Interview with Brian Chen(@bxchen)...
Hello fellow humans! Before I move along to the interview I would like to introduce something new on instantbight.com. From this point on, interview posts may have a...
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Today we have an interview with a technology and journalism celebrity. Brian X. Chen is a writer for MacWorld, Wired, and The New York Times. He has covered some of the most important events in the tech world, and I was honored to interview him.
Q. What is it like writing and working for Wired, New York Times, and MacWorld?
A. Just about anywhere you go, the basic rules of technology writing are the same: Keep ideas clear and simple for normal people to understand; cut through all the PR buzzwords and get straight to the point. With that said, each publication I've written for has been very different in terms of audience, style and tone. Wired.com tended to have a more rushed and edgy feel to it for the youngsters; Macworld was really straightforward buying advice for readers who were mostly middle-aged adults; The Times is more impartial, precise and careful, which is how you have to be when you're writing for a gigantic audience at the paper of record.
Q. When did you get into writing?
A. The truth is I kind of stunk at writing when I was a teenager, and my parents were pushing me toward computer science and math, but somehow I knew deep down that I had a voice for it. In junior year of high school, I had this great English teacher, Mr. Maples, who gave me my first well-deserved D on an essay that I half-assed overnight. After that, I asked him for feedback on an essay we were doing on the Great Gatsby, and I must have written seven or eight drafts of the paper until I understood the mechanics of essay writing. After nailing that essay (I got the highest grade in the class!), I just got better and better at writing, and I never stopped enjoying it.
Q. What type of computer do you use and why?
A. Too many. I have an iMac, a MacBook Air and an iPad. I'd count my iPhone as a computer, too.
Q. If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?
A. I would've spent less time as a teenager being bitter. It seemed like the cool thing to do at the time, but ultimately it was a waste of energy.
Q. What can we expect from you in the future?
A. A great essay that has little, if nothing, to do with technology.
How great was that? Here is the desktop wallpaper I created for Brian. Click the image to buy it.
Thanks to Brian and to our sponsor!