CIX Hacks is a hidden corner of the online press/PR world in the UK – it is certainly one of the longest established places online where UK tech journos and PRs have congregated – and yet it has always remained curiously ignored by virtually all PRs.
CIX has been around for nearly 20 years, one of the very first online communities. Its conferencing system allowed you to post messages and have members comment on your messages. The Hacks conference was established c.1990 as a place for PRs to talk to journalistss. I was an early joiner – in fact The Guardian’s Jack Schofield name checked myself and Frank O’Mahoney (then UK PR Manager for Apple) in an article in Personal Computer World, saying that we were pioneering a whole new approach to PR by providing press information electronically – via the hacks conference and email. Most PRs I knew at the time thought it would never catch on – hindsight is a wonderful thing 😉
In spite of this, apart from the odd PR joining, only a few of us ever used it in any serious way – having said that, many press commented that it meant the signal to noise ratio was kept low – and perhaps in retrospect helped us to get more attention for our clients as a result. Then again perhaps the fact you had to pay to subscribe put people off – then again it was (and is) hardly an onerous sum.
CIX Hacks is still there today – and still providing a unique place for press/PR interaction. Guy Kewney shared his BBC incident with us before it became the story of the week last week. And no doubt more will be shared in the future. But you’ll have to join to find out – go here to get details CIX Online.