Q&A With 12-year-old Creator ...


There are thousands of tech blogs out there.

Few are manned by a 12-year-old.

But “Good Morning Geek” from Max Swisher isn’t a gimmick that challenges child labor laws.

Max knows his stuff and has developed his own voice.

If you watch the video and say “I could totally imagine this on dolby surround sound!,” then you’re wrong. You can’t imagine it. You have to hear it to believe it. It is scary how music can literally invade you if you have the right quality and the right system.
Dolby Ok, go event
                               “Good Morning Geek,” December 10, 2010

In the case of the latter, I wanted to learn more about how Max tells his stories. An e-mail exchange and the green light from his mom Val led to a late-morning meeting at Great Bear Coffee in Los Gatos.

After repeated coaxing – I said I don’t like to drink alone – Max joined me with my drink of choice, a hot coco, no whip.

max swisherHere’s the first half of the conversation that ensued:

Q: Let’s start with the cliché kick-off question; what led to you to start your blog?

A: I came across Blogspot (now known as Blogger) from Google and thought this is cool. I started off blogging about random things. After a while, I decided the blog would be more interesting if I focused on technology.

Q: Because you have a passion for technology?

A: Right. My dad is an IT manager and my mom’s company does technical documentation, so you could say technology runs in the family. I got a used Compaq computer running Windows 98 for my fourth birthday which got me started in tech.

Q: At four years old?

A: Right.

Q: How do you capture your own voice in your blog?

A: When I’m writing, I just let it go. It goes straight from my brain to the blog.

Q: But once you write the first draft, you don’t just hit the publish button?

A: Yes, I do … after I use the spell checker. If I analyze things too much, it won’t be an original thought.

Q: Who do you consider the audience for your blog?

A: Anyone interested in tech. I’ve noticed lately that I’m getting more teens coming to the blog, but I have all types of readers. I get e-mails from businesspeople who say that my blog has helped them figure something out. That’s a good feeling.

Q: How do you decide what you’re going to write about?

A: Whenever I get a new product, I write about it. I like free stuff. There’s a lot of software out there that’s free.

Q: I noticed your review of MindNode. I’ve been looking for a mind-mapping product, so should I check it out?

A: You should. It’s a good product and simple to use.

Sidenote: How does he know my technical acuity borders on sad? 

Q: Are you familiar with the reviews on CNET?

A: Of course. I love CNET.

Q: How do your reviews differ from those on CNET?

A: My review style is more personal.

Q: I think all bloggers share a common plight to get more reader interaction. l saw your post when you “asked” readers to add comments.

I am begging of you to post your answer in the poll in the sidebar! Also, There are 2 comments on this whole blog. Please, comment! you can select anonymous, so you don’t have to give your name or anything! I will do my best to answer your comment/ question.
Email: Empty or full?
                              “Good Morning Geek,” March 5, 2009

Did it work?

A: No.

Q: That’s going to make a lot of bloggers feel better. It’s not just them.

A: Later, I did a giveaway of a signed 4×6 print of Spewing Star to the fifth person who e-mailed me, and that got a decent response.

Q: What blogs do you pay attention to?

robert scobleA: TechCrunch and Mashable and people like Robert Scoble.

Q: Robert Scoble follows you on Twitter, which is a compliment.

A: I’d like to interview him.

Q: You should DM him. I bet he’d be open to talking with you (even though he won’t return my e-mails). If Scoble was 12 years old, I suspect his blog would resemble yours.

A: Thanks.

We’ll publish the second half of the interview with Mr. Swisher on Thursday.


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