Recently, a friend of mine asked me “What is Tested?” That’s a good question. We’re not a tech site the same way that The Verge or Ars Technica are, but we do review new products and love sharing our thoughts on technology. We also do a bunch of other stuff, like visit student-run Nuclear Reactors and special effects studios--finding interesting stories to tell about the topics and people we’re interested in. At this year’s XOXO conference, which Adam and Will attended, we described Tested as place to discover the things that we--Jamie, Adam, Will, and I--think are awesome. And while that’s technically true, we owe it to you to be more specific. So after thinking about it more, here’s what I think best describes who we are: Tested is a place to explore in depth stories in technology, food, art, and science. Where those topics cross over and mingle, though, is what really excites us. The intersection of food and technology, or science and art, or better yet, all of the above is what piques our curiosity. We are interdisciplinary nerds.
So with that in mind, welcome to the the new Tested! We’ve been overdue for a redesign, and it’s something that we didn’t want to rush. A redesign isn’t just a facelift or re-skinning; changing the way the site looks affords us the opportunity to introspectively evaluate what type of content we want to produce and how we present that to you. That’s why we’ve organized the site into the three types of content we do best: articles, video shows, and podcasts. This has also allowed us to reexamine the content itself and make changes that better serve you. For example, you may have noticed that we’re experimenting with how we do product reviews. Evolving the “Quick Look” into an in-depth discussion gives us an opportunity to have real conversations about products instead of just giving you the highlights, and it’s something you guys seem to like. We’ll be doing more experimenting where it makes sense; we never want to get stuck in one way of doing things just because it’s the way we’ve always done it.
This is also a good time to introduce our new crew of feature writers, who’ll be writing monthly stories for the site. Some of these names may be familiar if you’ve been reading Tested for a while: Wes Fenlon, Ryan Whitwam, and Matt Braga (our Canadian!) continue to do amazing work, and both Wes and Matt will be joining me at CES next month. Nathan Edwards, formerly of Maximum PC, is writing a monthly column on PC building and hardware. Alex Castle, who also worked with us at Maximum PC, is writing about the untold stories in the maker movement. Erin Biba, a brilliant science writer for Wired, will be profiling incredible lives of scientists (think Volcano spelunkers and Astrobiologists). And Rachel Swaby, also a contributor to Wired, is exploring interesting developments at the intersection of technology and the arts (no, not Apple). Please welcome them to our family.
I’m also extremely pleased to announce that in 2013, we’re going to be collaborating with the amazingly talented Harrison Krix (aka Volpin Props) for a prop replica project. Starting in January and leading up to Dragon*Con, Harrison will be building a custom prop based on an iconic video game item for us, and then documenting his entire design, build, and finishing process here on the site. You’ll have to wait until January to see what he’s making, though :)
The engineers--you know them as the Top Men--worked their asses off to build and polish this new site, adding features we know you’ve been asking for since March. Andy, Coonce, Mike Horn, Narkeeso, and our support team down at the Southern California office are the ones to thank for making this redesign happen. Also, thanks to Cal Skuthorpe and Steve Kim for helping out with some cool design elements. No site launch is perfect, so please help us out by posting any new bugs that you may find in the forums.
And finally, we want to thank you guys for continuing to support us and sticking around through some interesting times. Your feedback, whether it’s a comment, forum post, or tweet is all taken to heart. Good or bad, it’s all appreciated because we’re in this together. This is as much your site as it is ours. So please, log in or create an account, click around and sound off. To say it’s been a remarkable year would be an understatement, but we promise that next year will be even more fun.