Articles

Goodbye HardOCP - Hello Intel

Author:Kyle Bennett

Date: Tuesday , March 19, 2019

We have some big changes happening here at HardOCP. Kyle Bennett will be taking on new challenges very soon with Intel working as its Director of Enthusiast Engagement.

Goodbye HardOCP - Hello Intel

Effective April 1, 2019 I will be taking on the position of Director of Enthusiast Engagement for Intel’s Technology Leadership Marketing group. Intel wants to reconnect with the top of the high-performance consumer pyramid which contains hardware enthusiasts, overclockers, gamers, and content creators. This is the part of our community that has great influence through word of mouth and online engagement. I’ll be focusing on helping Intel get back in touch with this audience and re-establishing a voice and dialog on where the company is going with its future technologies. If you are reading this, you are very likely already part of this group.

You have likely read about Intel beginning to take a more open and transparent approach lately in the press. You’ve also likely seen more interviews with Raja Koduri, Jim Keller, Murthy Renduchintala and other Intel technologists along with increased interaction on Twitter. While all of this is encouraging, I think there is even more opportunity to take a hands-on approach with enthusiasts. This is where I come in, along with the people and resources of Intel.

As most of you know, I have run many community events in the past, with our workshops at QuakeCon probably being the most memorable. I also did more than a few enthusiast events with AMD as well, that were also great successes for everyone involved. Of all the things I have done at HardOCP in the last two decades, those face-to-face events, have truly been the most enjoyable and worthwhile things that I have been involved with. This direct engagement will be key to what I want to do with and for the enthusiast community at Intel.

I want to see Intel have events and activities focused on its technologies with the community in mind. I’m excited at the opportunity to get "boots on the ground" and start interacting with enthusiasts so we can gather your concerns, thoughts, and feelings first-hand, and foster a better understanding of where we’re going and why. My personal opinion on this is that we need to get out there and shake your hand, grab some food, and talk Intel tech. I know you will give it to us straight, and getting it straight is how the company can improve the way it engages and listens. I want to see engineers, execs, and internal Intel enthusiasts interact with our community on Intel technologies, not talk at them. Two-way communication is of the utmost importance.

One other thing I think that is important to discuss is that Intel, internally, thinks this needs to be done. Through all of my interactions with Intel brass in the last couple of months, I met nobody in denial about the opportunity to improve the company’s relationship with the enthusiast community, and I specifically asked about this. Intel wants to be an integral part of the enthusiast community like it was years ago.

So what happens to HardOCP? I have thought long and hard about this. I do not want to sell HardOCP or HardForum and see those properties turned into something that I would not be proud of. HardOCP will be "mothballed." It will no longer publish news, editorial, or hardware review content. Of course, being the "Director of Enthusiast Engagement" and closing HardForum.com, one of the largest computer enthusiast forums on the Internet, does not seem to go hand-in-hand, but there are some conflict of interest issues that need to be tackled. HardForum.com will be sold to a company that I have done business with for years, one that I can trust to run it in the way you are familiar with. HardForum will be demonitised and all advertising and commission links removed. Simply put, HardForum will not make money in any way. It will be left up to its members to fund operations through Patreon. We already have Patreon funding in place, so this should not be an issue. Over the last year, I have gotten the HardForum to run lean and mean and I have no doubt that we will not see much change in its functioning. I will also still be an admin and member of our HardForum community. I will still be there interacting with you and the other members. Even though I am going to work for Intel, I am still a member of the enthusiast community and love being a part of it. It is not something I would ever give up.

Many of you are going to want to know my motivations behind all of this, and quite frankly, that would be a question I would have too. There is no simple answer to this question. It has a lot to do with family, business models, and personal choices. First and foremost, my decision was not based on financial motivations. I have been doing the "same job" for over two decades now, and the opportunity to do something new that is challenging, fun, and impactful is very appealing to me. It comes down to where I think I can benefit the enthusiast community the most at this point in my life. My new position with Intel is going to allow me to be another voice for the enthusiast inside the company, which I think is something the it needs going forward. Similarly, I will get to be an Intel voice that directly reaches out to the enthusiast community, which I think is equally needed. Lastly, I am excited at the direction of where the company is going. Intel has a tremendous roadmap for future products and technologies and the opportunity to help bring that to this audience is one that I did not want to pass up.

Hopefully I will get a chance to shake your hand and talk tech with you very soon as we get these enthusiast engagement programs up and running. We are hoping to do some very cool and fun initiatives that will be worth you taking the time to engage with us on.

You will of course be able to find me at HardForum.com and keep up with me on Twitter @KyleBennett.