Twenty First Tech, based in Singapore, started in 2013 as my personal tech blog, simply a hobby for a teen bored with school. Many things have happened since then. After its inception the site gained many contributors and editors, who were mostly friends from school. Soon we found ourselves being reached out to by companies to attend launch events and review their latest products.
Suddenly, it became bigger than a simple hobby. We started getting ambitious. We tried, and failed, at many initiatives, including a YouTube channel. We hit a peak, where we had a large team of writers, site traffic was respectable and profitable, and there was never a shortage of things to write about. But there was no vision, no scalability, no continuity. Then we all went off to serve National Service, or to University, and site stopped taking a high priority in our lives. We started posting less, and hence, Twenty First Tech started fading away into an obscure corner of the internet. Still, we had contacts, and whenever I returned to Singapore during my university breaks I would like to request a review unit of the latest phone to write about, just for fun.
One day in January 2020, the site went down, along with 4 years of data and hard work. It was rather upsetting. But on the other hand, perhaps this was the time to let the site go.
But the mind wanders when under (COVID-19) quarantine, and bored as I was, I started to see if I could salvage what was left behind. There was an old wordpress.com site that was still up with posts from 2016. We had a server still up and running, which we had paid for for the next year. We also still owned the domain name and had it paid for. It would be technically possible to start the site again, if not from the old wordpress.com backups, then from scratch.
And so in April 2020, I did. I pieced together as much as I could to recreate the old site. I imported posts from the 2016-era wordpress.com blog. I manually re-published some of the newer posts that I had saved in Word documents. While I was at it I redesigned the site to hopefully make it look cleaner.
I’m not sure where this site will go from here. It seems we’ve come full circle, and now it’s back to being a one-man operation. But I have every intention on picking up where we left off and continuing to build this website up, and I’m committed to maintaining and posting to the site much more regularly from now on. We’ll see where this goes.
If you’ve come this far, thank you for your support. Hopefully you’ll stick around.
17 Apr 2020
Why the name Twenty First Tech?
When the website first started and it was still a blog, I think I conceived some god-awful name that went something like Singapore Mobile Blog, or smoblog for short. I know, it was terrible.
I think the Twenty First Tech name can be attributed to my friend at the time, Shiv, though I’m unsure as to what the idea behind the name was, or if it really was his idea to begin with. But the name stuck, because it was catchy I guess.
It’s not a perfect name — I still get friends and family calling it Twenty One Tech, and one friend in particular inexplicably enjoys adding in an extra three syllables such that it becomes Twenty First Century Tech — but I think I now understand why the name appealed to me at that time, and it has something to do with the extra three syllables in the latter name.
We were born right before the turn of the century, and every so often throughout the course of my life I would wonder to myself how serendipitous it was that we were born in this time period. We witnessed, firsthand, the introduction of the iPhone and the smartphone revolution that came with it. Of course there were other noteworthy events of this era, but none quite encompassed the zeitgeist of the twenty first century as well as the smartphone.
This website was started by a kid who was way too interested in phones. And till this day it remains the main thing that we cover on this site, though we have branched to other consumer products such as laptops, cameras and headphones.
I guess the name Twenty First Tech stuck because in essence this was what the website covered: technology that started emerging in the early twenty first century. Even if we were to survive many more centuries to come, the name will still serve as a reminder for where this technology, that we are sure to take for granted by then, all came from.