The Edit

Matt March Smith

Matt March Smith, co-founder of Pong Cheese, online purveyor of fine quality cheese, shares his favourite online haunts.

Like your cheese oozing off your plate? You’re not alone. This week’s guest editor is Matt March Smith, co-founder of Pong Cheese, online purveyor of fine quality cheese. Launched in 2009, Pong Cheese was created to bring you (the very delicious) smelly offerings from some of the very best cheese-makers from leading independent and artisan producers in the UK, France and Italy.

Prior to setting up Pong Cheese, Matt spent twelve years working in internet advertising, running several digital marketing agencies in London, helping brands such as Waitrose, Jamie Oliver and Oli launch into the online space. Matt has a keen interest in internet startups and grassroots entrepreneurialism. He launched Pestle Herbs, a consumer site selling organic and responsibly-sourced dried herbs and herbal products. Here, Matt talks us through his online picks.

PONG is offering a discount, exclusive to GWG readers, with 10% off all orders, quoting code GWGPONG. This offer expires on 31st March 2017.


My favourite website... BBC - I think I must have been on it literally every day since it first launched in the late 90s. However as a parent of two teenagers, I need regular access to Acronym Finder to understand what they're talking about.

My favourite app... my Jawbone fitness tracker - It's such a well made yet simple and interactively perfect app, everyone should have it. First thing I do on waking is log into the app to see how long I slept for and sadly find out it wasn't enough.

My blog of choice... kaveyeats.com - The lovely Kavita is not just a foodwriter, she's absolutely crazy for cheese and has been so helpful to Pong Cheese, even suggesting new box ideas. Her reviews of those boxes generated a lot of traffic for the Pong site in the early days.

My internet hero... No-one in particular, I really believe that it's quite unclear when the internet began and what part, for example Tim Berners Lee or Vint Cerf, played in its inception; or the fact that there aren’t really any standout paradigm changes to it since the mid 90s. It suggests that the internet is made by and for its users. We are all its founders and its daily contributors and we will decide where it goes next.

My most recent buy online... a hair straightening brush from China (not for me, for my daughter).

Book just read... Slade House - The newest David Mitchell book (not the comedian). I can't download and read books on any device because I feel as if I’m staring at a screen for long enough with work. I find that leisure and a real book gives you some time out.

My favourite tweeter... @boringmilner - I’m a big football fan and there's no funnier account than Boring James Milner for inane sound bites.

My favourite instagrammer... @pamlovesferrariboys is my current favourite. It is dedicated to a dressed up bulldog called Pam and I think is marketing a clothing company. It is ridiculously funny.

Social media allowed me to meet... Not quite 'meet' but via Twitter, I had direct contact with one of my favourite musicians, Manu Katche. After going to his concert, I tweeted him saying how much I enjoyed the show. He replied saying 'Thank You!' It sounds silly really but this meant a lot to me and that sort of direct contact would not have been possible without Twitter.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to... i-escape.com - I love this travel website. I’m not a big fan of uninvited guests in my inbox but I love seeing the crystal blue beaches and stunning hotel settings in the i-escape emails. They're like having a 2.5 second holiday.

Stand out online memory... I was once part of a team that nearly bought the online rights to OK! Magazine from Richard Desmond at a really low price. Sadly just before the deal was about to go through, he had them valued - at £500m! That was the closest I got to having dotcom wealth.

Pet hate about life online... I still get really annoyed by buffering or poor bandwidth. I've worked in the internet for over 20 years and should have got used to it given how poor it used to be and how incredible fibre optic is now but you can never get enough of a good thing. It always happens at the worst times.

iPhone or Android? I've loved iPhones from the beginning and have had every iteration but ironically I use a lot more of the superb Google apps and cloud-based software, especially with work, than I do Apple's iCloud. So I should probably have an Android phone for compatibility but I don’t think I could ever make the change. That distinction has always been around, in advertising agencies the suits used PCs and the creatives had Macs and now Android/ Google seem to be more work-focused and Apple products suit home life a bit more. May be I keep my iPhone because I don’t want work to take over my whole life.

December 2016