Amateur tech bloggers aim high with portal site
By Jennifer O’Brien
Aug 22, 2007
The power of the internet supposedly promises that the smaller fish in the sea can now compete on a level playing field with the more well-established tech bloggers and podcasters.
Amateur bloggers and podcasters Gus Terry and Jason Cartwright are a prime example of the ‘little guy’ attempting to go head to head with the big boys.
The twenty-something duo recently hatched the site, www.techau.tv, which aims to be a tech portal that serves up chatter on gadgets, gaming and events.
Offering “tech news with an Aussie flavour,” the team from Wodonga (located on the NSW and Victorian border) is running blogs, podcasts and feeds from the site.
“We want to be at the heart of tech and create an aggregation of cool things going on. Instead of fans having to investigate for themselves, we want to be their one source,” Terry claimed.
Asked how the duo plans to make a name for themselves against the more well-established players, Terry claimed the technology advancements and social media phenomenon is now making it easier to find a voice.
“In a way, we’re on an equal platform and the audience is all connected,” Terry boasted. “The only challenge is, if we start to see heavy traffic, our servers will reach the peak so we’d have to come up with a different distribution network. If we see the volumes like the US has, then we’d run into major problems.”
One of the main features of the site are the tech-flavoured podcast shows. “This is us being us. Our personality is a drawcard to our show. It is two mid-20 guys talking about technology — we do like to have a couple of drinks on the show — and we try to keep it natural and personal,” Cartwright said.
And while Terry and Cartwright would love for this gig to become full-time (and are looking for sponsorship for the shows), the pair have already got full-time day jobs.
Terry, who has a degree in information technology and science, works in an IT department for a Victorian department of education, while Cartwright, who did a multimedia diploma at TAFE, works as a multimedia developer building websites and applications.
“I come from a heavy tech background, love gadgets, and love dismantling things and blowing things up, so for me this project is continuing with that passion and taking it to the next level,” Terry said.
“I always had a plan to do something like this, but it wasn’t until I met Jason that the plans melded together. We both have an interest in a blogger’s journalistic point of view.”
The vision for the site is to turn the project into a media company and offer podcasts on different subject matter: music news is one idea that springs to Cartwright’s mind. “We have a number of videos on the boil and new ideas. We want to create a non-tech podcast, which would be a sub site,” he said.
Terry said securing sponsorship is a tough sell. “Podcasting is an interesting area in Australia. The amount of companies that don’t seem to be aware of podcasting is unreal. In the US, they are loving it, but here more education needs to be done.”
Considered one of the original podcasters, Cameron Reilly, CEO of The Podcast Network (TPN), said he’s not fazed by the growing list of bloggers and podcasters from either well-established players or the new kids on the block.
The network runs a host of Aussie-flavoured blogs ranging from science, technology, lifestyle and religion. The main tech one is called The GlobalGeek Show, which is hosted by Dave Gray.
“The area is becoming increasingly competitive, but that’s the great thing about it: it’s open and it’s going to get bigger and bigger,” Reilly said. “It’s not competition as such, but instead it opens up a bigger audience for us to get out there and grab more viewers.”
The real challenge for TPN and the likes of Terry and Cartwright is getting the marketers on board, Reilly said.
“We’re waiting for the marketers and ad agencies to catch up with what’s happening out there. They are stuck in the twentieth-century mindset. They think TV and radio are the only places to go to spend advertising dollars. We haven’t seen a great deal of momentum towards podcasting.”
“We’re only three years old now, so it’s still early days for podcasting and for the paradigm shift,” Reilly said.