New Special Series People Profiles Coming In 2019 To The ‘Mac Potpourri’ Column

FEATURE: 12.31.18- On this New Year’s Eve, while they’re counting down the hours until the ball drops in New York City’s Times Square, MacPrices is counting down to the launch of a new special series here in the “Mac Potpourri” column called People Profiles which will debut next month in January 2019, adding more variety to the scope and type of coverage featured on this website.

I report a lot of stories revolving around Apple products here in my column but rarely focus on people and how they use those products in daily life, either to help them or to help others. One of the things I have enjoyed doing as a journalist over the years is getting to meet new people and telling their stories to share with the rest of the world. That is the impetus and drive for starting this new series on “Mac Potpourri.”

Remember what I said about the name change to my column back in August on how Potpourri is defined by Siri (when asking it for the definition of a word) as a mixture of things, especially a musical or literary medley? The new People Profiles series is encompassed by the idea behind the name change to this column because it falls under the umbrella of covering a plethora of various topics from different categories that are all Apple centric, the maker of the products we price track here on MacPrices.

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Garvin Thomas, reporter and host of the “Bay Area Proud” series on NBC Bay Area News records a segment in the television station’s studio. (Photo: Jeremy Carroll)

The inspiration for the concept of the People Profiles series comes from the “Bay Area Proud” series which is a periodical feature that regularly airs Tuesdays and Thursdays in the 5:00 PM newscast on NBC Bay Area News, the San Jose, California-based television news station (KNTV Channel 11 / Cable Channel 3) owned and operated by NBC Universal, and parent company Comcast, which serves the San Francisco metropolitan area where I reside. The featured segment on the program was designed to address viewers who felt that there was too much negative news on the air and the news station’s goal was to make sure that newscasts provided a more balanced and accurate view of life in the communities they reported from.

NBC Bay Area News reporter, Garvin Thomas, 52, host of the series — who has been in the broadcast journalism profession for 29 years, 14 of which with NBC Bay Area News — has done more than 500 stories to date since the inception of “Bay Area Proud” back in 2012. He said of the segment, “The credit for the idea goes to my bosses at the time, although they did create it with me in kind.”

“My favorite aspect of the series is a selfish one: my working hours are spent hanging out with nice people doing good for others. If that sounds like a great job, that’s because it is.”

Thomas added, “I couldn’t possibly single out any one person, or story, as special. I will say, though, the occasions that people have welcomed me into their lives during difficult times are moments I will never forget. There are more than a few people I have interviewed who are no longer alive and to be able to have shared their stories is very meaningful to me.”

A sentiment I share as well because I too have enjoyed telling the stories of people in my community while working from 2008-12 as a correspondent for two weekly newspapers — one in my hometown, the island city of Alameda, California for the Alameda Journal and the other in the neighboring city of Oakland for The Montclarion (both published online under the website of the daily newspaper, the East Bay Times) — of Bay Area News Group, a major news organization which is the parent company of the daily and weekly newspaper publications serving the San Francisco metropolitan area (primarily the East Bay and San Jose)).

So, what can readers expect to read about in articles from the People Profiles series?

The new series will feature people and their contribution to the Mac user community or anything related to Apple in general with a person as the focus and heart of the story.

Just to whet everyone’s appetite, here’s a little preview of some of the upcoming individuals that tentatively are planned to be featured in the series (subject to change):

— a first responder who risked his life to save a complete stranger’s iPHone

— an individual doing his part to be eco-friendly by salvaging a large collection of Macs found at a recycling center and giving them new homes

— the creator of a popular novelty Mac app from the 1990s

— the publisher of a website that provides useful information and resources for Apple products

— the former reviews editor of PowerBook Central (this site’s sister website) and an update on what he’s been doing since moving on

MacPrices publisher, Steve Hildreth, said of the upcoming new series, “People Profiles will provide a unique perspective on individuals’ lives and how they have had an impact on the Apple community. This new series will explore the personal side of technology in a way that simple product reviews lack and will be a nice addition to this column’s wide-ranging coverage of Apple and its popular hardware and devices.”

His personal thoughts on People Profiles? “This sounds like a really good series,” said Hildreth. “People always seem to like reading human interest stories.”

Thomas, on me starting my own series inspired by his, said, “It has been a privilege to share stories of people who are inspirational. To be an inspiration to someone else is quite an honor.”

I personally am excited about writing articles in this new People Profiles series here in my “Mac Potpourri” column and can’t wait to share the stories of these persons with my readers and the rest of the world. I hope you will find the articles interesting and entertaining.

Look for People Profiles to debut next month and be featured throughout the year and beyond!

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