Here is part 2 of the interview with admins following Neowin's tenth birthday. This post will be updated later with Tom & Marcel's input. If you missed part one yesterday, you can read it here.
How do you explain your success?
Steve - I think the fact that most people feel like they have a part in the community helps, and that our staff have a say in the decision making process. I have seen communities come and go, and one thing that always sticks out is that the people or person at the top didn't have an ear for the staff or community. Obviously not all community and staff decisions go their way, but that also applies to me as well. Also having a clear staff structure is also an extremely important secret to success for anyone, not just us.
Daniel - It has to be Steve his tireless hour’s of dedication to us and the site. He gives the site direction and purpose and without him I don’t think Neowin would be where it is today.
The title of your home page states, "Where unprofessional journalism looks better". In what way do you not consider yourself as professional journalists, and what makes you look better ?
Steve - This has not changed in ten years, and it can never change unless we're in a position to pay full time journalist staff, right now we do pay for content, but it isn't anyone's full time job yet. I also believed in the beginning the way we presented our content went someway towards a trade off from our obvious shortcomings against the mainstream tech websites.
Daniel - Were unprofessional in the sense that until recently no one was paid for writing the news, it was pure dedication to the fact we are geeks and we like talking about technology. Also this sort of answers the second part of the question too. As there has been no financial reward for the news we wrote it gave us a more honest and un-biased slant on the news.
There are a lot of "Microsoft haters" around, and your site deals primarily with windows. Do you have difficulties with spammers and hackers choosing you as their target because of that?
Steve - I think we've done well in establishing ourselves as a place for Apple & Linux users as well as the primary Microsoft readership. We don't hold the position as a website, "it's Microsoft, and everything else sucks". We've also had our fair share of hackers and spammers, but our staff and community have always been very good at dealing with it.
What kinds of promotion did you use to make your site known, and which proved to be the most efficient ?
Steve - In the beginning I mostly hung out on EFNet, which is where I met fellow Admin Tom Warren, the rest they say is history.
What is your target audience and how do you market your site?
Steve - I like to think our target audience is anyone who has an issue with their current PC setup. We have gained quite a few members through Google searches and as well as good news coverage, I like to think it can stay that way.
If you could change something in Neowin's 10 years of existence, what would it be?
Steve - I think I would have been more active in starting it as a company a lot earlier than we finally did in 2005. We did our best in the first few years to shy away from advertising and allowing ourselves to be sponsored, which brought along many more issues like inadequate hosting and a lot of downtime. Since we registered Neowin LLC in The United States we have been a lot more reliable and suffered a lot less downtime.
Daniel - I don’t think I would to be honest, over the years its been a hard struggle, we’ve wanted to give up at times and sometimes it seems we’ve put more in than what we’ve got out. But looking back today at 10 years of my life with Neowin I’d say its been worth the late nights, arguments and challenges. As my wife likes to point out that Neowin is more than just a site I work on its more like a marriage, the more you put into to it the more you will receive.
The third and final part will be posted tomorrow, along with info on our birthday giveaway!