After a short while, I realized there was a lot to say about this new generation of little computers that people were starting to call netbooks, and I launched Eee Site. But by April of 2008, it was clear that this wasn't just about the Asus Eee PC anymore. HP, Dell, Acer, and a number of other computer makers were getting in on the action, and rather than try to squeeze all of that information into a web page named for a single computer, I decided to launch a site with a broader focus. And Liliputing was born.
It turns out the low power, low priced computing trend was even bigger than I had anticipated. In 2008, practically every major computer maker (with the exception of Apple and Sony) launched a netbook. And a ton of companies I'd never heard of joined their ranks, including some companies that had never even released computers before. In 2009 we're starting to see a few new trends in the netbook space including:
- Mini-laptops with touchscreen interfaces
- Mobile carriers subsidizing netbooks the same way they do with cellphones for customers who sign up for long term data plans
- A number of companies are starting to talk about releasing netbooks based on low power ARM processors which could run Windows CE or Linux and get battery life that blows away today's Intel Atom/Windows powered machines
As the netbook industry has taken shape, I'm proud to say that Liliputing has become one of the top destinations for news, information, and discussion about this new frontier in mobile computing. As of this month, the site has received over 6 million page views from 4 million unique visitors. Compete.com recently found that Liliputing is one of the top 10 sites people click on after searching for netbook related terms on major search engines. And through a number of advertising partnerships, Liliputing has begun to bring in enough money that I now consider it my primary source of income, although I still continue to do freelance work for Download Squad, WHYY-FM, NPR, and other organizations.
Last time I posted an update on Liliputing's progress here, I mentioned the launch of the Liliputing Forums, implementation of the Disqus commenting system, and a few other features that have helped make the site more of a community than simply a blog. I think those features are still helping the site grow, but I'm also proud of the fact that I've started building out a review section for the site where users can find detailed information about computers and products that I've had a chance to test. The Liliputing Product Database , maintained in partnership with UMPC Portal and several other sites, has also become one of the top resources for information about netbooks.
This month I'm running a series of contests on Liliputing to celebrate the one year anniversary. We've already given away a USB slim DVD burner from Asus, a universal laptop battery and a universal case from Ultimate Netbook, and we have a FidoHub netbook touchscreen kit contest currently underway . I've got at least one more contest scheduled to begin before the end of the month, and I've been saving one of the best prizes for last.
All told, it's been a pretty good year. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.