NEW MEDIA CHOICE: NEED TO KNOW

If James Bond were a news publishing web site, which one would he be? I would suggest Need To Know (www.ntk.net).

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

the trigger.



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

site.



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

here.



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

the girl?



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.



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