Welcome to the new ReadWrite. Today we are relaunching this legendary tech site with a new name, a new design and a new approach. I’m thrilled to be joining ReadWrite as the site’s new editor-in-chief, and to be teaming up with Fredric Paul, a veteran tech journalist who is our new managing editor. And I’m very excited to tell you about our plans.
Change, For The Better
First: I know change is scary. But if you’re one of ReadWriteWeb’s devoted long-time readers, please know that we remain committed to delivering the kind of smart, thoughtful analysis that you’ve come to expect from the site since its inception in 2003. We hope to build on that legacy and add to it.
As for our new name, the rationale for the change is pretty simple. Technology has evolved beyond the Web, and we’re adapting to keep up with the changing digital media landscape.
The new design is fresh, clean and modern, and easy to navigate. The top box lets us highlight a story that we think is really important, and enables us to run big, beautiful photos and illustrations.
What you might not notice at first is that the site has been rebuilt with a tablet-first approach, meaning that instead of starting with a PC and browser as our reference and then scaling that design down to mobile devices, our designers and engineers used mobile as a starting point and worked out from there. We’ve built a proprietary publishing system called Orion that has been developed under the direction of the experienced and talented John Vars and Eric Dahl.
You’ll find that as you move across your various devices – laptop/desktop, tablet, smartphone – the site seamlessly adapts itself to where you are, rearranging itself as if by magic. It’s incredibly responsive and smooth, and boasts slick new features like variable scrolling, contextually aware smart feeds, deeper social integration and improved navigation. This new design was dreamed up and brought to life by our creative director, Alex Schleifer, and the world-class designers and engineers on his team.
ReadWrite’s Expanded Coverage
But all that stuff has to do with how you read. Let’s talk about what you read. We have a great core staff of writers, and over time you’ll start to see some evolution in the tone and scope of our coverage.
We’re doubling down on mobile, because that’s where the action is. The mobile computing wave is the biggest thing that’s happened in the 25 years that I’ve been writing about technology. But it’s more than that. Mobile devices combined with social networks are evolving into a new mass medium that will displace television and define our age.
As for the tone: We want to turn our writers loose and let them write from the heart, in ways that are more personal, passionate, provocative and fun than ever before. We want ReadWrite to be a lively place filled with wit and energy, a place where you find great stories told in a convincing, engaging way, with brains and a point of view.
We also plan to bring in a wider mix of voices, inviting interesting people from across our industry to share their ideas and opinions. These will include entrepreneurs, investors, authors, academics, industry executives and, most of all, readers.
The best thing about digital publishing is that the audience can be part of the show. We really want to find ways to turn readers into contributors, so that ultimately the site belongs to them as much as to us. In our vision of success, ReadWrite becomes not so much a publication as a conversation.
The Say Media Connection
ReadWriteWeb was launched in 2003 by Richard MacManus, a visionary writer and pioneer of online publishing who built a devoted global following. Richard remains a hero to us, and every day we remain mindful of the need to live up to the standards he set.
Last year ReadWriteWeb was acquired by Say Media, a forward-looking media company from San Francisco that operates a stable of properties including XOJane, Dogster, Catster, Remodelista and Gardenista. Say Media started out as an advertising network, so it understands the business side of the equation as well as the importance of powerful content that keeps readers coming back for more.
Also part of the Say Media family (we call ourselves “Sayers”) is an incredibly talented engineering team behind our award-winning Orion publishing platform. As the media business increasingly becomes a technology business, teaming up with this kind of visionary talent gives us a huge advantage. We’re able to optimize the way you view the site to ensure an amazing experience online and on mobile devices.
SAY’s management roster reads like an all-star team of digital publishing. These folks really get the Internet. Our CEO and co-founder, Matt Sanchez, is a techie who studied engineering and computer science at Yale. Our president, Kim Kelleher, was previously the publisher of Time magazine. (Yes, that Time magazine.) See why we’re excited?
The History Of Dan Lyons
As for me, I’m joining from Newsweek, where I was technology editor. Before going to Newsweek I spent a decade at Forbes. I also created The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs, in the persona known as Fake Steve Jobs. Fake Steve will not be making any appearances on ReadWrite. But his spirit of candor and irreverence remains part of everything I write.
So: we are blessed to have the best of both worlds. We have a great brand built on the legacy created by Richard MacManus; and we have the support of a smart, growing, tech-savvy parent company. Now it’s up to us – and to you – to figure out what ReadWrite will become next. The only way to find out is to leap into the digital stream and start experimenting. Some stuff will work, some stuff won’t. We’re pretty sure you’ll tell us which is which.
We promise you that we will do our best to find great stories, to be entertaining, witty and passionate, to write from the heart, to tell you what we really think, to admit mistakes when we make them and to deliver the best coverage of the digital revolution that we can. We hope you will come along with us and become part of creating the future.