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Technology: The Lifeblood of Everything We Do

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If you've had any doubt about the influence of gadgets and technology in our lives, consider the news of the last few weeks and the outpouring of affection for Steve Jobs and the experiences he created.

Or in the words of Stuart Miles of Pocket-lint: " Technology is the lifeblood of virtually everything we do today and there isn’t a field that isn’t affected by it. Why wouldn’t you want to be a part of that?"

Why indeed. In addition to founding the largest independent gadget and technology news site in the UK, Stuart is also the curator of our SAY 100 technology channel and an expert on all things technology related. We checked in with Stuart via Skype and email to ask him what who the leading voices are in technology, what he thinks of Apple after Steve Jobs, his most popular posts of all time, and the tech stories to watch in 2012.

What perspective do you get covering technology and Silicon Valley from the UK that tech publishers in the US don't get?

Our perspective is a global one and that’s really important. Europe is filled with different countries, different cultures, and different people. While you could say that about the US, it is very easy to get caught in the close-knit community of the “Valley” and the buzz and excitement it has. You’ll also find us Brits aren’t that easily swayed by the sheer showmanship of it all. We’re a cynical bunch.

Do UK readers care about different things in technology?

I think readers wherever they are in the world are all interested in the same thing; does it do what is says on the tin, will it make my life better, and will I get kudos for showing it off in the pub. There are things that are important to Brits over Americans over the French, but in the end everyone wants something cool.

What are some of your all-time most popular posts?

They normally involve exclusives, crazy gadgets, or just explaining the gadgets that we write about every day. Not many sites actually take the time to explain why you’ll want the latest and greatest. It is normally a case of here it is, now let’s move on to the next thing. Sometimes in the same breath.

There are a lot of technology publishers and voices – besides your SAY 100 picks, who else is doing it right and why?

There are lots of different approaches and finding your right niche is hard. One writer that I’ve noticed recently getting it right is Foss Patents in Germany. Patent law is so complicated that not many can cover it correctly. He has found that niche and because of his experience and approach been able to become the leading authority in the world, it seems, in a very short space of time.

What should marketers know about working with tech writers?

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That we know the technology and how we use it probably better than they do. In-house marketers get it, but if you are hiring an agency and they aren’t up to scratch, or grasp the technology they are promoting and the “now, now, now” demands of our business, then it really shows.

What do you see as the challenges and opportunities of creating an independent technology publication right now?

Scale and support. Not only do you have to come up with something unique, but you have to be able to be in all places all the time. This month alone my team has had to go to Shanghai, Tokyo, San Diego, San Francisco, Frankfurt, Berlin, Edinburgh, Dublin, Taipei, and London to get stories.

The TechCrunch debacle – what's your take?

If Arrington cared that much he wouldn’t have sold.

What makes a great technology blog?

Bringing something to the party. If you’ve got nothing to add you shouldn’t bother.

Steve Jobs' death and Apple - should Apple fan boys and girls be worried?

Short term, no. Jobs has instilled a culture at Apple that will make sure every exec asks, “What would Steve think?” That will be hard to beat out of them. The question though to worry about should be is there someone still left in the building that can be as visionary.

You see everything – what are the must-have gadgets for this holiday season?

Sonos Play:3, Kindle Fire (for Americans), and the Nyko dongle for Microsoft Kinect that means you will be able to play it in your not so big living room.

Look ahead - what do think will be some of the big tech stories and trends for 2012?

NFC, Ultrabooks, and what the iPhone 5 will look like.

What are the killer apps on your iPad?

Sky+ Remote so I can see my PVRs Electronic Programme Guide, Sonos for iPad so I can load up music and BBC iPlayer so my kids can watch Bob the Builder, which makes me think that I just use my iPad as a giant remote control. Oops.

Follow Stuart Miles on Twitter @stuartmiles

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