With regards to the news of SPH's proposed acquisition of HWZ, Cyuxiang sums it up best.
"I've always thought that the ppl who set up HWZ have reasons like because they have a strong interest in the local hardware scene, that they wanted to set up a community to unite ppl of such interest. They would strive & work hard to keep this community of enthusiasts alive & be happy co-owning this community space with its members. This HWZ is very much ours as it is theirs, because everyone is here as friends who chat about the same subject. We trust each other with our opinions & info, we share benchmarks, & pricelists. There has rarely been a question of intellectual property rights or ownership, because we are an interest-driven group, not some profit-making initiative.
Of cos in the past few years HWZ has ventured much into the capital business with its regional expansion, the DMCard, its magazine subsidiary, & other forms of commercial partnership. However I have always seen this as ways to inject more capital to keep this community alive & vibrant, & at the same time spread its reach & depth. Of cos, slowly step-by-step it is losing its value as a serious enthusiasts community & becoming more of a commercial public domain now.
& now they have sold it off the SPH. Was this their original intent, to set this up as a profit-making model? Why did all the enthusiasts & expertise of the local hardware field gathered in this community, just so that their valued opinions, which they gave so freely because it was for the good of everyone, could now be sold at a value of $7.1m? This is one of the very assets of HWZ, the culmination of all the IT & hardware know-how. The very talents that have resided in here.
Of course, the direction of maintaining this community, with direct reference to its most important mode of communication & knowledge assembly - the forums, will take a different turn when the ownership changes hands. No one can deny nor hide this fact. We are now no longer an independent enthusiasts community, we are now representative of a profit-making company who has its reputation & status to be upheld at all times. Never can any information that we share or any opinion that we make be the same again. The grounds of exchange have taken on a very different role from now on.
2 days I haven't log onto HWZ, & this big a news broke out. It is really disappointing to hear it. We will see what will become of VR-Forums, arguably the only reputable independent enthusiasts playground that's left now."
Tags: Hardwarezone, Hardwarezone forum forums, EDMW, Eat Drink Man Woman, SPH, Acquisition, S$7.1 million, 1st November 2006, 1 Nov