BANGALORE: A typical teen, immersed in his own world, slave to his Xbox and PlayStation, is seldom credited with doing something productive. Breaking all stereotypes is 14-year-old Kannan Sobti, a grade eight student at the Bishop Cotton Boys School, Bangalore. He is also the owner and editor of the technology website — Deciding Edge at http://decidingedge.com. Garnering the support and admiration of thousands of technology enthusiasts from around the world, this site has an Alexa rank of 264,082. He simultaneously features on Twitter, Digg and Stumbleupon, and also has a mobile (Smartphone) version of the site up and running.
Started as a blog titled decidingedge, the endeavor was the result of Kannan’s obsession with gadgets and games. Unsatisfied with the unreliable and contradictory information posted on various sites, he decided to create a one-stop, technically accurate website himself. He later upgraded his blog to a dotcom, improving the interactive arrangement. It also allowed better optimisation for increased hits on Google and other search engines.
In his own words the “The Site aims to give easily understood reviews on gadgets, apps and anything else that a technologically inclined person may want to have some knowledge of. The idea is to decipher the technology and the features, so that you can ‘decide’ whether you want to try any of them. That was the genesis of the name ‘Deciding Edge’ ”.
The site is intuitively laid out, crisp headings for the articles makes for easy navigation. Kannan’s descriptions are very focused on the technology aspects and there is no hint of sitting in judgment or ridicule when reviewing a product. We realize that the complete lack of clichés and the freshness of his different perspective come from the fact that he is so young, has no economic considerations in mind, no affiliations and no job related agendas. He is to the point, and completely objective. The fact that the analysis is both deep truly makes it a good source of information. This is reflected by the increasing popularity of the site. DecidingEdge, attracts not just visitors who log in, read, and leave positive encouraging messages, but also guests who vie to post their own posts on his site. Frequently, other tech-sites have asked to feature Deciding Edge on their own sites, or wanted their links to be posted on Deciding Edge. Once again adopting the wisdom and sagacity that is beyond his years, Kannan is not quick to accept just anything. “I have to make sure that all content on my site is original, as plagiarism is quite rampant these days. And of course the content has to be readable and relevant.”
With no material benefits in it for him, he is very clear about where his passions lie. “Unless I work on the website myself and am genuinely into it, I can never hope to succeed. But I’ve always been interested in tech-based entertainment. I read about the new technologies, compare the information and verify it from a number of sources. On some occasions I try out the new gadget at a showroom or with a vendor,” says Kannan, son of a warfare expert.
Not just technology, but this fourteen-year-old has managed what even many management graduates fail to grasp -- how to manage a site so professionally, know how to keep the business end going, all, while keeping the ethics aspect in sharp focus.