Me? A Professional Blogger? Yep, somewhat.

Today I became a pro­fes­sion­al blog­ger for Future Shop, the Cana­dian tech­no­logy retail­er. Pro­fes­sion­al as in ‘com­pensated’ for my writ­ing. No, I’ll not be leav­ing my most excel­lent day job, I’d need a bunch more of these to make blog­ging my sole source of income 🙂 and I’m not that pro­lif­ic 🙂

You’ll find me (and a bunch of oth­er very smart / cool Cana­dian blog­gers) writ­ing for the Future Shop Tech Blog. Here’s the rest of the team:

Math­ew Kumar
Paul Hunter
Buzz Bish­op
Tris Hus­sey
Klaus Boedker

We’ve been giv­en pretty-much free reign to write about whatever we want. So, in my case, I’ll be writ­ing about things I’m pas­sion­ate about; Tech­no­logy, How-Tos, Reviews, Enter­tain­ment, etc.

To give you a bit more back­ground into the Future Shop Com­munity and the new Tech Blog, I thought I’d pose a few ques­tions to Laura Buchanan, Future Shop’s Social Com­munity Spe­cial­ist and the Tech Blog man­ager. You can also read Laur­a’s kind intro­duc­tion to the blog team here.

BG: Tell us a bit about your­self and the role you have at Future Shop. Social Com­munity Spe­cial­ist is a very ‘open’ job title 🙂

LH: My job title is pretty unique — when I tell people that I’m the Social Com­munity Spe­cial­ist for Future Shop, at first, they nod politely, but this nod usu­ally turns into a side­ways shake of the head, their eyes dart­ing slightly as they say “uh huuuuhh…??”  So I fol­low this state­ment up with a more long-win­ded one: I man­age the Future Shop Com­munity — an online tech enthu­si­ast com­munity for Cana­dians.  No, I don’t answer every ques­tion that gets asked.  I’m respons­ible for the over­all health and strategy for everything that touches the Com­munity, includ­ing the for­um, blogs, how-to videos and lots of oth­er fun pro­jects.  I joined Future Shop in this role in Novem­ber 2007 a few months after the Com­munity was launched.  Future Shop was really one of the first com­pan­ies in Canada to launch this sort of for­um, so it’s been a pretty steep learn­ing curve for every­one here — there was def­in­itely was­n’t a manu­al!  It’s a pretty fun job — you’ll nev­er hear me say I’m bored!

BG: Can you give us a bit of back­ground as to how the Future Shop Com­munity came about?

LH: The motiv­a­tion was simple: cre­ate a space where Cana­dians could con­nect with their peers, Product Experts and man­u­fac­tur­ers on everything related to tech­no­logy.  The idea was to help our cus­tom­ers make informed decisions that were right for them wheth­er they were look­ing to pur­chase a new print­er or needed some help fig­ur­ing out how to con­nect with laptop to their tv.  To date, the com­munity has over 125,000 posts, that’s a lot of techno stress relieved!

BG: How does the Tech Blog fit into this strategy?

LH: In order to keep our com­munity healthy, we need to con­tin­ue to evolve it and to give our users a reas­on to come back and a reas­on for new mem­bers to join.  The Tech Blog has always been part of the plan.  We want to provide our Com­munity with as many resources as we can to help them make informed decisions.  We also want to spark dis­cus­sion and debate about tech­no­logy & con­sumer elec­tron­ics, and see the tech blog as a great way to do that.

As a Tech Blog writer, I find myself in some awe­some com­pany. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, how did you select the blog­ging team?

LH: When I star­ted look­ing for blog­gers, the cri­ter­ia that I set up was that they were know­ledge­able, already blog­ging, good writers and above all else, pas­sion­ate about tech­no­logy.  I had a few blog­gers in mind already, but spent a lot of time googling, click­ing through blogrolls and “ask­ing around”.  I looked at dozens and dozens of blogs before short­l­ist­ing, then final­iz­ing the team.  There’s def­in­itely a diverse pool of expert­ise amongst the blog­gers and we’re all very excited to see what sort of art­icles are going to come from them!

BG: Any oth­er plans for the Future Shop Com­munity you’d like to share?

LH: The Com­munity is going to be a very dynam­ic space over the next couple months — actu­ally over the next couple of years.  I think the poten­tial that it holds is only just now start­ing to be real­ized.

As you can tell, I’m a bit excited about this. Over the next little while, I’ll be look­ing into Linux, Net­books, my Win­dows 7 beta exper­i­ences, and maybe even some cas­u­al gam­ing.

So do check it out. My fel­low Future Shop Tech Blogs are awe­some (and funny) writers and well worth the read. I can­’t wait to see what we come up with.

The Future Shop Tech blog will be live on Fri­day May 15th. I’m look­ing for­ward to your feed­back on it.

Published by Brad Grier

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