Let’s do launch

Sister Bernice Marie, my 90-year-old great aunt, had this to say about Apple’s iPhone launch: “I just want to call someone and talk. I don’t need to spend that much money for a phone.”

Yes, Sister, but what about all the other features?

“I don’t need those.”

And there you have it—high-quality technology commentary from an unlikely source. Apple doesn’t need Sister Bernice’s money, but the iPhone does need to prove its value. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Either way, progress marches on.

The home channel and Home Channel News are marching right along, too. Senior editor Brae Canlen’s article describes an IT overhaul at Higgenbotham Bros. in Texas. At our Web site, we’re also committed to our own technology launch—the new and improved . More on this below.

As the innovations keep coming, man is adapting to his info-driven world, according to Fred Miller, managing director of the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI).

In a webinar—accessible right now at —he pointed to HIRI stats that back up his belief that information overload is on the decline. In 2000, 59 percent of respondents felt they were “overwhelmed by all the sources of information available today,” according to HIRI. That figure has dropped to 47 percent today—despite the proliferation of Web tools.

“Information and tools are just all over the place,” said Miller. “But, interestingly, people are not overwhelmed by it.”

At the same time, however, there appears to be a higher-than-ever dissatisfaction factor. More people today “hate the work involved in getting information”—62 percent today, compared to 56 percent in 2002.

This is where our new Web site comes into play. It’s not just a redesign, it’s a commitment to readers. Some of the biggest changes are behind the scenes, such as the ability to change on the fly or identify what news items are most popular. We intend to broadcast stories in a variety of new ways, including through HCN TV—again, accessible right now.

But above all, the new site demonstrates a commitment to news and analysis. While continuing to offer breaking stories throughout the day, our staff, particularly newly promoted online editor Kate Fazzini, will also generate a daily “Top Story”—a feature designed to keep users tuned in, every day.

Like the iPhone, the relaunch of is sure to inspire future upgrades. Unlike the iPhone, Sister Bernice would love the price—no extra cost to the user.

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