Welcome to the new TechNode (redux)

Some say that you only ever really learn through your failures. Like SpaceX, our website has seen a few failed launches. The first time, our front end was just not ready. The second time, our theme failed. This time, we’re pretty darn sure we got it right. If you’re a loyal reader, you’ll notice that the theme is quite different from what we originally wanted, but I think you’ll agree this one is actually better.

Below is the original post about the re-launch:


This was going to start like many of my other “State of TechNode” letters, but I really hate repeating myself.

Instead, I want to talk about what its like to be a TechNode reader. As a TechNode reader, I’m interested in China’s tech scene for a few different reasons (not all mutually exclusive):

  • I’m in the technology or finance industries and need to make sure I’m keeping up with and understand what’s happening in China
  • I’m an entrepreneur and need to make sure I’m keeping up with and understand what’s happening with China’s technology and startup
  • I’m a China watcher and want to absorb as much as possible about what is happening here
  • I live outside of China, but my business depends on getting accurate and timely information about what’s happening there

As a TechNode reader, unfortunately, the site has lacked clarity for some time. As the English editorial team has grown, the lack of clarity has bled over increasingly into our site. Our taxonomy was wacky and we didn’t do a good job delineating our content. That changes today.

To better serve our diverse but niche readership, we’ve studied the best practices from around the web to not only create a new visual style but more importantly, create a much better experience. We’ve updated the visual language (and will be standardizing across our network over time), created clearer categories, made it easier to find and read about the topics you’re interested in, and most importantly made a clear distinction between longer features and shorter news.

Here are the changes you most need to pay attention to:

  • We’ve explicitly separated features (reading time longer than 3 minutes) and news (reading time 1 minute or less). You can find both sections directly on our home page. Other pages do not discriminate between the two, only the homepage
  • Our categories are now buckets… big buckets. If you want to drill down into a topic, then our tags (found directly under the headline) are the way to go. Here’s a quick explanation of the categories:
    • The Numbers: Anything and everything dealing with data. We also tested “Data is the new sexy” and “The Facts” (I used to watch a lot of Dragnet re-runs when I was a kid)
    • Up and Comers: Devoted to the startups and entrepreneurs that need exposure. Alternatives were: Minicorns and New Kids on the Block… I think you’ll agree Up and Comers was the best choice
    • Heavy Hitters: On the opposite of the spectrum, the companies that get all the attention
    • On the Cusp: Emerging trends and how Chinese society is adapting to new business and consumption models. Think of it as “On the cusp of something big.”
    • With Chinese characteristics: Explainers and stories that highlight unique Chinese phenomena
    • Turf wars: Perhaps my favorite type of story, this category features stories that pit one big company against another. Alibaba vs Tencent, Tencent vs NetEase, etc etc
    • Views: All our editorial, op-ed, and opinion pieces

In subsequent updates, we’ll be adding in smaller features and improvements, but the big one will be our member’s section. This will allow you to have an actual presence on our site for managing your subscription option both for newsletters and the paid membership program (details to be announced at a later date), making comments on our articles, as well as submitting articles if you’d like to become a contributor.

Of course, there will be some bugs and minor problems. Please do let us know if you encounter any problems or have other feedback on the site.

Welcome to the new TechNode!