IDG’s PC World and PCWorld.com won more than 60 awards dating back to 2004 when Harry McCracken was named vice president and editor-in-chief. Now, some of McCracken’s best ideas are just getting off the ground.
About a month after resigning from PC World in May, the nearly 20-year tech journalism veteran, in a partnership with Federated Media, launched technology news and analysis site Technologizer.com. As McCracken works to build the site into one that’s “in the A-list of technology blogs,” he will utilize what he calls human-eye optimization—an “art” he says is different from search engine optimization and is a “hundred times more powerful if you do it right.”
One thing that print and online have in common is the challenge of building a base of committed readers. “For Technologizer, that means going from zero page views to millions of them by producing compelling content that large numbers of people on the Web love so much that they not only read it, but also tell their friends about,” McCracken says.
By utilizing human-eye optimization, McCracken hopes Technologizer will be linked to by thousands of blogs and other sites. “I don’t care if the site is the top link on Google for any particular word but I do want to show up frequently on Digg, Fark, Techmeme, Google News, and other sites that reflect what people are reading at any given moment.”
In addition to creating compelling content, McCracken wants to scale the Technologizer community quickly by giving visitors features to engage in conversations and help each other solve their technology-based problems. “I’m building Technologizer on two powerful platforms, WordPress and Ning,” he says. “WordPress lets readers easily comment on everything I post and Ning does everything else.”
McCracken says he hopes it won’t take long to reach profitability. “We’re a small, focused technology media startup without any legacy aspects. That means we can be nimble and fully devoted to making the most of the opportunities the Web presents, in a way that companies with a print component can’t be. We can’t afford wild goose chases.”
STRENGTHS: Small and focused tech startup that can quickly take advantage of Web opportunities.
WEAKNESSES: With no legacy aspects to the business, McCracken must manage limited resources carefully.
OPPORTUNITIES: With only modest resources, McCracken needs to make hard-nosed decisions about what he can and can’t accomplish. Utilizing already-made, free Web tools.
THREATS: The chance that online tech businesses could face the same soft ad market as other media companies.
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