Web Informant #395, 22 December 2004:

Announcing Strom v2.0




My life has been somewhat hectic over the past several weeks, so I apologize if I haven't had the time to talk to you directly. A few things have been happening to me and I thought I would take time to announce Strom v2.0. It definitely is time for a new version number around here. In addition to getting married today (and what better way to celebrate than to send out a Web Informant?), I am moving back to Los Angeles and taking on a new job. I guess it is better to just do everyone all at once.


The new job is Editor-in-Chief for Tom's Hardware.com. I first began working with the folks at this Web site a few years ago. My new wife says it sounds like the local True Value franchise, but it does have plenty of helpful articles if not the latest Craftsman tool chest to put in your garage. They do hands-on product reviews from a wide group of distributed writers/lab workers around the globe, testing products with a personal yet very practical touch. They are perhaps the largest site to deliver hardware reviews in the world, measured by daily traffic numbers.


If this sounds familiar, it is a very resonant theme with me. My first gig at PC Week back in the late 80s (when I was last in Los Angeles) was doing something similar, and through my career at Network Computing and other magazines I have kept singing the same tune. Early on, I learned that the best writing about products comes from people who understand how to use them in the right context. I have continued to find these like-minded groups of people throughout my career. Or they have found me, as is the case with Tom's.


As I said, the staff of Tom's is scattered all over the world, including labs in Europe and across the US, and that is something that I am used to as well. My first staff at Network Computing was spread pretty far and wide too, and the latest crew that I have been managing for CMP's Electronics group is also located all over the map. But spanning 10 or so time zones will be a new record, even for me. My job at Tom's will be challenging in getting this group to reach new heights, create new products, and motivate them to work together in new ways. I also will be introducing the site to my many contacts in the vendor community, and finding new opportunities for us to work more closely together.


Working at the Electronics group got me re-energized with handling a Web editorial product. Over the last three months, we have launched three new sites aimed at particular segments of the chip design community:





I know, those URLs are a mouthful. But you should check out the sites when you have a chance, I think you will agree that they are wonderful communities for their particular audiences. And it has been a thrill to work with the group I had at CMP/Electronics: hard working, very smart people who get the Web and deliver great and timely content. I will miss them dearly, it has been a fun ride since this summer.


I am proud of what my group at CMP has accomplished, and I will miss my staff and colleagues at CMP they all are a great bunch of people and very skilled at what they do. But the opportunity to run an organization and work for a more nimble company was too good to pass up. Not to mention escaping yet another NY winter and the chance to see the ocean on the left side again. I lived in LA in the late 80s, working at Transmorgorfic Insurance in their IT department and getting my start at PC Week, when the IBM PC was young, when we had DOS on PCs and DOS on mainframes and not much else, and when Bill Gates and I both had a lot more hair.


I hope you all take a good look at Tom's site and let me know what you think. I'll be out in the LA area in February, and if you are in neighborhood let's get together.


Entire contents copyright 2004 by David Strom, Inc.

David Strom, dstrom@cmp.com, +1 (516) 562-7151

Port Washington NY 11050

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