Interview with Alex Guyot(@The_Axx)

Today's interview is with a new legend in the tech blogosphere. Alex Guyot was the latest young blogger to be linked to on the coveted site: Daring Fireball, written by John Gruber. I was so happy Alex answered my questions with his ever growing schedule.

How/why/when did you get into blogging and technology?

My dad was in the computer industry since before I was born, so I've been around computers for as long as I can remember. I've always been naturally good with them and loved using them and experimenting with them. I really got into it when I got my first iPad in April 2011. I needed something to do on it so I started following technology news on various websites and through Twitter. Daring Fireball became my favorite source, and I started to really like the link blog style. I've always been a good writer myself, and enjoy doing it, so I've been wanting to start my own blog for quite some time. January of this year I finally stopped imagining it and just got to work and started doing it, and so far I'm loving the experience.

What was it like getting linked by DFB? How did it all go down?

It was really awesome getting "fireballed", as they call it. As I mentioned above, Daring Fireball has always been my favorite blog for tech news, so to be linked to from it was crazy. I never really thought I would reach that point, especially not this quickly, so I was a bit blown away by the link and by all the positive response I then received about my post, and my blog in general.

It all happened because I read a survey that DF had linked to about Teens and iPhones. Then John Molz posted on his blog, A Very Nice Website, about how Apple was a client of the surveyor. Being a teen myself, I knew that I had a window into that world that they didn't have access to, and my own observations confirmed the results of the study (which I had thought, incorrectly, were being called into question by A Very a Nice Website), so I thought that they may be interested in hearing about it from someone from the population of interest (teens), and I was apparently correct.

The post that was linked had to do with high schoolers, as a young person yourself, what importance do you think young people have in the technology world?

I think that young people are incredibly important in the technology world. I think that a lot of the time young people aren't credited with being able to give very good insight or do very important things, but in my opinion our insight should be welcomed, as we are able to give a completely knew perspective. We have grown up around this incredible technology, so it's completely natural to us, as opposed to it having been something that the older people in the tech realm had to learn. I'm not bashing them at all, I'm just saying that I feel if everyone worked together, combining our different perspectives may create new horizons. 

I also think that young people are of a lot more importance than they may have been in the past simply because the Internet, and the advanced technologies that use and give access to it, are now so accessible to people of all ages. Never in the past have devices as advanced as iPads and iPhones been so cheap and widely available that young people have been able to get their hands on them. Even if they had been available, and if you could afford to buy one, it used to require very advanced knowledge to be able to operate them. Now that young people can buy and use advanced devices, I think the mindset that you have to be older in order to do anything important is going to steadily shift. Within the next few decades, I think the voices and activities of younger people are going to become more and more valued and publicized.

What does your workspace look like?

The vast majority of the time, my workspace is just an iPad sitting on a table in my local Starbucks. I do almost all of my writing, including what I am writing to you right now, at this coffee shop, with my iPad. I love the atmosphere here and am able to concentrate without the distractions I feel at home. On myiPad, I do most of my writing in the app Drafts, which anyone who has been following my blog for a while knows is my favorite app. I type all my blog posts in markdown in Drafts, then use the Squarespace app to post it to the blog. For more advanced things on the site I turn to the old early 2008 MacBook Pro that my sister left behind when she got a new computer last year. I try to avoid using that though, because I far prefer the work environment of iOS. I've been writing on an iPad so long that I can type on the iOS onscreen keyboard as quickly as I can on a physical keyboard. (And while I'm not extraordinarily fast, I am certainly not a slow typist.) I also love the portability of the iPad. Carrying it around is easy, and when I sit down I'm up and running in two seconds.

What can we expect from you in the future?

My biggest future goal is to build my own app for iPhone and iPad. I'm not completely sure what I will create yet, but I have a few ideas. I'm planning on advancing my fledgling knowledge of coding in Objective C over the coming summer before college, and when I finally have the knowledge, my own experiences with the hundreds of apps I've used and critiqued will help me build something that a lot of people will really enjoy. In terms of a more current goal, I'm planning on keeping up my blog more regularly (I've been posting a few times a week usually, but I want to increase that to get a lot closer to posting daily.) and hopefully maintaining a portion of the huge audience that Daring a fireball provided me last Saturday. Overall I'm really excited for what my future holds. I think that I will be able to bring a lot to the table as I learn more about coding and designing, and I can't wait to be able to shape my own iOS app and hopefully give people something new to talk about.

David Silverman