As we tick over to start the new year of 2019, it’s worthwhile taking a second to reflect on what amazing year 2018 has been. While the world of politics went crazy, the world of technology continued to take major strides in making our lives better.
After covering the technology industry in Australia and across the world for more than a dozen years now, I’ve come to appreciate the effort behind the scenes, the late nights that we don’t see, that goes into creating what we have available to us today.
For those unrecognised designers, engineers and developers, I’d like to say thank you, you’re not the ones who get to stand on stage and take the glory of a new product release, but you are the reason it got made.
For those working on hardware, it always amazes that you’re able to ship anything, given you have no ability to fix it after release. For those who work on complex software, your constant challenge to squash bugs, close any potential security vulnerabilities is admirable and often a thankless task.
Technology has irreversibly changed my life for the better, I grew up with it, am constantly learning and am frequently challenged by it. The reviews are an incredibly amount of work to put together, but do server as unique and original content for the site, many times something you rely on for buying decisions. I’m humbled by the opportunities I have to access the latest technology in the world and those who reach out to say thank you for advice, who reply on Twitter, or send me a Facebook or Instagram Message, you make it all worth it.
This year on techAU was a big one:
- The site now has 4,549 articles.
- 109 new posts this year.
- 54 new reviews.
- The site has grown in size, so I’ve just upgraded hosting from 25GB to 50GB (VentraIP).
- This year we introduced a new review format and upgrade to WordPress 5.0 with Gutenberg editor (also SiteOrigin plugin).
- Big home page revamp.
- The website had more than 140,000 unique visitors and 190,000 page views (GA).
- 67.92% viewed the site from the desktop, white mobile made up 19.98% and tablets a still respectable 12.10%.
- While mobile design was improved throughout the year with CSS tweaks, it’ll definitely be more of a focus in 2019.
- Thanks to some advertising optimisation, ad revenue has actually increased year on year and we’ve had a number of businesses purchase sponsored posts.
- Social media audiences are now at around 15K, with 3,118,100 impressions on Twitter alone in 2018.
Also a massive thanks to all the PR people I’ve dealt with, almost without exception, you’ve been absolutely amazing. Doing what I do from a regional location can be a challenge, particularly with the rubbish couriers we have in Australia, but we got it done. Everything from vacuum cleaners, to smart speakers, to TVs, laptops, racing simulators and even a number of cars, this year has been fantastic.
Some of my personal experience and product highlights are:
- Driving the Nissan GTR Nismo around The Bend in Adelaide.
- DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – that flight time and video quality, along with the collision avoidance tech, makes this an absolute delight.
- Honda CRV – My wife and I ended up buying this car after reviewing it.
- GoPro Hero 7 – A recent review, but that combination of waterproof, 4K quality, and hypersmooth stabilisation is an absolute winner.
- Think I’m just about to pull the trigger on an office fit out which means a new 21:9 Ultrawide could be replacing the dual displays I’ve relied on for years.
- The Next Level Racing GT Track I just got in is easily the best, affordable, racing sim I’ve used. I did manage to jump on an insane rig at CES a few years ago, but that’s many, many thousands of dollars.
- Voice assistants in the home (both Alexa and Google Assistant) are now used multiple times a day and having a internet connected doorbell, garage door, security cameras, TV etc is a really nice place to live.
- Driving the Model X and sitting in the Model 3 (definitely want one in 2019).
Personally my wife and I had our first baby this year. If you’ve followed the site, chances are you know this already, she’s featured in a number of the more recent photos. While I’ve always believed there should be more women in technology (90-95% male dominated conferences convinced me of that years ago), but now as a father of a girl, I’m acutely aware of how critical investments in STEM education are to future employment opportunities (she’s 9 months right now so I can probably afford to relax a little, although I am enthused by her interactions with robots like Anki Vector and Roomba, as well as her ability to smash a keyboard with vigour.
Having a child in 2018 has made me look at things differently, it makes me try out things like ISOfix mounts in cars. Speaking of, at the rate of innovation in autonomous vehicles, I highly doubt my daughter will ever need a licence, by the time she’s 16, you won’t need to.
Most of all I’d like to thank all of you, the readers of techAU, you’re why I do what I do, what keeps me motivated, because you’re a community of people that have found value in what I write about and that is something I will always be grateful for.