Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Website Grows In Brooklyn: Meet Ben Patterson and Susan Leopold Of 'Here's The Thing'

Let's face it!  We may think of ourselves as technically savvy, but most of us don't use our electronic devices and apps to their full potential.  And if anything goes wrong with our toys, we panic.
But thanks to Here's The Thing, a technology and gadget specific website launched by Carroll Gardeners Ben Patterson and Susan Leopold,  there is no need to ever get frustrated again.
Here's The Thing will teach you how to fix your crashy iPhone, how to force a frozen program to quit on your PC or Mac, or how to download all your Facebook posts, photos and videos to you computer.   And those are just a few of the truly helpful tips found on the site.
Imagine how brilliant you will look when you share this newfound knowledge with your friends.

I met up with Patterson and Leopold and their brand new baby Claire last week to learn about the business that they co-founded and to hear more about their entrepreneurial journey.  Over coffee,  the couple,  who moved to Carroll Gardens almost ten years ago,  explains that they are very much equal partners in this venture. Patterson is responsible for the original content and the Editorial,  while Leopold, is in charge of Sales and Marketing.  The project is entirely self-funded.

Patterson, started his journalism career twenty years ago working for a small family-owned newspaper in Vacaville, California.  When he moved to San Francisco a few years later, he landed an internship at Wired Magazine.  "That's how I began in tech journalism," he tells me.  From there he went to CNET, where he stayed five years.   Most recently, he wrote for Yahoo.  "I had my first professional blogging job for Yahoo.  I was the 'Gadget Hound'," he explains with a smile.  "I was writing about the latest iPhones, the latest tech gossip.  But my favorite thing to write were the how-to articles and helping every day users make sense of their gadgets."

A year ago,  eager to do their own thing, Patterson and Leopold launched the website.  "Some sites are aimed at the real techies and cover things like 'how to build your own computers'.  Those sites are great, but we are the opposite.  We want to reach another audience.  The language of technology is so difficult.  We want to translate what it all means for the average person,"   Leopold explains
The website also allows  Patterson to interact with his readers through his "Ask Ben" feature.  "I get questions from my readers all the time.  For example, they'll ask me how to upload more than one photo at the time on their iPhone.  There are people out there who are still not sure about using some really basic functions." He continues: "Everyone is reporting  about the latest Facebook I.P.O. story.  I would much rather help someone navigate around the privacy controls on Facebook or help them figure out what iPad to buy."  He adds: "We want to help you navigate the waters without all the jargon that confuses the issue."

Check out the 600 plus articles currently posted on Here's The Thing.  You are sure to find the answer to your gadget question.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just went on their website and already learned a few things. Thank you!