Monday, December 19, 2011
The Kernel: Milo and co. plant a new seed

Today marked the launch of Milo Yiannopoulos' new online tech rag The Kernel - a site and newsletter (called The Nutshell). Milo has been teasing this for a while, writing in November that "it's time to fix technology journalism" and that the future lies in longer-form copy and quality over quantity. Back in my tech journo days we didn't care about 'pageview chasing' or optimised headlines, so I've been looking forward to seeing how this turns out.

My first reaction? The long articles and worthy subject matter (the cover story is 1,200 words about "Africa's Bill Gates") turned my twitterised brain into a terrified, jelly-like mess. As you surf through the site the experience is much more Time than Time Out. 

This is a site you're going to want to make a cup of tea and sit down with, rather than surf across with one eye while your other one watches cat videos.

(Yeah, you have to actually think while you read. OMG! WTF?)

Once I'd recovered, I realised that this site is going to be a fun one to stick with. Just read Tech City: what a missed opportunity, for example. After blanket press coverage over the last couple of weeks suggesting a roundabout in East London is the UK's answer to Silicon Valley, this article disagrees. The writer, Peter J Storey, may be a little close to the subject matter (having founded a business centre nearby), but he accuses the press and public sector of 'grotesque Victorian taxidermy' and then hopes the concept will become more than a 'silicon circle-jerk'. Whatever your view, you can't fault the writing.

Good luck to Milo, Pritchard and the team on keeping this level of insight, humour and bile going for as long as possible. I haven't seen a business model yet, but here's hoping it doesn't get in the way of the fun stuff.