Welcome to Xperience, The New Consumer Section of Xconomy

Xconomy National — 

It’s been a busy spring here at Xconomy. Last month we added a seventh city to our national network—Xconomy Boulder/Denver. And today we’re excited to announce Xperience, a new section designed to guide consumers to the best technologies for their lifestyles.

You might have stumbled across Xperience already. We “soft-launched” the section on March 28 and we’ve spent the last couple of weeks quietly adding content and collecting feedback. Today we’re ready to tell the world what we’ve been up to.

Some core questions Xconomy has always sought to ask and answer are these: How does high-tech innovation work on a nuts-and-bolts level? And how do great ideas get to market? That means we spend most of our time writing for and about the people who bring new stuff into the world: entrepreneurs, researchers, developers, designers, investors, and so on.

But even if you’re a product manager, a startup founder, or a venture capitalist, you’re also a user of technology—and chances are you have a hard time keeping up with the stuff everyone else is creating. Here at Xperience, our goal is to bring you the big picture about how technology is changing people’s lives, and help you decide which tools might make your own life easier, healthier, and more rewarding.

To explain it all, we’ve put together this handy one-minute video:

You can think of Xperience as the “lifestyle” or “weekend” section of Xconomy, though we’ll publish on a regular weekday schedule, just like the rest of the site. We’ll use the section to look at the role of technology in our choices about the food we eat, the places we travel, the clothes we wear, the way we learn, the things we do to stay healthy, and the content we consume. We’ll ask which new apps, gadgets, and services are really worth your time and money. And we’ll bring you the occasional offbeat, goofy, or humorous story about how technology is changing our culture.

To kick things off, we’ve already published a few pieces that convey the new vibe at Xperience:

* Everyone hates clutter and crammed closets. What if it there were a Dropbox for the real world, and it was just as easy to store and retrieve your physical stuff as it is to store and share files in the cloud? That’s exactly the service a new San Francisco startup called Boxbee is offering.

* Only 18 percent of Americans have a gym membership, and only half those people actually go in more than 100 times a year. Now it’s getting easier to work out—and get personal instruction—without leaving home. We took a close look at Wello, which offers live, two-way video access to certified trainers for as little as $10 per hour.

* It’s hard enough finding something to watch on your 500-channel cable lineup. How are you supposed to navigate the infinitely larger world of Internet videos? 9×9.tv is one of the companies working on that—they’ve got a new way of organizing YouTube videos that draws on the broadcast TV tradition of “dayparting,” or presenting different types of content at different times of day.

* Xperience is also the home for my new weekly column, VOX: The Voice of Xperience. So far I’ve covered questions like whether you really need a to-do list, how a company called Dropcam is helping homeowners get comfortable with the idea of full-time video surveillance in their homes, and which apps every cook and food lover should have on their smartphone or tablet. Check back for new VOX columns every Friday.

* More and more learning today is going on outside the classroom. But while massively online open courses, or MOOCs, have been getting a lot of attention lately, there’s one company, Lynda.com, that’s been working to perfect the art of the online training video since 1995. On March 28 we published a big feature about Lynda.com and its huge library of courses.

Lynda.com is based in Carpinteria, CA, near Santa Barbara. That’s outside Xconomy’s network of local bureaus, which brings up an important point about Xperience: we’re going where the stories lead us. Xconomy will continue to bring a fierce hyperlocal focus to our coverage of top innovation hubs—and in fact, we’ve got more news coming on that front very soon. But here at Xperience, we’ll write about the most intriguing new technologies for consumers, wherever they’re being invented. (Feel free to send your story ideas to me at [email protected], or just reach out to your favorite local Xconomy editor.)

We’ll be linking to Xperience stories from Xconomy’s regular Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts, so I encourage you to follow us on those networks, if you aren’t already. You can also check us out on Pinterest, where we’ll be curating a special set of Xperience pinboards. And if you’re a Flipboard user, you can subscribe to the new Xperience magazine.

Xperience offers a new outlet not just for Xconomy’s writers but for its sponsors and underwriters. We’re very grateful for the support of Xperience’s two launch sponsors: office furniture maker Turnstone and Seattle-based product design and strategy firm Stratos.

Launching Xperience has taken a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and I can’t close without a shout-out to my two closest co-conspirators. Rob Hunter of True Italic is the genius Web and mobile designer who created the look and feel for Xperience and translated it into code. And Rebecca Zacks, Xconomy’s co-founder, chief operating officer, and executive editor, pushed the project forward and masterfully handled the hundreds of operational details that go into this kind of product launch. Thanks guys!