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5 Minutes with TechAU’s Jason Cartwright

By Seamus Byrne in Media News on
Tech blogger Jason Cartwright has been running TechAU for a long, long time, hitting the cutting edge “passionate tech” angle for 15 years. So what makes him tick? Here’s his 5 Minutes!
 
What do you do and where does your work appear?
techAU covers the latest in technology, across any industry and exciting new innovative products and services make a meaningful impact in people's lives. We mix daily news with detailed review across a broad range of categories.
 
Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
Multimedia development.
 
What did you really want to be when you were growing up?
Someone who gets to use computers, the challenge was figuring out how to get paid for it.
 
Which story or stories are you most proud of?
Probably my reviews. These help people make serious buying decisions, while also providing companies with feedback on what can be improved in future versions.
 
What's your secret superpower?
I can Google things.
 
What are three top tips you can give PR pros for working with you effectively?
Tip 1. Email is more convenient than phone calls
Tip 2. Get me access early to the latest technology and I'll help tell the world.
Tip 3. I'm going to copy+paste content from your release to my site, so make sure the PDF etc is formatted in a way that supports that workflow, that makes my life easier.
Bonus Tip - Just supply the media link with the original release, I'm always going to ask for it.
 
How do you like to start a PR relationship if you've never been in touch before?
Email is fine. Appreciate that I get LOTS of email per day, so get straight to what's exception, why I should care about your product, service, event, review etc.
 
What's the most important lesson you've learned about journalism?
Start and never stop. You have to really love this game and I do. There's been a lot who've come and gone over the past 13 years, but when you love it, it doesn't feel like work.
 
How do you hunt for good stories?
Timing is everything and for that, social media (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit) are great.
Emails, especially those I get early (happy to take an embargo), are also a great opportunity to schedule posts. There's also some great tips that come in from readers.
Google Trends are semi useful, but usually by the time something is trending I already know about it and have decided if it interests me, or would appeal to our readers.
Tips from readers are also very handy.
 
What's been the biggest change in the industry over the past decade?
Phones. There's been a lot of new tech over the past decade, but nothing has impacted our lives more than having great smartphones. From our personal lives, to professional ones, having a device in your pocket that can connect us to the world, keep us up to date, control devices in our homes and take amazing photos still blows me away.
 
What do you think is the most important issue facing the tech industry today?
Complacency. During the uncertainty of a global pandemic, it's inviting for companies to play it safe, but those who continue to be bold will have big successes. 
 
What's the biggest issue facing journalism?
Clickbait. Creative headlines to draw attention is one thing, but I'm seeing misleading headlines from high-profile organisations, daily. This ultimately reflects badly on our whole industry and breaks the trust of our readers.
 
Exclusives are everything. Discuss.
Exclusive or original content has been some of the most popular posts on techAU over the years and I think that's always going to be the case. Unique and first is the best recipe for success in this game.
 
What do you wish you'd never have to explain to readers ever again?
A printer's page per minute speed.
 
Name a recent story you wish you'd written.
I see a lot of great stuff coming out of TheDriven.io that I'm jealous I didn't write. Going deeper on Australia's investments in renewable energy is something I hope to do more of.
 
Who is the best journo in the industry and why?
For her work on EVs, I think Bridie Schmidt is up there.
 
Which industry publications, podcasts or other productions are on your unmissable list?
  • Windows Weekly
  • Joe Rogan
  • Tesla Daily
  • Ride the Lightning
  • Vergecast
  • Waveform: MKBHD
  • StarTalk Radio
  • The AI Podcast
  • Ron Burgundy
 
How do you keep up with what your colleagues are writing?
Twitter mostly.
 
Which app has changed your life more than any other?
Twitter mostly. :)
 
Favourite screen-free hobbies?
Driving my Model 3, although that has a big screen, so does that still count?
 
What's your best party trick?
Smart summon with the Model 3. :)
 
What’s your go-to song at karaoke?
Next question.
 
Favourite sporting moment?
Anything from last season of Basketball, might be a while before we get to do that again.
 
Have you ever been said to resemble a famous person or character? If so, who?
Not that I'm aware of.
 
What's your favourite game of all time?
Probably Duke Nukem 3D, played the hell out of it, also wasted way too much time designing levels that nobody ever saw.
 
Name five discs you'd want to be stuck with on a desert island?
None, I don't do discs anymore, hope we have a Starlink satellite connection on this island :) Then I'd go for Assetto Corsa, COD: Modern Warfare, Red Dead Redemption, GTAV and Cyberpunk 2077 if that ever ships.
 
What was your favourite TV show of the 2010s?
Easily Silicon Valley.
 
What vices do you lean into when you're chasing a tight deadline?
Red Bull or coffee.
 
What's the most ridiculous buzzword in the industry?
Agile.
 
The PR fairy calls saying you can have the interview of your dreams. Who's it gonna be?
Elon Musk. There's so much going on in that man's brain and the world needs to know more about it.

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Anything else in your career you’ve been known for?
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