Okay, so not all of these questions are frequently asked, but some of them are. The rest are just the kinds of stuff I wonder about other sites. And I thought you might’ve been curious about the same kinds of things, too.
- Do you own all the gadgets you review?
- I’ve never heard of this site before. How long has Pocketables been around?
- How do you decide which gadgets to write about?
- That won’t fit in anyone’s pocket. Why are you writing about it?
- Why are you reviewing that? It’s so old.
- Is this your full-time job?
- What kind of professional background, training, and/or education in technology do you have?
- I found a typo. Didn’t you say you were an editor?
Do you own all the gadgets you review?
Unless otherwise noted, yes. I have either bought all of the gadgets myself or received them as Christmas or birthday gifts from my husband. I keep a running list of my gear here. It’s always up to date, so if you see a review on the site and are curious about whether the device is actually mine, you can always do a little cross-checking.
I’ve never heard of this site before. How long has Pocketables been around?
I started Pocketables with Blogger at the end of June 2006. Three months later, I got my own domain (this one), moved to TypePad, and redesigned the site.
How do you decide which gadgets to write about?
If this is your first visit to the site, you should know that Pocketables features two primary types of postings: reviews and news. Deciding which gadgets to include depends on what kind of post I’m writing.
Since I usually review only gadgets that I own, my choices are determined by what I have at home. I don’t have an absolute favorite kind of device, but I’m generally a fan of digital audio players, portable media players, convergence gadgets, handtops, and accessories. Although I may occasionally review them, I am least interested in digital cameras and cell phones.
Subject matter for news posts is more complicated. To be honest, there’s really no rhyme or reason to my decisions other than that the device fits into the “portable gadget” category. I just write about what interests me. I read my RSS feeds and visit gadget sites every day, and when I’m immediately attracted to a particular product, I write about it. What grabs my attention on any given day depends on my mood and my current gadget inventory. The news posts, then, reflect my varied and moderately inconsistent interest in portable electronics.
That won’t fit in anyone’s pocket. Why are you writing about it?
The name of this site shouldn’t be taken literally. The majority of what appears at Pocketables will usually fit into a man’s pocket, as I mentioned here, but not in mine. A pack of gum barely fits into my pockets.
What defines portability varies from person to person and depends largely on context. What you could reasonably carry with you on a business trip, for example, is different from what you’d take on a hike up the mountains. In general, though, I usually limit my gadget talk and reviews to devices with screens that are no bigger than 7 inches.
Why are you reviewing that? It’s so old.
I mentioned above that I usually only review products I own (there are exceptions, but this is usually the case). I don’t receive special treatment from manufacturers, so I need to wait like everyone else for a product’s official release. What I buy depends on what I’m interested in at the time and, of course, my financial situation.
When a gadget is released doesn’t affect my interest in it. I don’t care if it came out yesterday, last week, or last year: if I just got it, I’m probably going to review it. Late reviews can sometimes be beneficial to readers who want to take advantage of a closeout sale of an older model or who have been waiting to see whether the product succeeds.
Is this your full-time job?
As of January 2008, yes. When I started Pocketables in 2006, I owned and ran a small editing business specializing in copyediting scholarly texts. The initial plan was to maintain Pocketables as a hobby. But as the months wore on and I also began writing for Anything But iPod and Popgadget, I decided that 2007 would be my last year of editing.
What kind of professional background, training, and/or education in technology do you have?
Absolutely none! I graduated with my master’s degree in English (specializing in creative writing) and got my first real-world job as an editor at a nonprofit educational company in downtown Honolulu. I quit in 2004 to try my hand at full-time freelancing and started an editing business soon afterward.
My passion since elementary school has been writing. My passion since graduate school has been consumer electronics, as you can see here. It was only a matter of time before the two found each other.
Regular readers of Pocketables know that I’m a non-technical, non-expert electronics junkie. My standards are not up to par with those of “the industry,” I don’t know a thing about benchmark test results, I have no interest in a gadget’s guts, and I only started using the Internet in 1997. I choose gadgets based on how they look first and what they do second. I don’t consider how they do it, as I am not a power user of anything and have no interest in hacking something so that it achieves its full potential. I’m just an ordinary gadget-loving technophile learning and making mistakes as I go along.
I found a typo. Didn’t you say you were an editor?
What are you waiting for? Contact me right now! I can’t stand seeing misspellings and misuse of basic punctuation (native English speakers should know how to use a question mark!) on “professional” websites and in other publications. Mistakes are bound to happen occasionally, of course, but when they become the norm rather than the exception, a career in writing should be reconsidered.
Even though most people think grammar, syntax, and spelling are nitpicky minor issues that no one cares about, I think they’re important. Attention to details demonstrates pride in your work, respect for your audience, and careful/thoughtful consideration of what you put out for all the world to see, what you stamp your name on, and what you stand behind. Content and accuracy are obviously more important than grammatical correctness, which is why questionably written websites can often be successful, but I don’t think that any of these components should be considered separately.
I believe that small details reflect the integrity and quality of any establishment, online or in the real world. I proofread all of my posts before and after I include them on Pocketables, revising as necessary, but mistakes will always continue to slip by me. So if you find a typo, factual inaccuracy, or anything that needs fixing, please send me a mess age. Given this little diatribe of mine, you can be sure that your correction will be warmly received and much appreciated.
Last updated 04/08