The Tech Report
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|Slogan||PC Hardware Explored|
|Created by||Scott Wasson and Andy Brown|
|Alexa rank||20,785 (December 2013[update])|
The Tech Report is a web site dedicated to covering personal computing technology and culture, and is regularly linked to by sites such as Slashdot and Digg.com. The Tech Report specializes in hardware that is most relevant to home users and enthusiasts, and has excelled at analysis with prudent budgets in mind, producing quarterly system build guides at various price points, and occasional price vs. performance scatter plots. Equipment that appeals to "lowest bidder" decision makers, and equipment with obviously poor price to performance ratio are often ignored for reviews and in recommendations. Tech Report also has an active online community and a podcast. The website is also a supporter of Stanford's Folding@home and is currently ranked 22nd in total production points as of January 19 2013.
Tech Report was founded by Scott 'Damage' Wasson, a Harvard Divinity School graduate, and Andy 'Dr. Evil' Brown. Both started by writing at Ars Technica in 1998. The two later decided to launch their own website. The site eventually grew into a business enterprise with multiple full-time staff members, and continues in that form today.
Tech Report was originally located at tech-report.com in 1999. The site was moved to techreport.com in 2003.
On August 20, 2007 a beta for a new site design was posted in the forums for review by the user community. It has since been moved to live.
Launching on January 1, 2011, the new site design, TR 3.0 rolled out. Offering a completely new layout and two user switchable colors, blue and white.
A large portion of the main page is dedicated to "News" and "Featured Articles". Among the news entries are daily "Shortbread" posts which offer a summary breakdown of reviews and news offered by other sites. Featured articles are often reviews of newly released PC hardware which has been tested by the site's editors and judged on a number of metrics including performance and value compared to other available hardware. Both the general news posts and the featured articles often feature off-beat humor in the form of wordplay and random pop-culture references, giving evidence to the founders' origins as technology humorists.
Adapting to the general trend of more content for digest, The Tech Report launched their own podcast on February 9, 2008 hosted by Jordan Drake. While the schedule has varied it provides a casual look back at the topics that made news from a panel of the site staff.
Community and Forum
As with many technology websites, the Tech Report has developed a large user community, in part through a phpBB-styled forum that is unrestricted in read-only form and open to the public for contribution via simple registration. The forum is primarily structured around computer technology and related topics, but debates also range from politics and religion in the "opt-in only" R&P forum to general random chatter in the Back Porch. Contributors to the website also have access to a restricted forum called the Smoky Back Room. Registered users may respond to news topics and other entries posted on the front page in an isolated threaded comments section that automatically attaches to each new entry. Although access to the main page comments is linked into the user database, the discussions are logged separately from the forum area of the site and are not counted toward the user forum statistics.