iThings Considered

Running a Mac Web Site

The Good, the Great, and the Greater

Jake Sargent - 2001.05.04

My experience with Macs and writing about them goes way back before I started iThings Considered at Low End Mac. Just a few months ago, I was President of TheMacMind.Com, a Mac Web site that I took through many stages - from a review site, to an opinion site, to a news site. I stopped running The MacMind because of the high amount of stress involved, but it is still up thanks to Stefano Scalia and Steve Salas, who are now managing it. As I said, running The MacMind was a stressful experience, but one that was also filled with many great challenges and hidden secrets. Now that I've departed from The MacMind, I can share the secret life of running a Mac Web site with you.

Evaluation Copies

Choosing the Mac as your platform of choice is obviously the wiser one, but it can get pretty costly. Lucky for Mac Web site managers, presidents, and editors, we can get nearly any Mac-realted product that we want for free (it's even FedExed to us at no charge!). Of course, we have to write a review of it, but that's certainly worth a copy of Office: Mac 2001 arriving at your door step the day after you talk to Microsoft's press relations manager. Sound enticing? Just remember that it can get hard to keep up with all of the evaluation copies you get in the mail.

Learning about Upcoming Products before Release

As I've mentioned in previous columns, one of the great things about the Mac community is the love of rumors. While running The MacMind, I was notified by quite a few companies of their upcoming products before an initial announcement was made. OK, so I didn't know that Apple was going to release the the PowerBook G4 at Macworld San Francisco, but I did get a few leads on some software titles.

Press Passes, Priority Seating, and the Line-Free Keynote

Ah, Macworld - the exciting tech event that occurs every six months in San Francisco and New York City. Before becoming President of TheMacMind.Com, my main memories of Macworld were the costs, the lines, and the crowds. After receiving a free press pass and getting admitted into reserved keynote seating without any lines, my views changed. Macworld is no longer a hustle and bustle event where I have to get up at 04.30 in the morning just to see what new products are going to be announced, but more a layed back trip through the land of Mac.

Getting to Meet the Big Guys

It's not that much of a secret, but one of the great things about running a Mac web site is that you get to meet, or at least email, the big players in the Mac community (such as the Woz, Steve Jobs, etc.). No matter how small a site you run, it's not that hard to make these people's press managers believe that you're one of the Top Ten Sites on the Internet.

OK, I know it sounds like running a Mac Web site is all work and no play. But don't jump right into it - why do you think I opted for writing about Macs instead of managing a web site about them?

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