Instead of having a team of people to help me review products like some
organizations, I need to fit in writing about technology between school
drop off and pick-up. So, I put my own team of experts together and
they are called "review sites" and "tech columnists" and "tech
magazines". It is mind blowing how much information review information
is available. Here are the details for the strategy I used to find my personal technology review team, and I suggest those seeking technology advice should also put their own team together (see the bottom of this post for my technology team).
My strategy is to pick the outlets I feel provide good
information, understand that each has their own slant and then take all
the information and try to see what pops out for me. For example, one of the most popular sites for digital camera reviews is
dpreview.com. Yet they are very technical in nature, so some may want
to add visits to CNET reviews, Digital Camera HQ and your favorite tech columnists like David Pogue from the New York Times, Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal or Yahoo Tech.
I was also delighted to find a New York Times article along the sames lines of this post (that I started writing weeks ago..). The article is titled "A Universe of Gadget Advice" and gives a great example of John Boutin’s (the reporter) strategy for finding the right technical information online. Overall, I find this time of year the best time to obtain reviews on technology because of the holiday gift guides. These guides can be useful not only for the holidays, but to choose items for the after holiday sales and any items that were on the "buy" list for the rest of the year.
When you find the sites you like, I suggest setting up online subscriptions or "RSS Feeds" to review the headlines for these sites on a regular basis. You can have the feeds loaded to an aggregator like Bloglines or to your email homepage with Google or Yahoo. RSS Feeds can be used for specific categories like technology feed for CNN or for the whole blog feed similar to the blend of all Yahoo Tech advisors feed. To set up the RSS feeds, just look for the word "subscribe" or "RSS Feed" on the website that you want to add, the instructions are usually easy to follow.
I also suggest setting up print subscriptions for your favorite newspaper or tech magazines. I still enjoy looking over the New York Times or Wall Street Journal as well as some of my favorite tech magazines in print. And there is something about reading the print edition that goes best with my cup of coffee in the morning.
Ok, that last point was in my dreams because lately it seems that my mornings are consumed with feeding and getting my three boys ready for school. So if you are a mom in my position, still keep the print subscription for quiet moments, RSS feeds to your homepage for when the kids go to sleep and email RSS subscriptions to read the information from your email or on your smartphone. Look for email subscriptions that are sent from the publisher with no header from the feed service (like offered by Feedburner) and that also offer plain text or html emails. I find these their feeds are easy to read on my BlackBerry Curve.
TechMama’s Personal Technology Team:
Holiday Gift Guides:
- Staples Tech Gift Guide
- CNET Holiday Gift Guide
- Wired Test 2007 and Wired Wish List
- Yahoo Tech Holiday Guide, Yahoo Shopping Holiday Guide, Yahoo Shopping Tech-Head Teen and the Yahoo Green Gadgets Guide
- About.com Holiday Gift Guide (About’s Computer Gift Guide)
- PC Magazine Holiday Gift Guide
- PC World Holiday Guide
- Laptop Magazine Gadget Gift Guide
- CNET Holiday Gift Guide
- Wired Geek Dad Gift Guide (looking forward to the Wired Geek Mom Gift Guide…)
- Lifehacker Gift Guide
- Engadget Holiday Gift Guide
- O’Reilly.com Gift for Geeks
- Best Buy Gift Center
- Some companies have gift guides on their sites, like HP (Fast and Easy Holiday Photo Gifts) or Dell’s Holiday Shop (sale)
Blogger Holiday Guides:
- Techmamas Holiday Guide (oh wait, that’s me!)
- BlogHer Holiday Guides
- Cool Mom Picks Holiday Guide and Safe Toy Guide
- Alpha Mom Kids Digital Camera Review
- Want Not for holiday deals
- How Do You Do It’s Holiday Gift Guide (and the main blog "In the trenches of motherhood")
- Parent Hacks Store (and Parent Hacks for parenting advice)
- Grace Davis because she provided great info on the Wireless N router (on my gift guide)
- Self-Made Mom Reviews – Gadgets
- Mums the Word Merry Gift Guide
- Only The Blog Know Brookly Holiday Gift Guide
- The Silicon Valley, New York City, DC Metro and Chicago Moms Blogs holiday gift recommendations.
- Walt Mossberg: Personal Technology Column or just check out his blog "All Things Digital". And check out all the other WSJ Tech columnists.
- David Pogue, Paul Boutin and the Personal Tech section
- CBS News Couric & Co Blogs "Eye on Technology"
- PC Magazine Columnists
- CNET blogs
- Wired blogs
- Yahoo Tech Advisors
- Charlene Li’s Blog " Groundswell" new products category
- Or search around for other tech review bloggers…
Technology Review Sites:
- PC Magazine Reviews
- CNET Reviews
- New York Times Technology Product Reviews
- Digital Camera HQ
- PC Magazine Reviews
- Laptop Magazine Reviews
- Popular Mechanics Technology
- Fast Company TechnologyTools
- "Make"zine and "Hack"zine
Knowledgebase (there are no solid guarantees that all knowledgbase info is 100% correct, some sites are user driven so find the resource that fits your needs and keep looking if the answer does not seem correct):
- Yahoo Answers
- How Stuff Works
- Newegg knowledgbase
- Go to the source, for example – to find information on Voice Over Internet Protocol I took a look at the FCC website.
- Google is testing a Wikipedia competitor called "Knol" (click here to see the New York Times article about it.). The article also mentions Squidoo and Maholo which I have not used yet.
Did I miss any? Please comment to add your favorites….