First, as some may know, me and a few friends run a website and youtube channel focused on PC Gaming, PC Builds, Tech News, and such. We're currently focused on gaming right now but I'd really like to get back into PC Builds, but since the birth of the PC Posh name, I've been unable to fund such projects (although when I can afford to, I enjoy going a touch overboard: http://hothardware.com/f...584-My-primary-machine).
Now I recognize that if I can grow the channel, one day I'll be able to pursue sponsorships and maybe oneday AMD, Asus, MSI, etc, will be sending me freebies to unbox, benchmark, review, give away, etc.
And that gets to the meat of the question: If I don't start doing some builds and unboxings here soon, our channel will basically be condensed to just gaming, and it'll be hard in the future to approach potential sponsors and say "Yeah, okay, SURE, we've never done anything but gaming before now, but I really do know a lot about technology and would love for you to give me free stuff so I can play with it on camera" (that's my sales pitch, it's a real zinger - nice and polished). I somehow can't see that going well.
So my question is, without self-financing all of these builds, what is the best way to acquire hardware? Currently our channel is very, very, very small; so while "the worst they can do is say no" I'm remiss to try and reach out to potential sponsors.
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Edited by user Friday, May 6, 2016 12:19:17 AM(UTC)
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How much do you socialize with people already doing what you're trying to get into (specifically I mean receiving hardware for review and contests)? I've seen a number of contests pop up on twitter, some of them appear to be by people doing their first contest who have made connections with others who have done a number of them. Beyond just giving you some helpful tips, if you network smart and consistently, you may find partners who eventually help give you a more substantial boost by introducing you to the right manufacturer/marketing contacts, maybe partly because partnering with you can help them and maybe also because they remember someone helping them get a break too.
It's not a magic shortcut and I definitely see networking as a tedious kind of work, but there are resources there to be... shall we say mined and crafted, that aren't readily available by other means. Good luck.
Edited by user Friday, May 6, 2016 3:22:05 AM(UTC)
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Regrettably, I've made no contacts outside of HHW, and even then, I honestly have no clue who runs the site, so I can't exactly claim to be very social with them.
I appreciate the advice, and agree with you that it possible given consistent networking, but that's one area with which I somewhat struggle. Social Grace has never really appeared on my resume, and while I don't consider myself socially inept, I recognize that I am extremely introverted.
But that's me, James, as a person. PC Posh, as a brand, can't afford introversion, so I have to somehow overcome that barrier in order to try and make any useful social connections. It's just, really, really hard. I have always had the mentality that unless you have something worth contributing to the conversation, don't say anything; just listen. Unfortunately, online socialization these days appears to be largely small talk (which I am not good at), inanity (which I simply cannot grasp), or repeating each other for lack of original thoughts (which Twitter is really, really good at).
I can fake it, so to speak. When I was working with the DoD I would have to attend regular meetings, present plans and ideas, consult, etc. I can handle that. I can discuss things I am passionate about all day long -- which is why I continue to post on these forums, because finding other tech enthusiasts in my local area is about as rare as finding a unicorn with a bachelor's degree. It's the small talk that I struggle with. The every day social norm that gets people through the their muttled interactions with each other. Weather, sports, traffic, politics. Yes, it is supposed to rain; I don't know anything about sports except that back on Dreamcast I had a hockey game that could successfully pronounce my last name; No, I wasn't stuck in traffic - I was part of traffic, I assume we all had somewhere to go and that the universe doesn't revolve around me; I'd really rather not discuss politics given that it, like religion, seems to be something no two people can completely agree on.
Well, for one, unlike LinusTechTips, I don't destroy almost everything I touch, lol. Jests aside, I have a background in Information Technology with a client base ranging from home users to the department of defense, and all points in between. I have worked with IT my entire life, I built my first computer at the age of 7 and my earliest memory in life is reassembling a VCR. I can not only assemble a parts list and build a computer, but 3D model and fabricate cases, fittings, and other customizations. I don't claim to be the world's best programmer or electrical engineer, but I am sufficient in multiple languages and have designed several custom circuits for unique applications (including things as strange as animating a taxidermized turkey, lol). ...Basically, in short, I've been building, modding, coding, 'hacking', and repurposing technology my whole life - and now that all of the contracts I was bound to have been terminated (excluding NDAs), I'm free to do what I would like to do. And while, ideally, that would be hanging out with Adam Savage and building miscellaneous awesomeness; the next best thing would be to let the interests I've pursued my whole life create something I can be proud of.