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RAGEPRO
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:25 pm

He means Anandtech, presumably.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 1:39 pm

Independent journalism is dead. The front page of TR has been effectively a ghost town since Kampman stepped down. News from March 7 still appears on the front page two full weeks later. [H] is gone (by the end of next week). All of the acquisitions over the last 5-10 years. I'm happy for those guys who made the leap from journalist to hardware maker in some fashion, but I'm really freakin' sad for the rest of us who relied on those guys for unbiased (or in Kyle's case, amusingly biased) reviews with deep detail we're basically screwed.

Strap in for cursory reviews and nothing in-depth.
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:15 pm

We've been working up to this for quite some time, I mentioned it 3.5 years ago:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=116265&start=240#p1283917

I specifically referenced what Damage said 5 years ago:

https://techreport.com/blog/26153/intro ... scriptions

Damage wrote:
Although PC gaming and enthusiast systems are a growing segment, the overall market for PCs has been in a prolonged slump. Advertising dollars have moved elsewhere. We have been attempting to hold steady and keep our current, long-tenured staff intact for the past few years, but the reality is that we've been slowly bleeding money.


It's sadly inevitable, it seems.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 2:17 pm

Thanks, Facebook! (and others, but FB is probably the biggest offender IMO)
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:11 pm

What the heck? I've been writing tech stuff for literally weeks and how come I don't have a job at Intel or amd?
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:32 pm

techguy wrote:
FireGryphon wrote:
By AT do you mean Ars Technica? It’s not really a tech site anymore, just a news aggregate.


Anandtech.

Ars Technica is utter garbage. Slightly better than the likes of the Verge, IMHO.


I may be in the minority but for Science and Cars there are still some writers at Ars that aren't terrible. Also boardgaming occasionally.
Specifically:
John Timmer
Eric Berger
Beth Mole
Sean Gallagher
Tim Lee
and Johnathan Gitlin
I don't read articles by others on the site. YMMV but for space in particular they do have some good stuff.
But for Tech and Enthusiasts, utterly worthless. And don't get me started on their "geek/pop culture" articles.

Having said that, honestly this announcement tipped the decision for me to subscribe to TR, and I hope it does for others as well.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:45 pm

I like Eric Berger alot actually.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:52 pm

Eric is probably hands down the best writer they have. Especially if you are a space nut. He's knowledgeable, excited about the field and the state of the industry, but even handed enough that he's not blinded by biases for or against NASA, or SpaceX or whatever the flavor of the week is for bandwagoning.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 3:55 pm

DancinJack wrote:
Thanks, Facebook! (and others, but FB is probably the biggest offender IMO)


Honestly I think it's more likely YT and maybe twitch or Instagram. Linus Tech Tips and other 'influencers' are getting the advertising dollars because it moves units, especially the high margin ones.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:23 pm

What are the top expenditures for a site like TR? Maybe there's a gerbil or two with connections who could get them vip pricing on hosting, or something of that sort?
 
DancinJack
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:40 pm

Ikepuska wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
Thanks, Facebook! (and others, but FB is probably the biggest offender IMO)


Honestly I think it's more likely YT and maybe twitch or Instagram. Linus Tech Tips and other 'influencers' are getting the advertising dollars because it moves units, especially the high margin ones.

You're thinking far too small. This isn't just about independent tech journalists.
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:44 pm

I wish I could force YT to stop recommending LTT literally all the time. I know there's probably a setting for that, but I don't believe it will work. At work today I've been dealing with Visa, Bank of America, BoA Merchant Services, FirstData, and OpenEdge, among others. Not a goddamn one of them can do their job right and yet they still get to take all the money. I guess LTT is the future. As long as it's not Jayz.

"the position of Director of Enthusiast Engagement for Intel’s Technology Leadership Marketing group" - what a bunch of ****

"I’ll be focusing on helping Intel get back in touch with this audience and re-establishing a voice and dialog on where the company is going with its future technologies.....You have likely read about Intel beginning to take a more open and transparent approach lately in the press." - what a .....nevermind

The spoonfooding has begun, to be followed by the brainwashing.

Final edit, and most important:

"Simply put, HardForum will not make money in any way. It will be left up to its members to fund operations through Patreon. We already have Patreon funding in place, so this should not be an issue."

This clearly will not work. We cannot let TR get to this state. If this happens to TR, I might actually stop using the internet. I don't give a damn about [H], but I like this community a lot.
Last edited by MOSFET on Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:45 pm

I'd like to see a big post on the front page covering this, most people probably aren't going to happen upon this thread and realize how dicey things are for TR or be aware that HardOCP is dead.
If people were aware they'd be much more likely to contribute.
I've upped my subscription as much as I can afford, and I'm sure at least a few others have after seeing this but... well, most people will never see it so the impact of telling us here will be limited.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:59 pm

sweatshopking wrote:
What the heck? I've been writing tech stuff for literally weeks and how come I don't have a job at Intel or amd?


I hear VIA hasn't hired anyone yet!
Lots of room for someone to tell us all about the wondrous glories of the KX-6000 if only we'd leave those tiny companies like Intel, AMD, and Nvidia behind.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:11 pm

Rand wrote:
I hear VIA hasn't hired anyone yet!
Lots of room for someone to tell us all about the wondrous glories of the KX-6000 if only we'd leave those tiny companies like Intel, AMD, and Nvidia behind.

I'd love for someone to finally tell us the proper care and feeding of KT-266/333/400 chipsets.

Yes, some of us remember, and were affected by, Darth VIA.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:34 pm

What worries my more than anything is the consolation. A lot of places either shut down or are being bought. Money talks and big money talks louder. I remember Adam telling me in person stuffed stuff and I was just been away by done demands. I wouldn't put it past these other places to be more willing to bend given the amount of money.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 5:55 pm

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
What worries my more than anything is the consolation. A lot of places either shut down or are being bought. Money talks and big money talks louder. I remember Adam telling me in person stuffed stuff and I was just been away by done demands. I wouldn't put it past these other places to be more willing to bend given the amount of money.

exhibit #1 of don't post from your phone :)
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:48 pm

Does anybody know what the digital advertising landscape looks like? Are the players being bad partners or something? I've heard they take a big cut, but I'm having a little trouble finding out the details.
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 7:18 pm

Regarding Ars writers, Eric Berger and Beth Mole are great. Beth is especially great when they really let her loose with the wordplay.

The Egg wrote:
What are the top expenditures for a site like TR? Maybe there's a gerbil or two with connections who could get them vip pricing on hosting, or something of that sort?


Talked with Adam, have some numbers I can share and others that I can't. Essentially, hosting/administrating TR isn't so bad. We're talking about $600/mo for everything that isn't paying staff, buying hardware, or travel costs. Of those three, paying staff is by far the greatest expense. You may not know, but Adam recently started a full time job to pay his own bills and hasn't personally made any money from TR since the beginning of the year.

Simply put, there's no substitute for regular content produced by a skilled reviewer, and they don't work for free. (I work for free, but I'm a dubiously skilled TR fanboy and my content is highly irregular.) Anyway, my point is that TR has a great process and some awesome tools for producing the content that you know and love, but the budget is a couple thousand bucks a month too low to attract a seasoned CPU/GPU reviewer to put those tools to use.

Hardware costs are also a problem, essentially it's impossible to run the business if we're not supplied with hardware to test. The ROI on purchasing hardware to review just isn't there. I'm not going to name names, but it's not hard to see that some companies don't supply hardware like they used to. That means less reviews, which means less views, and ultimately, less income, and fewer writers. It's a vicious cycle.

Arbiter Odie wrote:
Does anybody know what the digital advertising landscape looks like? Are the players being bad partners or something? I've heard they take a big cut, but I'm having a little trouble finding out the details.


Ad revenue on sites like TR is drying up. It's just not where money is being spent anymore. TR has a combination of income from ads, affiliate links, and subs. Of those three, ads still contribute the most, but not by as much as you may think. Subs are legitimately in the mix and are, IMO, the source of income with the greatest ability to help the site.

Rand wrote:
I'd like to see a big post on the front page covering this, most people probably aren't going to happen upon this thread and realize how dicey things are for TR or be aware that HardOCP is dead.
If people were aware they'd be much more likely to contribute.
I've upped my subscription as much as I can afford, and I'm sure at least a few others have after seeing this but... well, most people will never see it so the impact of telling us here will be limited.


First of all, thank you. :) I don't know if there will be much of this posted on the front page. I may sneak a paragraph into Shortbread tomorrow pointing to this thread. The way I see it, the community has the tools to help TR if they see fit, but I think it has to be a grass roots thing at this point. Que será, será.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 8:34 pm

My two cents, I initially intended something like this as it's own topic, but, here seems like a good place...

I wish I could blame youtube... I *really* wish I could blame facebook, there's a reason why the space race lost so much glamour after Apollo 13 splashed down in the Pacific... It's been more time sense Apollo 11 landed on the moon than the time between first flight and the moon landing.

Exciting leaps and bounds aren't easy anymore, it takes work, money, and, even with a intels R&D budget, time.. you can't pick 2 anymore, Moore's law is the more obvious to blame, but, honestly, how many people were impatient to get the new hot cpu with the integrated memory controller, or the gpu that did both 2d and 3d graphics.. Easy to watch the phone eat up all other tangential tech, but, cpu's and gpu's got there first

Not to say there aren't things to be said, but, the real eye grabbers that bring in the new batch isn't around...

Also, and possibly even moreso, we all grew up with computers, my first computer (my fathers, I was a wee baby) was the C64 (with the muppet learning keys keyboard), we got new accessories every year, kids got the whole package, they look at computers the way we look at microwaves (I'd say airplanes, or even the space race, but, this audience will often still love both)

It's not just that people are stealing the show from print, though, that is happening, it's that the candle is lit from both ends... the move away from print to video (flashiness over quality) the dwindling of new audience members as computers are now ubiquitous, and the longer lead times for new and exciting things are all eating this wonderful place alive, I've never been verbally active, I'm not exactly social (not alone in this here I'm sure) but, this is the only tech news site I've stayed with for more than a month since I got my first cable modem almost 20 years ago.. ok, now I'm rambling, so, yeah, point out any invalidity in this as it has been one long rant, but, that's what it at least feels like to me
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:18 pm

drfish wrote:
Ad revenue on sites like TR is drying up. It's just not where money is being spent anymore. TR has a combination of income from ads, affiliate links, and subs. Of those three, ads still contribute the most, but not by as much as you may think. Subs are legitimately in the mix and are, IMO, the source of income with the greatest ability to help the site.

Is the TR staff open to setting up a Patreon? I’d love to put in a monthly donation amount, but don’t really want to setup another payment provider. I wouldn’t expect any tie-in to TR subscriptions or any “Patreon Exclusive” content. Just a tip jar. The last time I mentioned it, I think it was Morphine who mentioned that the API made any tie-ins difficult, and I personally don’t need any of that anyway.
 
Arbiter Odie
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:34 pm

Or subscribestar. Patreon has done some weird stuff recently, and may not be a good train to hitch the wagon to.
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:09 pm

Warming, I'm using my phone again :P

Can we buy hardware and just let TR use that for a review then they send it to us when they are done?
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:18 pm

One model TR could try is having some core volunteer staff to run the backend and be EiC, but have all content produced by established community members, i.e. those of us who have been around for a while and clearly aren’t shills. The workload will be low enough that it won’t require much money for anyone, just a labor of love. The EiC would curate the articles to make sure they’re up to some standard.

Then again, my opinion is worth what you’re paying for it :lol:
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:12 am

FireGryphon wrote:
One model TR could try is having some core volunteer staff to run the backend and be EiC, but have all content produced by established community members, i.e. those of us who have been around for a while and clearly aren’t shills.


But who decides who isn't a shill? For example, if you asked Chuckula, Krogoth, Captain Ned, JustBrewIt, Anotherengineer, Chrispy, Glorious, auxy,Waco, sweatshopking, and Doomguy who the shills are, you're going to get wildly divergent answers.
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:30 am

godforsaken wrote:
Not to say there aren't things to be said, but, the real eye grabbers that bring in the new batch isn't around...


It's a complex issue, but I do think this is part of it. Any old PC will run Fortnite or whatever the latest mainstream craze is just fine. Between family and coworkers, there are TONS of kids close to me that LOVE computers and simultaneously couldn't care less about the specifics about what's inside them. :-?

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Is the TR staff open to setting up a Patreon? I’d love to put in a monthly donation amount, but don’t really want to setup another payment provider. I wouldn’t expect any tie-in to TR subscriptions or any “Patreon Exclusive” content. Just a tip jar. The last time I mentioned it, I think it was Morphine who mentioned that the API made any tie-ins difficult, and I personally don’t need any of that anyway.


At this stage in the game, no, I think it's extremely unlikely you'll see any new form of financial support options brought to bear. For one, there are no "ROI" guarantees and a 3rd party would just make things more complicated. There's also the simple fact that it already feels awkward enough to point to the existing sub system and ask for support when TR's ability to produce the most important content, CPU and GPU reviews, is currently, well, compromised. Again, that situation is actively being worked on, and by that I mean it's changing literally hour by hour behind the scenes. If TR can lock down a quality staff member we've got a fighting chance, thanks largely to all the work Bruno has done to automate frame-time testing. It's a catch 22 though, because without some extra income, hiring someone is that much more difficult.

DragonDaddyBear wrote:
Can we buy hardware and just let TR use that for a review then they send it to us when they are done?


I've offered to do this myself a few times, but it hasn't worked out yet for various reasons. It's definitely something worth considering. First though, we need to fill the hole regarding who would review it. From there, reaching out to that person directly would be the place to start.

FireGryphon wrote:
One model TR could try is having some core volunteer staff to run the backend and be EiC, but have all content produced by established community members, i.e. those of us who have been around for a while and clearly aren’t shills. The workload will be low enough that it won’t require much money for anyone, just a labor of love. The EiC would curate the articles to make sure they’re up to some standard.


I love the idea of a site/community run by the community for the community. Seriously, that's the dream, 100% complete and total independence, only answering to your audience. However, it would be massively challenging, even with a full-timer to herd the gerbil volunteers. Speaking for myself, a long time community member that has been volunteering my time (and money) for over three years to help produce content for the front page, it's a bigger commitment than you may think. IMO, anyone considering this should be willing to do it pro bono, a true labor of love as you say. Reach out to Adam if you feel the call, that discussion is above my non-existent paygrade. FWIW, I've found it to be extremely rewarding.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Thu Mar 21, 2019 6:53 am

Would there be value in community-submitted results? For simple benchmarks (especially those like the recent Cinebench that is literally a single-button run), if there was an easy way for community members to submit their own results, then the reviewer could choose which community results to show in the reviews against the product in question. This could also help with the hardware purchasing costs potentially.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:51 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
Would there be value in community-submitted results? For simple benchmarks (especially those like the recent Cinebench that is literally a single-button run), if there was an easy way for community members to submit their own results, then the reviewer could choose which community results to show in the reviews against the product in question. This could also help with the hardware purchasing costs potentially.


Well, for things that are very structured, like CPU or GPU reviews, it would be difficult. You need as few variables as possible for the testing. However, for things like keyboards or headphones they already kind of do this.

Dr. Fish, I'd happily contribute if I could. I honestly don't even know what I would write about. I feel like there are a so many gerbils here that know so much more than me in areas of interest to Tech Report that it just doesn't seem to be worth offering my help. Maybe I can do something with my masters degree for TR when I start that up next year.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:22 am

I frequent another site, thetruthaboutguns.com. I don't post there, I just read.

There is one thing that has always given me pause about posting on a site, whether commenting on articles, contributing to forums with questions/answers, or even thinking about becoming a contributing author. That one thing is the comments from people who disagree with the thesis of an author's article or a forum member's post.

I'm not complaining about legitimate disagreement or constructive criticism. But they all-too-often go right straight to "this site has really gone downhill", or "I stopped reading the site when so-and-so started writing articles". Get personal much? And so a number of authors are just gone from that site, and I had thought they made good points, offered useful information or personal experience, or just asked a question that needed to be asked. I think this pushes a lot of people away from thinking of themselves as potential contributors.

I also think that there's a lot of available free talent out there, and if you're working for free, you should not be required to deal with all of the bull crap; just some of it.

Now of course...if you're bad, you need to be able to hear constructive criticism and take it as such. But I think we can mostly agree that it's not always constructive on the big bad Internet. I think that chases free and low-cost talent away.
 
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Re: No... not him! Don't tell me they got him too!

Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:56 am

So a thought,

I know TR has the Macronis discount for subscribers, but as I was ruminating about this thread last night I thought about the 'fundraiser' that Ars had, which included a yubikey. Now I don't know relative viewership or economies of scale but to be completely honest, a few articles about 2fa security, followed by the offer for a yubikey with a ++ subscription really changed my mind on a sub to ars. And of course once subbed it's a lot easier to just let the auto-renew do its thing. I was wondering if a similar approach might work here. Honestly I'd seen some sites do other drives for subs before, but I've never seen one with such an apparently positive response as that one.

Just my 2c.ff

Edit: typo
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