I call it my “ugly pile.”
It’s a small stack of gadgets sitting in a darkened corner of my basement. This is where all my failed tech goes to roost – the stuff I bought that didn’t quite work out the way I hoped. The Rocket eBook reader that was before it’s time. The X10 media streamer that couldn’t stream. I’d throw it all away, but I can’t really admit defeat.
You see, I’m a bit (ok a lot) of a gear head. Cameras. Laptops. Media thingies. I love it all because it makes my life easier or better. Crying child? Read a book on the tablet. On the go? Stream a movie over the Internet to my phone.
I keep the ugly pile small by doing a whole lot of research, whether it’s a new laptop or a bag that holds everything. Before I hit retail, I want to know everything I can. Here’s where I look:
With gadgets, I’m trying to find out every last detail of the user experience – how does the gadget feel, how does the interface work. Here’s where I look:
· Start – Google Search for reviews
· Forums – Retailer Forums like Amazon and Future Shop
· Social Media: Ask a question via Twitter or Facebook
Researching camera equipment.
I come armed with specific questions about cameras and camera accessories. How does it do this? How does it do that?
· Start – My favourite photographer sites/blogs like strobist.com, joemcnally.com/blog, blog.chasejarvis.com/blog
· Social Media – Flickr is a great place to ask questions of professionals
· Other – Ask people who know cameras – friends, photographers, etc.
After figuring out what I need it for, I look for what’s going to be important in next generation stuff (no $399 laptop specials need apply) and what little extras exist to surprise me.
· Forums – I love Google Product Search. I search for products, then read retailer reviews
· Retailers – Depends on what I find in my forum search
· Social Media – I’ll use a Facebook forum like the Intel Canada page
· Other – Friends, friends and friends. Call ‘em up and ask for their experience
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