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 Post subject: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:55 am 
Klamath
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To begin, it is important to understand my position. I like the MaxPC crew very much. I have no quarrels with them, and they even featured a passage of something I said in one of their articles for the Jan. issue, which was down right fucking awesome. So, please do not think I am biased, being unfair in what I am about to say, for I have thought about this for awhile now. Please, keep an open mind and opinion while reading what I have to say. Finally, I know that some of you here have talked to me, including the editors, and I have come to respect you and I hope that same is true towards me, even with what I am about to say.

Paul is a great editor. He has produced many good reads, and I often read what he says every morning when I get on my computer for the first thing that I do; however, I think that his content is lacking in what MaxPC consumers are more geared towards: in depth and specific. By this, I mean that his articles deal from a wide range of tech. news, gadgets, hardware, software, games, etc, but all fail to really dig at each aspect of it all. For example, awhile ago an article was posted here about cloud computing: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/featur ... d_services by Edward. Here is yet another one about AMD Vs. Nvidia here: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/featur ... head--head

Notice anything in particular? These articles are in depth, stick to a single-issue topic, and teach us something that the majority of us did not know before;however, this is NOT... I repeat NOT a bash on Paul, for even Paul has posted his own good articles too: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/a ... 100_series ... but then he has not so good articles, that really are kind of garbage for MxPC users, and are better suited for the likes of Gizmodo, which seems to post some pretty random articles. In fact, a month or two ago, there was an article about how CDMA networks work by some other editor... A very great article, which many users commented on and liked.

Examples:
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/t ... unch_liars
http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/f ... ope_200000

While on the whole these may be "interesting" reads, they aren't true to what MaximumPC is suppose to focus on. Often times the MxPC crew will call its followers "smart" in the field of tech., but I have to wonder why we are blasted with articles, such as above, when we can find these types of things on other tech. sites. Paul, from what I notice, has only been posting around here for the past year or so, and in that time the man has managed to generate over 6000 articles... 6000 articles in a year's time... That's 16 articles a day; 1.5 articles an hour. This just totally is a mind blowing number to think about. I have to wonder where he finds the time, which leads me to my next point.

I think that this community should start actively getting involved in creating articles, submitting them to the MaxPC crew for approval, and posting them on the main site. I think that the MaximumPC community has a lot of in depth knowledge that it can offer, and I truly do think that many of us would jump at the chance to get our work out there on an awesome site. If Paul can make 6000 articles in a year, I say he should focus that effort into making articles that will attract the MaximumPC community, such as cloud computing, Windows, Linux, etc.

Now, I realize that we have MaximumTech, but in all honesty, many of the articles for MaximumTech are posted on the main site of MaximumPC anyway. It seems, as well, that the enthusiasm for MaximumTech died as soon as it was introduced. Everyone applauded the idea of focusing deeply on hardware, software, and tech-related events, such as CES, but the enthusiasm has just died out. Rather than beat a dead horse to move, why not just get MaximumPC back on the roots that really do focus on the community's interest?

I have been an avid MaximumPC follower for nearly three years now. I have listened to many of the podcast, subscribe to the magazine (which actually focuses on the grassroots of MaximumPC's commitment), and post here on this website off and on during the months. The magazine isn't the problem, the quality and content on the main site is the problem. I think its time that the community got more involved in posting articles that can help, educate, and guide young tech. enthusiast and old as well. Agree with me or disagree, but I come to MaximumPC because of the community and in-depth articles, not finding out that some fake Nigerian girlfriend swindled an old man out of 200,000 dollars: http://www.maximumpc.com/article/news/f ... ope_200000


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:37 am 
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Paul (as far as I know) is a paid blogger/writer for Maximum PC. There are a ton of these bloggers and the goal of them is to write interesting website news for Maximum PC.

The whole idea of the website is to bring people to Maximum PC in the first place. While I do agree that some of the stories are a bit strange, the stories are designed to be locatable. There isn't too much to write about in the PC industry itself. New products come out all the time, but how quickly would you get bored of a press release for Asus when they release a new graphics card?

I kind of think of the website and the magazine as two separate things. The magazine should focus only on the PC strategic group. Whereas the website can focus on the entire technology industry. This is where Maximum Tech comes in, the articles are posting here because Future US did not set up a separate website for Maximum Tech. Instead, they made Maximum Tech a tag that the bloggers/writers add to stories so all the stories appear under that section when clicked. Everything still posts to the main maximumpc.com website though.

Do I think they should have a separate website for Maximum Tech? Absolutely! But I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon, at least not until it starts gaining more ground, fails or starts a subscription-based model.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:39 pm 
Klamath
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You make a good point, Hackman. I suppose I will have to hope MaximumTech gets going then. :}


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2011 10:46 pm 
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Hi Jedi,

First, no disrespect to your post - feedback is awesome and I'm sure MPC adores it. Paul is certainly capable of being a MaxPC editor, but last I checked he was freelance and a contributing writer.

You speak of "in depth and specific" and Paul (along with the rest of the MPC Crew) does this to a degree obviously. However, "in depth and specific" all the time can also be a bad thing. And, it's hard to define.

In order for a mag to exist, it needs to have as big an audience as possible. It can't be made for simply you or I. And, I think that is what you are seeing. Generalized articles, news, and pulp current events keep the breakfast traffic up. They are the "gateway meat". They are interesting reads and keep us informed if not educated on the latest deep tech. They are backed up by somewhat more indepth articles to appease folk like you. Unfortunately, because there is a quantity limit - some of that quantity needs to be taken up by more accessible stuff to keep the broadest audience possible interests. Make sense?

At least, that's how I see it.

I mean seriously, if you really wanted only in depth, they could make a whole mag no-one would read from that.

Which bring me to my last point; What is "in depth and specific?"

I once had the number of gates on each CPU die of the last decade memorized and categorized by density - in my head. SO, you can imagine articles about cloud computing (which is simply recycled server side app) and nvidia v. amd (which is mainly trivia to me) don't really qualify as "in depth and specific" - to me. To me, "in depth and specific" involves math and understanding things beyond benchmarks I could perform at home. DO you really want to read that kind of Mag? Likely not - which is why it's not published.

Don't get me wrong - ask for what you want - DEMAND it! Just understand that when your demands are not met it's not because folk don't care or don't agree, but because there are realities. One of those realities is keeping a tech mag afloat by being appealing to the largest audience possible.

Personally, I would love it if MPC had the space to go UBER geek in-depth for at least one article per mag. I mean seriously - I would dig on a bit of arduino/processing code or some more in depth tech stuff. But, I would also rather the mag stick around than put a section in that make me (and likely only me) happy.

Ho-hum......I've been awake too long. Cripes I wrote way too much! Good luck to ya! - Have fun.

Just my opinion - don't work for MPC or anything

EDITED - sounded dorky


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:26 am 
Klamath
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Hey Mentalbase,

You make a good point about appealing to a much more broader audience. I concede the point that a magazine would probably be less entertaining if there were complex ideals, maths, etc, involved in understanding how something truly works. Nevertheless, it would be downright awesome if there was a specific area on the website for such things, or as you said, a section in the magazine dedicated to these types of articles that we both would like in our own ways.

Can I do my own research, find things out for myself, yes and I have. Every now and again a great article read about something specific, like the CDMA tower article that came out a few weeks ago, will capture my attention and teach me something new. I think when I talk about in depth, I am really talking about learning something of value and worth from MaximumPC, not Nigerian people stealing $200,000 from some old man. There are many things here to learn about technology from MaximumPC, don't get me wrong; however, when articles, like the one I described above (CDMA tower), come out from MaximumPC, it makes me engaged and interested to read.

Finally, a point about quantity. While I understand that MaximumPC is trying to appease the masses because they are a business, I truly do think that MaximumPC should define itself more , not that they don't, as a place of real learning about technology. Articles, like your PSU article, can be made to be interesting without it being necessarily a "boring" read for everyone. Adding jokes, opinions, and lighting the attitude of the words, while still keeping the meaning intact, can truly make learning something not as tedious as one might think.

Perhaps I am beating a dead horse, as I know, again, that MaximumPC is first a business and second a tech. enthusiast group, but I would definitely, on the whole, love to see more articles that relate to what we have been talking about.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:42 am 
Smithfield
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I agree with Jedi's point. I don't like MPC trying to become a 60% "tech news" site. I couldn't care less about someone getting scammed. If I want news like that there is no shortage of sites dedicated to it. Sites that do it much better at that.

MPC having content like this clouds it's purpose and focus, even if the core team of editors has no hand in it. This is from someone who has been following MPC for 10+ years: content like this muddies what MPC is in my mind. MPC tries to appeal to people like me and newcomers - I shudder to think what their confused impression must be.

One analogy that could be made is that tech knowledge is like going to town to shop. When I want a new microwave I know what kind of store I want to buy it from (a large appliance store like sears). When I want a specialized car tool there is usually a place that springs to mind as a best-fit for my need. Changes like this are akin to each and every store trying to become the next wal-mart or costco going after that 80% of the market in several categories. MPC should not try to become the next wal-mart. It should continue to be a specialized store with a clear focus on what it does. If I were to walk into the maximum pc store 10 years ago and again today it would be very similar to walking into Radio Shack 10 years ago and today. 10 years ago Radio Shack was the electronic enthusiasts go-to place for specialty components and general electronics expertise, today it sells too many products you can find at more than a dozen other stores such as: crappy wireless phone systems, rc cars, rc helicopters while its selection of resistors and breadboard components has shrunk.

I don't want MPC to try to become an emporium selling impulse buy items like candy and steak knives at the checkout (like Newegg). I like it when stores open with an idea/market in mind and try as much as possible to stick to that characteristic. It saves me from having to constantly patrol every store in town to keep up with constant, significant changes in focus.

I understand that the content world is undergoing an upheaval and MPC as a magazine needs branch out to a website. That's fine, but I wish they would avoid stuff like jedi's examples of frivolous news. IMO a news service with a broad focus but low content is not only annoying but useless. If MPC reports on tech related news I think it should have a focus that strongly relates to MPC's content focus.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:24 pm 
Klamath
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@ urmumsacow

It is nice to know that I am not the only one who also feels this way. I think, though, that as I said before, that MxPC is first a business than a tech. enthusiast site. What use to be just a few articles a day from the main editors themselves, has now turned into a massive fuck-load of articles. When it was just mainly the core editors making articles here, I felt more connected to MaximumPC, in a way. To emphasis the main point once more, quality of articles can help a magazine out more so than throwing bizarre articles out there, like the ones I described earlier. As Mentalbase put it, if they started producing articles that were focused on single-topic, in depth reviews, it would probably create for a boring read. "Would" being the operative word, though.

As I pointed out earlier, this problem might be overcome by simply making it so that the words and ideals aren't so tedious a read by emphasizing on jokes, opinions, and the attitude towards the reader with the words.

For example, I could say this:

Ex. 1: Cloud computing is a storage and process computing whereby users can run programs online through dedicated servers, or store important documents to be accessed later on from a server.

Ex. 2: Cloud computing is a fascinating technology marvel, which allows users to play full-fledged games online, stream videos to their computer and home entertainment systems, stream music to their smartphone, and run rich-intensive applications for productivity.

In example one, to me, it sounds dry and to the point. It simply states the purpose of cloud computing, but doesn't offer any incentive to the end user for why it should matter to them. Nor does it emphasis on pickup words, such as "fascinating," or "entertainment." In example two, it clearly states what cloud computing is, and how people can use it in their day to day lives.

I'm not a journalist, nor do I own my own magazine company. These people, I would hope, understand how to run this business better than I do; however, MaximumPC has always advocated that their community of readers are smart, and that MaxPC staff generally favor showing off cool as shit and teaching new things. Why alienate the older generation of readers, so that the site might pickup a few more visitors for bizarre (there's that word again!) articles? If you create interesting content, that doesn't require everyone to have a degree in computer science, you will catch and audience and offer quality to the users. This, in itself, will single-handily separate MaxPC from the rest of the tech. websites out there. Hell, just look at Hardware Secrets. They're a website that takes each piece of hardware they get, strips it down to the bone, and gives an accurate, good review of the hardware.

Hardware Secrets may not be the best example, but it goes to show that you don't need crazy shit to keep people interested. Otherwise, you just create an unattainable goal for yourself, as you're always pushed by the consumer for more and more crazy stories to stay relevant. Again, MaxPC should go back to its "grassroots", or what they claim to be instead of what they have become.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:33 am 
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Jedi you (kind of) contradict yourself there. On the one hand you acknowledge facts and in depth stuff can be boring saying that making "interesting content" will attract people. The problem with making that your only stipulation is that to *most* people these fluff articles *are* interesting. The same way when you turn on the nightly news - something supposedly designed to keep millions of people informed on the big picture in their country - there might be 10 out of 40 minutes dedicated to a scare story of a boy accidentally going up in a balloon. Sure it's *a* news event, sure it tugs at the heartstrings of parents, but does it really matter on a regional scale? Shouldn't any responsible news organization consider it their duty to report on more far reaching problems than one family's wacky hijinks?

More and more I have been going out of my way to try and appreciate boring stuff, kind of like hank hill except he can't help it.

However much of a tech enthusiast I might claim to be, I can be bored to death by charts and numbers too. More and more I've been giving up on those 27 page tomshardware and anandtech articles a few pages in and skipping to the conclusion. Have you ever looked at one of those where they benchmark 20 video cards with 20 games running each test 3+ times? If you add it up holy crap they must have a sweat shop set up for their reviewers. They'll benchmark a video card in 5+ FPS games that are ostensibly the same thing.

I'm getting away from the point though. I realize it's tough to find that perfect balance


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:04 am 
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I realize what I said must sound contradictory, and in truth it is; however, I never did say that having quality, in depth articles was bad, just bad for magazines. I revised that statement later on, though, because I still strongly felt that MaximumPC specifically should focus more on its website with delivering articles that would interest you or I. To be honest, this is what I want, just so that there is no confusion. What I want is for MaximumPC to give out more in-depth articles pertaining to how technology works while still delivering upon the articles that Paul gives out. It just seems all too often that few good articles come out from the editors here, unless you subscribe to the magazine. Notably, there do seem to be some good articles that appear on the website from the magazine, but if that's there way for making up in a lack of what I consider "quality" articles, it is a sad one.

Maybe I am wrong? Perhaps delivering articles in mass and at random works? Maybe I should just get off my butt and do more of my own research. I can tell you one thing, though. I trust something someone else researched, who is a professional at MaximumPC, then I would trust in my own findings.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:43 pm 
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Ya know Jedi, what is missing is specifics. Why not say what kind of article you would really like. Not what style. Not, "stays on topic and gets to the point" - that's actually a bit subjective.

Why not say what your dream article would be? I bet that is far more illustrative. What kind of article(s) do you want to read specifically (give made up examples). That would make more sense.

Anyways, what would be articles you want to see - not examples of what has been done - but examples of what you want that has not been done?

I bet that would be useful.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:15 am 
Klamath
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I don't have any idea what I would specifically want to learn. As pointed out earlier, Paul created an article about PSU that was apparently never released, but which I myself would have liked to read. Point and being, if the community is fine with the status quo, my opinion matters very little in retrospect. I only stated an observation, which I saw, that MaximumPC claims to be all the rage with being informative about tech., and truly a place for the tech enthusiast. Yet, I saw these massive amounts of articles coming from Paul, which seemed to run counter opposite of what MaximumPC was trying to portray. Again, if everyone here is fine with the way things are done, who am I to bash the front door down screaming for reform? As I said, MaximumPC is first a business and second a tech. website. They have to protect themselves, and I understand that, which is why I also say now that I CAN understand, not that I agree with, why MaximumPC doesn't dive into more article writing that I want to see. I think that is what I was trying to say earlier about my position, as it seems right.

To put an end to this debate, Paul is an excellent writer, as well as the MaximumPC staff. I merely stated my observation and concern, hoping that perhaps the community could get more so involvved in writing awesome tech. articles to promote knowledge and this community.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 6:32 am 
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I Jedi wrote:
if the community is fine with the status quo, my opinion matters very little in retrospect.


This is far from true. Why do you think this venue exists?


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:03 am 
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It exist obviously to give MaximumPC and its parent company a look at how they're moving along with the website, obviously. I doubt they care much, though, to really take my suggestion, as I'm just a college student, and they're the ones with degrees. Honestly, if they would, for one week, just release the type of articles I have been advocating for, without having Paul's articles bump them out of view every 20 minutes, I would be happy. I would be happy because if it didn't work out for them, if it didn't generate that extra traffic and what not, at least they tried to promote what MaximumPC is all about. I wouldn't be surprised if Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Dailytech, etc, didn't pickup on some of these types of articles during that "week pilot test." Like I said, I don't advocate either that Paul's articles should be entirely removed. He does produce interesting reads, just not reads I think all need to blasted on this site.

That's my feelings about it. They (owners of MaximumPC) can look at it and give a big "humph," and say one idiot, who is dissatisfied with the site content, does not represent them all. After all, they can just look up my account information, and see I am a subscriber to the magazine, but then again, the magazine is entirely different compared to the site.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2011 4:33 pm 
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They do read this section.

Honestly though, much of what Paul puts up is news. I don't have a problem myself - I like it really. I don't have time or care to surf all over for interesting news. The other content is still there and obviously Paul is asked to put up tech news. Better something new on the page than an article every once in a blue moon - just IMO.

Maybe what would work for you is an enhanced main page navigation system? So you can go to tech articles and skip the tech news? Maybe even a cookie so you can configure it to stay that way or what not?

That could work. Or maybe it's tied to a login?

IDK - and personally I disagree with you now that I fully understand what your beef is, but you should voice your opinion. That's what this place is for. And I know that the editors read this even if they don't reply.


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 5:51 am 
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I Jedi, your feedback (and everyone else's) is always welcome, and as Manta pointed out it does get read. I don't pop into the forums as much as I used to (been a forum member since 2000, back when MPC's message board was hosted by Delphi Forums) or probably should, but I do check in from time to time, and so do the magazine's editors.

So, let me clear up some things. First, I've actually been contributing to Maximum PC magazine and the website since 2006, and have been adding steady news posts since 2007 starting with the Daily News Briefs. Those were replaced in 2008 following an earlier site redesign with the news type postings you see now. We haven't been using thumbnail mug shots for very long, which might be why it seems like I've only been doing this "for the past year or so." Secondly, I'm not the only contributor to the site. I'm the most active during working hours on weekdays, but there are a bunch of awesome and knowledgeable freelancers helping to make MaximumPC.com what it is. And of course the magazine's editors continually update the site as well.

Now, let's talk content. MaxmimumPC.com's always evolving in order to remain interesting and relevant, which is one reason why we appreciate feedback. You might recall that for a short period we were posting a few IT-specific stories every day as part of a "Maximum IT" experiment. That never really worked out and was scrapped. More recently, we've been building up "Maximum Tech," which covers consumer electronic items like tablets, consoles, media devices, and so forth. These are peripheral to PCs, unlike videocards, RAM, overclocking, etc.

You mentioned wanting Maximum PC return to its roots, and what I say to that is, "Stay tuned." Maximum Tech will eventually stand on its own, so if you're interested in CE products and news, you'll find it there. If not, you'll find more of the core PC topics on MPC. This will include in-depth articles, features, how-to guides, and daily news items, just like now only more relevant to what MPC purists want. This doesn't mean you're going to like every news story or feature, but one of the nice things about the recent site redesign is that it's all neatly streamlined so you can skip anything you don't find interesting. Those who are intrigued at in how a guy can be swindled out of $200K by a fake online girlfriend can "Read More" on the topic, and those who aren't can scroll on by to read about AMD adding new Opteron processors to its lineup, or Intel charging tablet makers three times as much for an Atom Z670 processor than Nvidia does for a Tegra 2 chip.

Unfortunately there's no magic formula to please everyone 100 percent of the time, though I'm told if I figure one out they'll buy me a flying car. In the meantime, hopefully we're presenting enough of a mix in such a way that you'll want to keep coming back.

-Paul Lilly


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 Post subject: Re: We need more quality and less quanity
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:16 am 
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Hello, Paul,

Again, allow me to state that this is not a personal attack on you, even if it would appear that way. I am, again, in no way saying that your a terrible editor, or that you're the only editor at MaximumPC. Obviously, throughout this entire saga, my beef was with what I felt MaximumPC should be all about in terms of site content; however, when you specifically said, "You might recall that for a short period we were posting a few IT-specific stories every day as part of a "Maximum IT" experiment." it made me realize right then and there that you folks have already tried to do what I wanted and it (Maximum IT experiment) failed.

My problem with Maximum Tech is that it's going to be, from what I understand, more focused on, as you said, on consumer electronics. While I will definitely find reading articles from there entertaining, it's not exactly what I was getting at. I want to learn from you guys about the type of stuff that you would not normally learn on an in-depth level, such as how RAM stores and regulates information, your P.S.U. article, or just anything that teaches me more about the realm of the technology I take for granted on a daily basis. Again, it is not that I am incapable of researching these things myself, as I have in the past, but I enjoy learning about technology from IT professionals, who understand what they're writing about with confidence. An example was an article written about two months ago that dealt with how CDMA towers work. Now I better understand why my 3G signal sucks in my city, but tends to get better when not surrounded by so much "shit."

I understand that you folks can't possibly sit here and write one in-depth article after another on how specific hardware and technology works, but it would definitely be nice to see more of it more often. I visit the site every single day; its been my default homepage for the past two years. Obviously, if MaximumPC has been my homepage for two years now, I must appreciate the content being delivered, even though I advocate for more articles that appeal to my interest. I also read many articles you make on MaximumPC. It's not as if I look at the headline, see who wrote it, and give a big "humph" if its you. Your articles are a good read, but I've just noticed that the shift has been towards "spitting" out more articles more often. Rather that's due to keeping the site fresh, or just that more and more interesting news about technology is coming out, I do not know.

Keep up the good work, man, by all means. I am just one person, and no one else on here supports my view, so you guys are obviously doing just fine with your current strategy. At the end of the day, I would rather there be a MaximumPC.


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