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Journo Grill: Marcus Austin, Editor of Techradar’s new Business Centre

Posted by Eleanor Dobson on 31st May 2012

Marcus Austin

1. Tell us about the launch of Techradar’s new Business Centre

“The Business Centre is aimed at giving small and medium sized businesses practical advice on how to make their business more effective by using the right mix of IT, mobile and the Internet. We’ll offer advice on everything; from setting up websites, to how to get on to and use social media, to how to buy the best printer/laptop/mobile phone.

“We want to be the number one site for small business technology advice and there’s no reason why we can’t get there. Techradar is already the number one site for consumer tech advice, so we have a very strong base to launch from.” 

2. Describe a typical working day.

“A typical work day – I wish. The great bit about this job is there’s no such thing as a typical work day; every day is different. However, there are some things that I do every day. I spend far too much time checking the newswires, and replying to emails – one day I’ll put into practice some of those tips I give other people on achieving a good work-life balance. I also spend far too much time lurking on LinkedIn and Twitter. 

“There’s a lot of commissioning, and a lot of writing. Occasionally I get to play with some of the good tech that I write about, which is one of the main reasons I like doing this job. I’m a bit of a gadget junkie; the loft at home is full of old computers and mobile phones. And while I’m doing it all I listen to 6Music.”

 3. What’s the best tech story you’ve ever read/written?

“I was invited to go over to Finland in the late ‘90s to see what they were doing with mobile technology and it just blew me away. I came back and wrote an article saying that the future was mobile and that in ten years’ time everyone around the World would be accessing the Internet on their phones. When I was writing it I thought is this really going to happen? Will someone in Africa or India really be able to afford a mobile phone and would there be companies willing to invest in infrastructure to enable that? Then I thought how successful the Internet had been and I thought yes, go for it.”

4. What’s the next big news for tech in your area? 

“Much as I like smartphones, tablets and phablets –  a new buzzword from ABI research for devices that are bigger than smartphones but smaller than tablets – they’re still not a replacement for a laptop or a desktop. The lack of a keyboard and the lack of really good business apps still means they’re not going to replace the laptop or the desktop just yet but it’s only a matter of time before they do. So it’s interesting to see the new hybrid devices like the Asus Padfone that are trying to put all of the elements of the laptop, smartphone and tablet into one.”

5. How important is social media in sourcing stories?

 “It’s good and it’s a useful tool to see trends, but it’s never going to be a replacement for face to face contact, the phone and email.  I use it as part of a very large – and growing larger by the day – toolkit of sources.”