Well, here we are... The fifth anniversary of New Rising Media. It's been a journey quite like that of a TV sitcom relationship - falling in and out of love with this place.
There have been highs and lows, as the landscape of blogging has changed. And just like any birthday celebration, I want to reminisce in the history of things around here.
2010 – University
Did you know that the idea of New Rising Media actually started nearly six years ago?
It was Dissertation time at University, and my hair was still bigger than my common sense. Quickly, we were all being funnelled into two choices – a practical project or theoretical research.
Yes I know this could destroy the whole idea of a fifth anniversary, but I don't count this year as a real launch for two reasons:
- It was only shared between myself and my friends. Nobody outside of Nottingham Trent or Lincon University had ever heard of it.
- I count the day I launched the site officially on Squarespace as the launch date.
Not one to be pigeon-holed in my rebellious, lip ring-wearing years of youth, I had an idea to do both.
After spending seven years writing video game reviews on various forums (shout out to the O.G. Cheat Planet forum users), and religiously following the likes of Engadget and Gizmodo, I was immediately encapsulated by the idea to run my own geek blog…
But if I’m honest, that’s not the whole reason.
Yes, there’s an ex-girlfriend story in the mix – not content with how a relationship ended, the site’s creation was also to draw attention to myself and keep my name on her radar in a “here’s what you’re missing” kind of way.
For that, Livvi, I apologise. But little did I know, bigger plans were immediately afoot.
2011 – 100 words
One fully-fledged Tumblr blog and a dissertation about the future of citizen journalism later, I walked out of University with a self-taught mastery of social media and rapid-fire blogging.
This was 2011 - when time on site didn’t affect SEO, and my overconfidence for “transforming journalism” was out the ceiling!
I believed a story could be told in just 100 words (spoiler: it can’t) – and thanks to reading some music reviews in The Guardian, those 100 words became incredibly egotistical.
So what next? Well, after walking into a new job, the simple thought was to leave NRM behind and continue. But just before I clicked ‘delete,’ I checked the website analytics for old time’s sake.
What I saw was a consistently growing audience – one that was not forgetting about New Rising Media anytime soon.
After this, and further analysis of what stories attracted more people, the vision was clear. “Nerd Journalism.”
A site that covered niche stories at the intersection of technology and culture with the detail they deserve, unlike other sites that simply glazed over them with flagrant ignorance.
And after designing a terrible-looking website on Squarespace, New Rising Media was officially born outside of Nottingham Trent University on September 22nd 2011.
2012 – Expansion
On the back of building brand excitement around NRM, I doubled down on the content being posted. With the help of an incredible team of people (you know who you are, and I love you all), we ramped up the stories and reader statistics.
With four stories a day, we were easily hitting over 1,000 readers per day.
Personally, I’d just gone through my first couple rounds of jaw surgery – which didn’t affect my workaholism one bit. Need proof? Check out my Gadget Show Live videos back in the day and look at that swollen jaw!
So by this point, things were really starting to hit their stride.
…Not much more to say than that at this stage. Oh, except for the writer of Power Rangers tried to sue me for a bad comment someone posted on his interview.
2014 - New flat, forgotten blog
Nothing much here to say. I got a better job, afforded a new flat and learnt that adult life takes up a lot of your time!
New Rising Media went a bit quiet at this point, turning into more of an annoying voice in the back of my head. Much like any creative, I’d got sick of what I created.
2015 – Neo-Entity
That’s when I had a new idea. At the time, New Rising Media was trying to do too many things – leaving nothing but a blurry mess of brand purpose.
So let’s clean it up and start something new. Introducing Neo-Entity – specifically focussing on Technology and Science.
Removing that annoyance of a long existing brand and feeling the excitement of a starting fresh immediately re-energised me. I worked through the nights to deliver a new site focusing on what I loved.
I found my passion and business picked back up… But there was one problem.
EVERYBODY runs a technology and science blog. I was hoping to do so for exactly £15 per month, whereas others were doing the same with huge teams and big budgets.
The site was cool, but nobody cared. Something new was needed.
2016 – A lifestyle blog for the future human
And that brings us to now. Neo-Entity died off pretty quickly and New Rising Media soldiered – primarily because nobody can start a blog in 2015/6 and get anywhere good on Google search.
But also because that re-ignited passion extended back to the original site.
So on this, the fifth anniversary of New Rising Media, we’re moving away from Nerd Journalism.
Actively championing this did exactly what I wanted it to do – lots of sites with far bigger budgets are obsessing over the little details of every story they do. Whether that’s because of me or not is not the point, but that means we need to do something new.
And that is a considerable step change. For too long, New Rising Media has been a very simple website of stories you’ve probably read elsewhere, without any real analysis or personality.
So let’s change that. Let’s use that dirty word that everybody hated in 2011 – let’s call it a “blog,” and improve the quality of our stories by analysing the implications of each story on the future human.
New Rising Media: The Lifestyle Blog For The Future Human
What is the future human?
The Future Human is always connected.
Always one step ahead of the curve.
Hacked beyond the rate of evolution.
To the point that “gadgets” and “humans” are no longer separate.
Scientifically supreme and technologically advanced.
The Future Human is a nerd. We’re not just taking over the world. We already have.
Technology fuels creativity and the new wave is just beginning.
This insight makes our mission simple...
Figure out what the future holds for humans. We aggressively seek out the technologies, scientific breakthroughs and media innovations that will play a big role in the future lifestyle of humanity - celebrating the good and calling out the bad.
In these five years, New Rising Media has reached over five million people. So for that, I can't thank you all enough.
The average human being lives for 657,000 hours. For you to take the precious time you have on this planet to read my stories is an incredible honour. But I've not stopped yet.
New brand. New mission. New purpose. Here’s to another five years.