OLD Media Moves

Ten years of the consumer tech column

September 17, 2009

Rob Pegoraro of The Washington Post celebrates writing his consumer technology column for a decade by explaining how his coverage has changed.

Pegoraro writes, “For another, my column has appeared on different days of the week–first on Fridays, then Sundays, then Thursdays, and now a hybrid schedule (online Friday, in print Sunday). For much of 2005 and 2006, I also wrote extra columns on breaking news topics; with the advent of my blog in 2007, I now address current events there, and sometimes we ‘reverse publish’ the results in print the next day.

“Most of all, my column has changed focus. At the start, with other reviews running next to my column, I felt like I could focus on some fuzzier topics of human-computer interaction — something I didn’t consistently succeed at for most of the first year. But as we cut back on those separate reviews, I started writing columns that focused closer on the ‘should you get this?’ question. I’ve also found myself focusing more on tech-policy issues, since so many of those policy discussions happen within a mile of my office — and those debates can seriously limit your choice of hardware, software and services down the line.

“If you’ve been reading my column since 1999, you may have noticed one other thing: I’ve yet to skip a week. That’s not something I set out to do at the start; I just knew that I didn’t want to make the paper run one of those ‘Rob Pegoraro is away; his column will resume when he returns’ notices in the first few months of my column’s existence, and after a while I just got into the habit of writing a column or two in advance to cover times when I’d be on vacation. I wish I could tell you that I’ve now set some Post record for continuous columnizing, but there’s no easy way to check for that sort of thing in our index. (Hope y’all don’t mind if I take a week off during my next vacation. This streak’s gotta end at some point; all streaks do.)”

Read more here.

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