Welcome to 512Tech

Thousands attending the first day of SXSW Interactive  2014 navigate the halls of the Austin Convention Center on Friday, March 7, 2014.

Combined ShapeCaption
Thousands attending the first day of SXSW Interactive 2014 navigate the halls of the Austin Convention Center on Friday, March 7, 2014.

American-Statesman's new site aims to become technology hub for Central Texas

The technology industry -- and the culture that surrounds it -- is a big deal in Austin.

The high-tech sector is one of the key pieces of our area's economic foundation. It employs tens of thousands of Central Texas workers, and directly pumps billions of dollars into the local economy each year. It's safe to say the tech sector's indirect monetary impact is felt by almost everyone who lives in the Austin metro area.

But the technology sector is something more than just financial impact: It's a crucial piece of what makes Austin, well, Austin.

The presence of industry giants like Dell,  Apple, Samsung, IBM and NXP Semiconductor -- to name just a few -- has helped turn Austin into an international power in the technology scene. And as our technology sector has matured, it has spawned a powerful startup culture that turns out thousands of innovators and innovations every year.

The Austin American-Statesman has long been the leader in technology coverage for our area -- but we've realized the time has come to do more. We're stepping up our game to meet the challenge of covering all aspects of our vast and eclectic tech community.

That's why we've created 512Tech, a new standalone website dedicated fully to covering tech business and culture in Austin -- and to creating a place for Austin's technology community to gather and discuss the big stories that effect  their industries.

Along with our new site, we've created a new technology reporting team. The team includes some names and faces that will be familiar to you -- led by veteran Statesman reporters Omar GallagaLori Hawkins and Lilly Rockwell -- but their roles have been redefined to focus solely on technology coverage. We've created a video tour to tell you more about the specifics of the site and the areas of focus for each of those reporters.

Our coverage goals have also been redefined. While we will still write about the job market and the financial health of our tech companies and overall tech sector, we will give more attention to the culture of our technology community. We will spotlight the technology innovations coming out of Austin -- and the people making those innovations happen -- and will have a renewed focus on our startup scene.

We're excited about this new undertaking, and we believe the technology community -- and our wider readership -- will be excited about it, as well.

We're launching the new site just ahead of one of the nation's biggest technology events, the SXSW Interactive festival. That's not an accident. SXSW Interactive brings the technology world to Austin -- and we want to be a part of that.

Come join us daily as we tell the story of Austin's technology sector by telling the stories of the people who make it all happen.