Polina, CNET.com Editorial Intern, San Francisco, CA.
My father is the ultimate computer genius. Do not roll your eyes just yet my friends; he is the real deal – thick glasses, a dozen computers, an office filled with random gadgets that no one outside of the high school robotics club has heard of, and meters upon meters of wire that lead to nowhere… or possibly everywhere. So, it is no surprise that he was ecstatic when he heard that his very own daughter would be writing for CNET.com – the most expansive source of tech news on the Web. My father’s excitement, though immense, could not match how epically stoked I was to work for a Web site that I have been reading since my days as a wee lass. Anytime I ever wanted to buy any type of technology, be it software or a new phone, I could not simply launch into an instant gratification shopping spree. My father and I would sit down and research CNET for hours before spending any dough. As for download.com, which generates about 3.5 million downloads per day, anyone who owns a computer has heard of this place. Being able to write about freeware downloads that millions of people will see is a serious privilege for an aspiring journalist like me.
I’m not going to lie —this job is not easy. Unlike my dad, I am not a software wiz. People constantly assume that I must know A LOT about computers, internet codes, and resources to be writing about it. The truth is, it takes me a long time to simply research everything I write about. After previously reporting on everything from fashion to music, I was skeptical about the task of writing on the topic of tech. Though I am passionate about modern technology (being the digital native that I am), I have never had much practice with tech journalism. One cannot imagine the numerous details that go into writing about a download. Just like a piece of software needs every step laid out for it to function, the article outlining it must also follow each step. Not only must I research and test the ins and outs of what I am writing about, but the article must be mentally accessible to the millions of different readers roaming the portal which is CNET downloads. Now I have numerous readers emailing me every day, asking me to help them with their computer problems. Helping them is a much more pleasant task than dealing with downtown Berkeley craziness when I was a teller at Wells Fargo.
Not only has my writing, attention to detail, and tech knowledge improved since I have started working at CBSi, I am extremely lucky to be working with such talented and helpful people. I look forward to BART-ing to work every day, walking through the [chilly] streets of San Francisco, and most importantly being able to work in such a positive and challenging environment of writers.
Though I still won’t be able to beat my father in a software/gadget name-dropping contest, I have learned years worth of knowledge and skills through my summer internship. I am proud to say that I have been published on the front page of CNET.com, arguably the most famous tech news site in the world.