Gadget reviews – in the form in which they are most common – are boring at worst and utilitarian at best.
They tell you what the best product to buy is, sometimes taking into account our budget, but, most of the time, more about the personal preferences and lifestyle of the person reviewing.
This is great, if you’re looking for something in particular, know exactly what your budget is, and what you’d like to use the product for.
It’s not great if you have no idea what you’re looking for. Or if you’re not actively searching for a new gadget. Or if you’re hoping to stumble across something you never knew you needed before it appeared in front of you.
That’s why we’re launching Plugged: a beautiful new part of TNW where we discuss products in way that better suits the reader, and is just as enjoyable to read as all our other content.
The main idea of this new section is to focus on who a certain product might be good for, or for what situation it can thrive in.
Take this pair of $45 noise-cancelling earbuds. They might not satisfy audiophiles, but they’re pretty much perfect for someone who commutes a lot on loud public transport and is prone to losing things. So that’s who we recommend them to.
Or if you’re on a tight budget and hate your neighbors: check out these horrendously loud, Ray J-approved bluetooth speakers. In desperate need of wine, but despise actually purchasing purchasing any? We got you. We’ve even reviewed a tablet that’s perfect for entertaining your goldfish, but not much else.
Ok, so we might not always be 100 percent serious. Sometimes products are just ripe for more creative use because their function is so obvious. But when we recommend something for someone, we really mean it.
Ultimately, we’d like Plugged to be even more reader-focused. One day soon, products we write about will be categorized not by type, price, or how good they are, but by personality.
Personally, I really like the way characters in Dungeons and Dragons are categorized; on two axes, one ranging from good to evil, the other from law to chaos.
Using this system, a person who loses all their stuff all the time, but never jumps the turnstyle would be chaotic good. A person looking to steal wine from poor shop owners would be chaotic evil. And someone who’s just looking for ‘the 10 best affordable televisions’ would be lawful good.
It allows us as writers to write for a certain type of person, and it allows you as reader to take on a ‘role’ in the content you get recommended.
Anyway. That’s for later. Currently we’re launching a minimal version that nonetheless is based on this philosophy and we’re really proud of.
Since Plugged is evolving, we welcome any and all feedback you have on the content, the layout, and the idea. Don’t hesitate to reach out to me, at my first name @thenextweb.com with comments.