Tell me about JoeTech?
JoeTech.com was originally just a domain before people were really blogging. I buy and sell domains and figured I’d probably need it one day, so I bought it. In 2006, I decided to install WordPress and start a blog. I had been using social sites to talk about tech products and topics I was passionate about to friends, but I wanted a more controlled atmosphere with a targeted audience and a blog just seemed to fit.
What was your first computer and your first website?
My first computer was a Tandy 1000 from Radio Shack. Of course, it was really the family computer, but I spent more time on it than anyone else. I’d tinker so much with the software and hardware that I would often break something and then have to fix it before my dad got home. I was 12 or so at the time, so not getting grounded was great motivation for me to quickly learn how to restore the operating system and put the hardware back together.
What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie blogger?
I have to go with what so many successful bloggers like ShoeMoney and John Chow have said over and over. Blog about what you have a passion for. When you move too far away from your passion, your relaxing hobby becomes a job, and usually an unhappy one. When I started out, I was copying the same old posts about products with a stock image and small paragraph. Every other blog had those posts (and many still do) and I wanted their traffic. It bored me and my post frequency suffered greatly because I wasn’t motivated by passion. Now I blog about what I’m passionate about and while a post takes hours instead of just five minutes, I’m enjoying it and I look forward to doing it three years into the game.
What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
I have some great advertisers, so it’s hard to answer that. I would say that wanting me to change their ad constantly would be a pain, but I’ve only ever had one or two requests. I’m sorry (and a bit pleased) that I can’t give a more complete answer, here.
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
One of my biggest pet peeves is when I go to my feed reader and see four or five technology blogs posting the same short review of the same product or they all post generally the same thing about a recent story.
Usually, these blogs have a lot to offer, but when this happens, I feel like it junks up my reader. It’s different if it’s a hands on product review and each blog has their own unique review.
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
Make Money Online blogs are all over the place, but most of them are trying to get rich fast and easy and forget that it takes a lot of work.
I see a shift taking place in mass media right now. It feels like more and more people are becoming part-time journalists with their blogs and I think we’ll see a huge increase in blogs that cover daily news.
I’m also seeing a lot more blogs that do just product reviews and as companies continue to embrace social media more and more, these blogs will become more and more popular.
What new ideas are advertisers coming up with to take advantage of new trends?
The smart marketing companies are jumping right into Facebook, blogging, and Twitter. The iPhone is really becoming a marketing platform these days, as well. We’re seeing more and more artists and companies with Twitter accounts and iPhone applications to talk about and show off their products. Advertising is becoming more and more about genuinely connecting with the customer and less about the actual advertisement.
What do you do to improve the world?
That’s a question we should all ask ourselves frequently. As a blogger, and social marketer I try to keep my eyes open for giving opportunities.
I participated in a blogging drive for DonorsChoose.org and 100% of the funds from my first sponsored posts with SocialSpark went to Tyler’s Hope, which gives to qualified groups pursuing breakthrough treatments and cures for the various forms of Dystonia. I also dragged my wife out to the Water charity event to help raise money to drill wells in parts of the world where clean drinking water is rarely experienced.
What do you do that is green?
At home, my wife and I are careful to recycle our cans and plastic bottles and we use canvas shopping bags to really minimalize our dependence on plastic or paper bags that have to be recycled. We are also conscious of our electricity consumption, using energy efficient light bulbs and turning off devices when not in use. I’m currently reviewing a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid for JoeTech.com and just may make a move from my fuel efficient Honda Civic to a Fusion.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I was on a daytime talk show in 1994. The topic was Internet Dating.
That’s all I’m saying about that. =)
What’s your favorite book?
It has to be The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.
Long ago, I wrote short stories and when I first read this book, I realized that he and I write almost exactly the same. Anyone who hasn’t read it should.
What is on your iPod?
Honestly, I don’t know. I’m usually in front of a computer, so I almost never use my iPod. My iPhone has zero songs on it. I listen to a wide variety of things like VNV Nation, The Smiths, Frank Sinatra, Nine Inch Nails, Johnny Cash, Frau Frau, Eminem, etc. I really have an eclectic mix.
What are your contact details (email, twitter, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?
Company: JoeTech.com, 1702 W. Camelback #13, Phoenix, AZ 85015
How do you prefer to communicate?
I prefer email over most forms. I can answer it on my own time and review my response before committing to it, unlike a phone call.
Who would you recommend, and why?
There’s a couple people I recommend reading. First is John Chow (www.johnchow.com). Although I never really read his food posts, I find that he is a true thinker. He always sees the marketing angle and is usually the first to share it with the world. His posts get bookmarked by me more than most others, which is a good barometer. Another blog I highly suggest reading is Mashable (mashable.com). Again, I end up bookmarking a lot of posts from Mashable. They offer some great reviews and insight on emerging sites, especially in social media.
Who would you NOT recommend, and why?
That’s hard to say. There have been many deleted from my Google reader, but I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone “don’t read that blog”.
However, I found that I loaded up my reader with a ton of blogs I thought would interest me. I read them in order of preference due to time constraints and I’ve slowly been deleting the ones that end up never getting read. For me, this has worked well to weed out the stuff that won’t benefit me in some way.
Where do you want to be in 5 years?
I co-founded a couple technology companies before JoeTech.com, so I don’t really see myself quitting my “day job” like a lot of bloggers aspire to do. Instead, I will probably be still working in the office during the day and blogging at night. I do have some lofty goals for JoeTech.com, however, in regards to overall readership and name recognition. My hope is that in five years, I will have met or exceeded those goals. I don’t need to make $30,000 a month like John Chow, but working hard to get to a similar level should make blogging easier in the long run.