We conducted an interview with Nur Jeevan Guna Segar and Darwin Sucipto, Managing Editors of TechENT and ThePKG to learn more about their newly established company – Entity Digital Sdn Bhd, a business entity that operates their own media portals and offers content creation services. We learned about how they run their company and helm their media portals. TechENT has been on PR Newswire’s syndication network since March 2016, while the newly launched ThePKG was added on this July.
Tell us more about your company Entity Digital.
Entity Digital is a digital content company. We focus on creating meaningful content for our clientele and readers and pride ourselves on creating relatable content with our readers in mind. In addition to providing media content on our media sites, we also provide content creation services.
We currently have two people on our team with two websites under our portfolio, but there will be more to come in the future. We recently moved into our new office in Common Ground. The new office space gives us a true base of operations after being digital nomads for about two years. Common Ground also allows us to continue our digital nomad style of working thanks to the hot-desking capabilities that come with the office space at any Common Ground outlets worldwide.
What do TechENT and ThePKG stand for respectively? What kind of content does each one cover?
TechENT came about after Darwin and myself realized that there was a gap in the way technology was being covered in the media. The realization that most of the tech news out there wouldn’t be understood by people such as our parents and siblings, left us wanting to make technology more approachable and easier to understand. With that in mind, we looked for a name suitable for our goal; being the geeks and nerds that we are, our inspiration for the name came from J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings”. Within the lore of Middle Earth, the Ents are revered as protectors and the most knowledgeable creatures. The wizards, hobbits, and elves all turned to the Ents for guidance. Hence, we chose the name TechENT. The name encapsulates what we want to achieve with the website: becoming the go-to source for all things tech-based including gadgets, bustech (business technology) and even some hidden emerging gems. Similarly, our logo is inspired by the Eye of Sauron and the Evil Eye in Middle Eastern culture; both are known to see all that is to be seen and the Evil Eye wards against evils and injustices. We hope that our content will be able to help consumers be more mindful and informed of their tech, empowering them to make wiser, more informed decisions when it comes to their tech.
ThePKG, pronounced The Package, is our new site where we’ll be focusing on news items and content that is more lifestyle-based. We’ll be covering items such as gaming, board games, movies, TV shows, automotive and the like. The name ThePKG came about from the abbreviation of Pop Kulture and Gaming. Of course, stylizing Culture with a “K” has nothing to do with the Kardashians but more to do with packaging our content under a relatable brand. ThePKG will be a site with a more lighthearted style which will fit the lifestyle approach compared to its sister site, TechENT.
You used to focus solely on Tech. What made you expand your horizons?
Our focus on tech was due to our interest in it and our desire to make technology more relatable in a world which is steadily growing more tech-centric. However, after doing tech content over a period of five years, we realized that there are many facets of tech that can be covered and some which spill over into the lifestyle arena. We also realized that we’ve built a platform for technology and tech news which has become a go-to site for many of our readers with over 30% of our daily traffic being returning visitors. With that in mind, we thought it would be best to segregate the technology-centric content and the more lifestyle-based content so as not to drown and dilute TechENT’s content. While the decision to keep items like gaming on a separate platform, we also realized that other lifestyle-related items can complement the gaming content as well. This led to us expanding the scope to cover more lifestyle items.
With the rise of Tech and Lifestyle blogs in Malaysia, how do you make your portals stand out from others?
TechENT and ThePKG are sites with very different appeals and je nais se quois. The former is a site which makes tech approachable to the masses. You don’t have to know big jargons such as IPS, LED, RAM, ROM and the like to understand our content. We want to draw the focus more on experiences in using the technology that we talk about. We are focusing not on the internals and benchmarks of the tech we cover, instead, we take into consideration things like pricing and value for money when reviewing gadgets and gizmos. In fact, this is one of our biggest standouts compared to others. We won’t tell you a gadget is worth your money because it’s a flagship, we’ll tell you it’s worth your time when it’s an all-rounder with good specifications and the right price point, but that doesn’t mean those flagships aren’t worth your time. We welcome our readers to review and rate the devices as well. A healthy dialogue gives us a better understanding of what the market wants and what everyone is looking for.
ThePKG, on the other hand, is a light-hearted, easy-to-read site where we want to relate to our readers as friends. We’re not critics talking about movies and games – we’re your everyday person looking to share our opinion and start a healthy dialogue on our favorite games, movies and the like.
How do you determine the newsworthiness of a story and whether to feature it on your portals?
In general, we try to vet through stories and releases to make sure that they are relatable to our readers. While we’d love to give a hard and fast rule as to what we will and what we won’t cover, we can’t. We usually go through everything before posting and in some cases, the most complex, technical release gets chosen because the content in the piece is good and relates in a more impactful way than a simple release. Of course, there are some releases which we will pick up simply because they are fun pieces. Others are processed and refined for our readers even though they may be filled with technical jargons and head spinning complexities.
How do you manage to helm both portals despite your busy schedule?
The first way we deal with helming both portals is to be realistic with our daily goals. It’s essential that we understand that we will not be able to cover everything that we get in a day. Instead, we prioritize according to our capacity on that day and plan out when other content can be published. Also, SLACK is a lifesaver. We use the platform for jotting down ideas and plans to come back to. Being digital nomads for the better part of two years, we tend to process and publish event releases on the go through our mobiles or laptops. If we’re lucky enough to both be at the same event, one will be doing pictures while the other processes the release. It’s a synergistic work process which makes sure that we’re in sync and at our best.
What do you like most about attending media events?
While we can say that getting our hands on the latest and greatest technology is one of our favorite reasons for attending events, it would only be half the truth. The fact that we can meet new people, socialize and connect with other like-minded individuals at these events is what we enjoy most. While they are work events, there are instances where these people become close friends and people with whom we collaborate with.
What is it like being your own boss? How do you stay motivated and disciplined?
Being our own boss is both a boon and a burden. It can be exhausting keeping up with the daily workload and also doing all the things that need to be done on the backend of the company, but it’s also the most rewarding when you start seeing the strides you’ve made in your work. Having said that, being your own boss also means keeping yourself in check when it comes to dealing with people and prioritizing your work and life. Sometimes it can seem like a whole lot of impossible but those are the times when you must plow through and make it through the other side. In the end, we only have ourselves to blame if we don’t achieve what we set out to do.
Keeping ourselves motivated and disciplined is one of the hardest things to do. There are days when we just can’t, but recognizing that we need to take a day or two to unwind makes being motivated a lot easier. Of course, having another person there to give you a kick in the butt occasionally is also helpful.
Out of all the Tech gadgets that you’ve got your hands on over the years, what are your top 3 favorite toys and why?
The Samsung Gear S3 is undoubtedly one of the best smartwatches on the market.
Razer Lancehead the brand makes some of the most desirable gaming peripheral out there, the Lancehead is no different; it is one of the best gaming mouse out there while keeping the comfort level to the maximum.
Samsung Note8 Personally I’ve been a big fan of the Samsung Galaxy Note line. The Note 8 is the best of the best in the market and has proven itself time and time again in daily usage, it is also one of the most expensive smartphones we tested in the arsenal
The Motorola Moto360 is a simple, stylish smartwatch which gives me the ability to express myself and be productive on the go.
The Razer Ornata Chroma Keyboard is one of the most comfortable keyboards to type on.
The Sony MDR-1000XM2 has to be one of the best sounding headphones out there with active noise canceling technology. It’s also one of the most comfortable over the ear headsets.
What is the best way for PR professionals to contact you and what should they take note of before contacting you?
The best way to contact us is through email and our phones, but do take a look at our work beforehand as we can’t be covering topics like make-up on TechENT or Server systems on ThePKG.
This blog post is contributed by Christine Pereira, Senior Audience Development Executive at PR Newswire. Christine is in charge of partnerships, expanding our media network, organizing our bi-annual Media Coffee events and other company-wide ad-hoc projects for the Malaysian market.