced editing software like Final Cut Pro X.
We're fortunate to have initial sponsorship for Xperience from design and production studio Stratos and office furniture maker Turnstone, and we look forward to bringing you more stories like this every week. If you've got ideas to pitch for the new section, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, my duties as editor of Xconomy San Francisco haven't changed. Here's a taste of what's been going on elsewhere on the site:
- I wrote about the transformation of cleantech startup accelerator Greenstart into a "cleanweb"-focused venture fund.
- A story that's been in my notebooks since last fall -- about BoostCTR, which is using crowdsourcing to produce more effective search ads -- finally made it onto the site.
- I was the host for an April 11 Xconomy forum on how robots are remaking workplaces and whether a robot might take away your job someday. Here's a slide show from the sold-out event, which was held at SRI International in the heart of Silicon Valley.
- Food has been another big theme this month. I covered the first-ever Food Hackathon in San Francisco (slide show here), and wrote about a move by Boston-based cookbook publisher Harvard Common Press to open a San Francisco office and get deeper into the world of food-tech investing.
- I happened to be visiting True Ventures on the day Amazon acquired True portfolio company Goodreads, an online community for book lovers based in San Francisco. I wrote about the meaning of the acquisition from True's point of view.