If James Bond were a news publishing web site, which one would he
be? I would suggest Need To Know (www.ntk.net).
It’s exceptionally well-briefed, it sets out to get the bad guys, it
loves gadgets and it delivers some very smart one-liners before it pulls
Need To Know, the ’weekly high-tech sarcastic update’, is the brainchild
of journalists Dave Green and Danny O’Brien.
They have remained at the cutting edge of new media news publishing for
years, having contributed to the UK launch of Wired, The Net (BBC2),
Cybercafe (ITV), Radio 1, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Sky
programmes and Spitting Image.
The site was originally intended to have been an online version of
Wired, taking advantage of and appealing to those comfortable with an
electronic medium. This evolved into an online fusion of Private Eye and
That Was the Week That Was, as Dave and Dan articulated ’anti-news’.
This is the publicist’s blag of trying to create a story where there is
none. Anti-News appears immediately behind Hard-News within the
Though ’geeky and proud’, Need To Know remains first and foremost a news
site. It is successful at using the web to best effect, having created
that much sought-after demographic, the ’community’ to help provide
newsworthy stories to report. The site is well designed, you won’t find
inappropriate liberal splashes of colour, graphics and Java applets
What you will find is clear and digestible information. Even the
courier-style font is reminiscent of newspaper hacks beavering away to
uncover the latest corporate scam.
It includes links to the organisations’ sites under discussion. This
makes it a potential technology marketer’s nightmare, for it mercilessly
savages those who are blissfully unaware that their pants are far more
familiar with their ankles than they should be.
So, if Need To Know is the James Bond of the online world, does it get
Well, I guess it does, because as we all know, the trick is to make it
irresistible for your visitors to come back time and again. Need To Know
does this perfectly. Oh, and it’s very, very, funny indeed.