COMPUTERWORLD EXPO: Website launched for computer laypeople

Two Christchurch women have produced 'a layperson's guide to computing and computer software'.

Two Christchurch women have produced “a layperson’s guide to computing and computer software”.

Rosanne Hawarden and Nicky Wagner have formed Computer-NZ, a website that lists software firms, reviews their products and aims to promote New Zealand-made software.

The site was launched at Computerworld Expo in Auckland yesterday.

New media marketing specialist Wagner says Hawarden, a former industrial psychologist turned computer buff, has had many people tell her that they have a computing job to do, but they do not know which software to use. They also find the technical language difficult. Consequently, the pair decided to produce a computer site in layman’s terms, featuring “geekspeak” and tips for commonly used software. A raft of computing specialists will share their advice with users and a free newsletter will be emailed to subscribers.

Hawarden says many Kiwi firms write great software, but struggle to convert their ideas into marketable products. The site will also act as a central point for people to look at what’s available.

The site was thought of a year ago and worked on over the past three months, with background software from Wired Internet Solutions of Christchurch. It is intended to be funded by advertising, with paid featured spots.

Wagner previously created the Fashion New Zealand website of the New Zealand fashion industry, which claims 20,000 unique visitors a week - the largest fashion portal in Australasia, and doing much to promote Kiwi fashion. She also developed Garden New Zealand, which was recently voted best local gardening website by the New Zealand Garden Industry Association, she says.

Hawarden, who specialised in training in her psychologist role, has sold and supported a variety of business software products locally and internationally.

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