Thinking About the Content Roadmap

Posted on January 20, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Paul with 0 Comments

I wanted to discuss my ideas for building out the content on this site, a plan that is of course evolving according to your feedback. Ultimately, for to make sense, it has to address your needs. So here’s what I’m thinking.

Obviously, there will be daily events that guide some of the content here: Microsoft or a related company will announce something important, which I need to cover. That will happen as expected. But beyond that I tend to think in terms of article series. And with me starting over essentially, some interesting possibilities emerge.

Here are some of the series I’m planning.

Build a new PC. I plan to build two or more PCs this calendar year and will write about the entire process. But there are also some related topics of interest—upgrading an existing PC, for example, and determining which components make the most sense for upgrading—to think about.

Hardware reviews. I will continue to review new devices, in particular Windows detachable/2-in-1 PCs and tablets and Windows Phone handsets. There are already a few of these on the site, and I have almost ten more in the pipeline already.

What I Use. While it should have been obvious that the hardware, software and services I use are of some interest, I only started writing about this stuff because of feedback. And I will continue to do so, but in addition to the occasional “big bang” What I Use drops, I’m going to cover items I use individually as well.

Strategies. This sounds kind of nebulous but there are a variety of broad overviews around things like backup strategies, content ecosystem strategies and so on, and I think there is particular interest for folks who, like me, exist primarily in the Microsoft. If you’re an Apple guy, your life is limited but it’s simple: You use Apple stuff. On the Microsoft side of the fence, things are more nuanced there are other concerns. Don’t worry, I live this stuff.

State of… Occasional looks at where various Microsoft platforms are at the moment. What works, what needs to be fixed.

Vs./This or That. Kind of a head-to-head comparison of various products, specific or general. Xbox Music vs. Spotify, perhaps, or Laptop vs. Chromebook.

Programming 101. Many don’t realize this but I got my start in the industry as a programmer and many of my first several books were programming related. It’s been a long time since that was a primary focus, but I’ve always cared deeply about this topic. I will start with some sort of beginner series, most likely by converting the Visual Basic 3.0 projects from my first book to the modern platform. Guess what: Most of it works fine without a heck of a lot of work, which is pretty amazing when you think that 20 years has passed.

Travel/life-hack. We don’t use technology in isolation, and hopefully everything we do use is both a solution to a real problem and a means to an end. You probably know that I write about travel/travel technology from time to time, and this will continue. But I’d like to expand this into an area I think nebulously as life hacking as well. So many things can be made more efficient.

Basics. Since I’m starting over, let’s step back and really look at what’s going on here. Why use a Microsoft account and how to set it up properly (and securely), for example. Ditto for OneDrive, OneNote, and many other things. There’s a lot here.

Beyond this basic list, I’ve been going through an avalanche of feedback that you guys have sent via the email form available at the “Contact Paul” link above. Thanks very much for that, and please do keep it coming. In the meantime, here’s the top feedback I’ve gotten so far that’s related to site content.

Recommend Xbox and Windows games. I tried to make a dent in this world twice—when Xbox 360 launched and when Windows Phone 7 launched, respectively—but didn’t have much success. I plan to do more of this, however.

Don’t be so US-centric. I get this one a lot, and I’ll try. But the reality is, I live in the US.  It’s hard to escape.

Travel tech. As noted above, this is happening.

Better together. “A series on which Windows-based devices, software and apps work well together for the well connected home would be excellent and very consumer focused.” Absolutely happening.

Write more about OneDrive. “And specifically how you post and maintain large amounts of data that reside outside of the OneDrive directory and on external drives.” This is very specific but yes, absolutely. This is core right now.

Build a PC from scratch. “And not just a home PC but a home theater PC.” This is happening.

The state of the Windows app ecosystem. “Stories about new apps, developers porting existing apps, or Microsoft’s strategy for recruiting more developers would be great.” Love it.

War stories. “Please consider adding some ‘war stories’ specific to windows phone and other windows systems. You mentioned on WW that you had a problem with your wife’s phone that wound up being related to the micro SD card. I would be interested in more detail about what you were seeing and how you decided to proceed.” Absolutely.

Video reviews. This is years overdue. Here’s how I see a video review: Not as a replacement for the text-based review, but rather a short (3 minute-ish) overview that accompanies the review. I will work to get going on this soon.

I still have a lot of feedback to get through, so I’ll keep building out the content roadmap list. But please, do let me know what you want to see. It’s important to prioritize as well.

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