London skyline

Tech City News focuses on the London technology sector

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A new site dedicated to business and technology has gone live in beta, under the editorship of former Not on the Wires co-founder Alex Wood.

Tech City News covers the technology sector in London and is targeted as "a very, very niche" audience, Wood, a former Bloomberg TV journalist, told Content will look at the "founders of companies whether they be start-ups or established", he added, or "policy makers from the governmental side" as well as "the ecosystem including professional services".

"So, for example, talking about legal services, financial services, commercial property services, all the things you need to run your day-to-day business."

He added that it is "not in any way trying to be a consumer tech website".

Tech City News is part of publishing company The Publishing Group, which runs several other niche sites and came up with the idea for the site along with technology entrepreneur Simon Thethi, Wood said.

"Essentially Tech City News is trying to fill a much needed gap in the market and it's one that I was very conscious of when I was at Bloomberg so when I heard about this I was really personally excited".

Fellow former Not on the Wires co-founder Marcus Gilroy-Ware also worked on the site development.

Now editor of Tech City News, Wood said it is "a predominately B2B title", with a London focus.

Tech City News

As well as the site, a print magazine is also due to be launched at the end of the second quarter, starting bi-monthly, which will be sent out to members who have signed up – for free – online.

He said the idea behind this strategy is that Tech City News get to "know you as our audience extremely well".

"We plan to play to our strengths about being niche and about offering the right things to our audience and vice versa."

He added that Tech City News is also "really positive about the future for print, as well as online".

"I know there aren't many publishers thinking that way, but I do genuinely believe there's an important place for print magazines in a multiplatform world."

Making it pay

As for the business model for the site, Wood said it will not be running banner ads "because they don't work".

"With banner ads you're just chasing pennies and we also don't think they're good for the audience.

"So we've taken a kind of gutsy decision internally that actually we're not doing them. What we are doing is we're doing commercial partnerships with various groups.

"It's got to be someone who actually works for our audience and what we have".

The directory

Establishing commercial partnerships links through to another key part of the site, which is its directory of key tech players.

So, for example, when the logo for the current commercial partner highlighted on the navigation bar is clicked on, users are taken through to a "directory profile page".

This is part of what the site hope to build into "the leading directory and resource of all companies, influential people and also services in the area", Wood said.

And then that directory also connects back to the editorial.

"Within that directory, where it gets interesting from a journalism and technology point of view, is that the way the site has been set up, it understands the most intrinsic links and the relations between things."

Each article features a "story context bar" which will flag up to the reader any people related to the story.

"It's literally taking apart the building blocks of the story," Wood added.

Then those people link back to the "editorialised directory page", inspired by Wikipedia.

Wood joined The Publishing Group in mid-November, and said he was given "a lot of freedom" to work on the site.

"Obviously they've had a concept behind there and they've wanted things like the directory but then things like how we actually connect that to the editorial content I've been given a lot of freedom [with]."

The site will also produce video content, including a weekly series called "the week in tech", in the form of a one minute video "giving you a round-up of everything you need to know".

He has also been working on a spin on the idea of an elevator pitch, by getting technology start-ups to pitch their idea while actually travelling in an elevator.

"You fall 37 floors and you've got 30 seconds to pitch your business falling from the top to the bottom," he said.

"I am trying to make this a bit of fun," he said, with "a bit of creativity as well".

"But it's about shining spotlight on the area and trying to spice up a bit of tech journalism because I think tech journalism does need a bit of a kick up the arse sometimes."

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