Four years ago today, while working as a computer consultant in Atlanta and waiting for the arrival of the dreaded Year 2000, I started the Brighthand web site.
It was a humble beginning, four articles and no discussion forums, but in early 2000 we broke the news of the yet-to-be-announced Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC and things have never been the same.
Now, four years later, Brighthand is one of the most popular handheld computing web sites in the world — named one of the top 101 sites for expert advice by PC World — with millions of visitors from more than 150 countries. And recently we began developing and licensing content to several major companies in the United States and Europe.
Looking back, it’s been an incredible journey, one that I could have never predicted. As Eminem would say, “Who’d have known.”
New design. Same great content.
And today we’re taking another step in that journey as we celebrate the start of our fifth year on the Web with the launch of an exciting new site design — our first in more than two years.
The key to the new design is a completely restyled home page, designed to provide you with more information, from news headlines to our exclusive editorials and feature stories to our acclaimed hands-on reviews. In fact, you can now quickly access any of our reviews from a simple drop-down list.
Plus, we’re busy working on the Learning Center, which is sponsored by Microsoft’s Windows Mobile for Pocket PCs and Smartphones. The Learning Center will evolve over the next two months into a repository of information about handhelds and mobile computing that will appeal to novices and experts alike.
And, of course, there are our popular Discussion Forums, staffed by our top-notch group of Moderators, which have been integrated into the new design.
Finally, we’ve decided to go ad free on the home page. We’ll continue to run a sponsorship button from one of our major sponsors, Sprint, through October, but afterward we’ll have absolutely no ads on the Brighthand home page.
Behind the scenes
Brighthand has evolved over the years from a one-man web site to an incredible cast of associates and partners.
Ed Hardy joined us last year at this time and you’ll have to agree that Ed has become a valuable part of Brighthand. His knowledge of handhelds and the Handheld Industry is only topped by his love of devices and his dedication to providing you with the latest breaking news about PDAs.
Darren Ford, our technical expert, is responsible for making Ed and my concepts a reality. His contributions to Brighthand, while behind the scenes, have been invaluable.
On the content side, Jen Edwards, a long time moderator and columnist for Brighthand, quietly develops our BrightByte news stories. And Jennifer Shelamer develops content for some of our clients, which include companies in France and Italy, in addition to the United States. She’s also the lead moderator on our Palm handhelds discussion forums and knows more about Palm handhelds than anyone I know.
Terrific Partners. Cool Sponsors. Loyal Readers.
And a huge thanks to our two business partners, Tribal Fusion and BroadSpire.
Tribal Fusion, our exclusive advertising sales agent, has done a magnificent job this year generating ad revenue for Brighthand. This has enabled us to add Ed, Darren, Jen and Jennifer to the staff.
Our hosting company, BroadSpire, operates the two dedicated servers that run the Brighthand web site. BroadSpire’s technical expertise and outstanding customer service have become the cornerstone for the site and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication to helping us fulfill our mission.
And let me take the opportunity to acknowledge Palm, Microsoft and Sprint for sponsoring Brighthand our the years, and to the hundreds of advertisers who have promoted their products and services on Brighthand. Thank you.
Finally, I’d like to thank you, our readers, for the support you’ve given us. We look forward to bringing you the latest information from the handheld world for many years to come!
And please bear with us over the next few days as we fix any bugs with the new system. Also, feel free to drop me at email and let me know what you think.