Introducing the Mobile Nations Newsroom

Mobile Nations Newsroom
By Kevin Michaluk on 31 Mar 2014 12:06 pm EDT
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I’m excited to introduce you to a new initiative we’ll be piloting on Android Central, iMore, Windows Phone Central, CrackBerry, and Smartwatch Fans this April.

Internally we’ve dubbed it Mobile Nations Newsroom and it represents a change to our organizational structure and workflow designed to provide you, our readers, with a better experience. The goal of Newsroom is to get you the latest news faster while doing it better, and while also allowing our talented team of writers to spend more of their day working on the original content that we know you all love.

Newsroom: What it is and why we’re doing it

Newsroom is meant to operate 24/7 throughout the year, standing as the front-line “news desk” for all of the Mobile Nations communities. It is a dedicated team that is looking out for the latest news and making sure it is published more quickly and accurately than ever — across the Mobile Nations network.

This is a big change from how we used to operate. Each of our sites was essentially running their own separate news operation. Over the past few years we have significantly expanded our staff to better handle the ever increasing load of news, editorials, how-tos, and reviews that you’re looking for. But with that larger staff we were still duplicating efforts on the news. We let the news dictate the pace of how we operated, and there were still gaps in our coverage.

Newsroom: Because you told us to.

Earlier this year you might recall the reader survey that we ran on our sites. When it came to news, we heard the same thing across the network: you wanted to see us be faster. In this day and age, there’s little loyalty when it comes to news. We know that you love our editorial and review content, but when it comes to news, there are plenty of accurate sources to which to turn. But, like any reader, we know you’d also prefer to get your news and editorial in one place. It’s just easier that way.

Over the past few years we took the approach that it was OK to be a little slower when reporting the news — it gave us time to add our insights, opinions, and analysis to those news pieces. But since then things have changed rapidly, and become rapid. All you have to do is watch Twitter and click on whichever news story link pops up first. We’ll be honest — we want you to read that story on our sites. And if you’ve already read it elsewhere because they posted it faster, then we’ve failed you.

In that same survey, you also told us that you love our original content. News is news is news. The things that we do beyond the news — the things that nobody else does — are what make our sites and communities the best there are. That’s what you love the most.

We want to satisfy both of those desires: faster news and more and better original content. We believe that Newsroom will be the solution. With a dedicated team responsible for news around the clock, the rest of our staff will be freed from being a slave to the news cycle and be able to offer their undivided attention to our reviews, editorials, help and how-to content, and everything else that you love about Mobile Nations.

Newsroom: What you should expect to change

The implementation of Newsroom is going to change how some things work at Mobile Nations. These changes will be for the better — it’s going to enable us to bring you better news and better editorial coverage. And more of it.

Derek Kessler, our dear managing editor, is heading up this whole Newsroom project. With Derek at the helm you just know this is going to be an awesome thing.

Newsroom: News becomes a one-two punch!

Expect to see more follow-up opinion and analysis pieces when meaningful news hits. In a Mobile Nations Newsroom world, much of the news posts that are published will be brief. It won’t be just straight news — we’ll still have the character and perspective that we always have brought to the news — but we also won’t be burdening our news stories with rushed editorial content either. When the news hits, we’ll be getting it up quickly and accurately to give you the place that you wanted to discuss it.

When important news hits, news that’s in need of analysis or opinion, we’ll take the time to do a proper and separate follow-up piece about what this news really means. By decoupling the news from the opinion, we can get the news done faster and take our time to do the opinion justice. We like to think that the Newsroom process will be a one-two punch: the news gets out fast and hard with a quick jab, followed by a knock-out editorial punch.

Newsroom: New faces!

Expect to see some different names in the bylines when it comes to news. Newsroom is leveraging writers from across the Mobile Nations network to help ensure continuous and effective news coverage. We are one team. So yes, you might see a news post go up on iMore with the illustrious Android Central-loving Alex Dobie as the author, and you might just see Rich Edmonds of Windows Phone Central writing news on CrackBerry.

A beneficial side effect: to be effective news writers for all platforms, we’re going to have to broaden our knowledge base beyond just being platform enthusiasts.

That’s not to say that our platform-specific enthusiasm and expertise is going to dry up. Newsroom will actually help to enhance our ability to report accurately and candidly on the state of mobile,

Newsroom: More news! (and more original content!)

The way that we’ve run our sites up to this point has included a glaring point of inefficiency: we’re engaging in massive duplicative efforts. Not only did we have separate news teams for each site, but typically all of our writers were simultaneously writing their editorial content while also watching the news. Across multiple sites we were wasting time and resources.

This was especially evident when we were covering general mobile news. Take for instance a new data plan from AT&T. That post would be written four different times by four different writers on our four smartphone-focused sites. There’s nothing unique about a new data plan between CrackBerry or Windows Phone Central, yet we still wrote separate posts.

With Newsroom that will no longer be the case. You can expect to see more industry news hit across all of the Mobile Nations sites. We’ve built a suite of tools that will help us do this faster and better than before, all to serve you better. If you’re a reader of all our sites, that might mean that you’ll see the same post show up on multiple sites, but they’ll still have separate commenters leading unique platform discussions.

This helps us do the news faster, but it also frees up time across the network. Those that aren’t working on the news can spend more of their time working on original content.

Newsroom: What won’t change

“But I like Mobile Nations the way it is!” We hear you. Newsroom is going to change some things, but the stuff that really makes Mobile Nations great isn’t going to change. Actually, it is. Newsroom will let us spend more time on our communities and original content.

Our Expertise!

Newsroom is structured in such a way that there will always be somebody on-hand with platform expertise to write the news when needed. So you needn’t worry about some interloper from another site getting things all wrong — we’ll be working together and using each other’s platform expertise to continue bringing you the best news we can.

Our Passion!

If you’re concerned that this commingling of writers from the different sites is somehow going to affect the passion for the platform each site covers individually, don’t be. Newsroom posts are news, and just news. Posts from Newsroom will be matters of fact, timely, and accurate. Newsroom’s role is to relay the news, not comment on it. Our passionate editorials on the news will continue, in fact we’ll be able to be more effective at it now.

Newsroom: So, you think you’ve got the chops?

With the introduction of Mobile Nations Newsroom we’re also expanding our team. We’re looking for dedicated news writers, people who can help us better cover the wee hours and weekends and restore a bit of that personal flexibility that we’re giving up in launching Newsroom.

So if you’ve always wanted to get a foot in the door writing about the latest in technology as a junior news reporter for Mobile Nations, if you you’ve got the chops, experience, and time to dedicate, this is your chance.

What we need

  • News writers with a solid foundation in mobile technology. It’s okay to be an expert on one platform, but you should have a strong base of knowledge on all major platforms.

  • We’re looking for writers across the globe. While we welcome writers in all time zones, we are especially interested in expanding our coverage during the daytime hours in Asia and Europe. That doesn’t mean you have to be living in those areas — if you live in the Western Hemisphere and want to work nights, we’re cool with that. If you live in Spain or Japan but can write English fluently, we're likewise cool!

  • You must be able to quickly and accurately write a concise post that relays the news of the day, though it should be obvious by this point that speed, accuracy, and succinctness are important qualities for a Newsroom writer.

If this describes and appeals to you, drop Derek Kessler a note at derek@mobilenations.com and we’ll explore the next steps together.

News team, assemble!

That’s a lot of explanation for the how and why we’re launching Mobile Nations Newsroom. We feel that this is an important and fundamental change to the way that we operate, and our hope is that it will better help us serve you.

With that explanation out of the way, it’s time to assemble the news team and get started. We’re ramping up in April, and we expect that there will be some kinks to work out. So we’ll thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work to build a better Mobile Nations experience. Also, thank you for your honest assessments of our coverage that has helped set us down this path.

We strive to always be improving what we offer to both our regular readers and new visitors that land on our sites. We feel that Newsroom will be a big step down that path.

Reader comments

Introducing the Mobile Nations Newsroom

87 Comments

Take the time to actually READ the article folks. No need to strive for rankings and other silly stuff. :]

Posted via CB10

Sounds like a great idea. Looking forward to seeing it roll out. The downside is that now I'll have to check CrackBerry on the weekends too! :)

Muhahahaha!! 24 / 7 / 365 is pretty awesome.

I mean, we've always been working HARD to bring you the best mobile coverage out there, but this puts on steroids. Also kills weekends for those of us on shift, so I hope you all love us for it! :)

Are you going to just copy and paste the articles on all relevant sites or use the tools created for #TM13 to make the same article appear on all of the sites in the network?

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

"That’s not to say that our platform-specific enthusiasm and expertise is going to dry up."

We'll see.
Kinda saw this coming the way that even the CrackBerry leader kept sounding more like one of those people that fled BlackBerry to go to iPhone and sounding less representative of those of us who are truly BlackBerry aficionados and physical keyboard lovers (the sales numbers back up the fact that the all-touch BlackBerry fans don't represent the majority of BlackBerry users).

Posted via CB10

+1 as I said on Twitter the Crackberry team seems like they see in a loveless marriage with BlackBerry and are only staying together for the kids. The kids being, loyalty, a job what have you. Seems like the community has more passion and love for the brand and product than the editors do anymore since they long ago admitted that a blackberry alone isn't good enough for them.

Oh you guys. I read comments like this and I sort of chuckle as they're just way off. I mean, I get why you make them... especially maybe after watching our last podcast which is a bit gloomy I guess (though I thought it was just straight up). You need to remember though.. I'm like an iceberg. You're seeing just the tip above the water and are making judgements. But there is always a LOT more to the story than you realize and a lot of the assumptions you make that you think are right, just, well, are not.

I'm going to put together a little editorial on this.. think it's needed to shed some light on where I'm at in more detail, so I don't see comments like this.

Kevin no one questions you are true "black" but unabashed product love has been in short supply the last while. Replaced with an extra helping stark realism and constructive criticism.

Looking forward to the article.

That's a problem with CrackBerry lately is that you post a lot of comments saying how we are off base in our thoughts about you or the site but you then don't back it up with articles.

Prove us wrong. Write a long piece about why we are off base. That's why you are editor in chief and CB leader, because you are supposed to write long meaningful articles about BlackBerry and CB nation.

I've been seeing a lot of posts that simply skim the surface or say "maybe I'll tell this story another time". This isn't acceptable. TELL those stories! That's what we are here for!

Talk about inside BlackBerry history. Talk about amazing inside info/rumors/tips. Talk about the latest news or opinions on BlackBerry that nobody else is. That's why we come to CB.

Posted via CB10

When I say I can't tell a story it's because people will get fired. Lol. If/when they're not at BBRY anymore, I'll let those stories fly :)

But yeah, will work on a post, soon.

To not totally derail this post all well. I am excited for the news room. It looks to be a welcome addition to the mobile nations.

How about... you just reroute all the site to mobilenations.com and just become 1 big "news site" like bgr or Engadget... that way people on the forums can troll each other with out having to argue and say leave BlackBerry forums and go to android or ios forums... or hear arguments like... if you like android so much just stay at android central and don't come to cb... or vice versa...

also.. it cuts down on the different names and sites created.. just make 1 site and 3-4 apps and your done... no nned for bitter arguing no more trolling between sites.. itll just be 1 forum 1 site to rule them all.. happy? I saved you money in the mean time... you can send me a check to my paypal for $500 and we call it a day...

You can be an expert in a field and still be able to read, digest, and regurgitate a quick news story. One does not necessarily interfere with the other. Kevin is CrackBerry to many people, but his responsibilities are with ALL of Mobile Nations. This is just an expansion of that, and is to better help the reader get the news they want, faster. This is a GOOD thing

A smart move, one that will benefit everyone, and broaden everybody's perspective. Really nice to see the mobile community come together like that . Best of luck, can't wait to see results.

The first thing you need to do, is remove all liquids and food from the production area. It looks like a lunch meeting. Just kidding, I look forward to continued excellent content produced by your staff.

Posted via CB10

Lol. That photo was from CES where we had our live stage. In reality, our newsroom is much more virtual. But yeah, I agree... not enough healthy snacks on that table! :)

You can already see that's not the case. Newsroom put up todays posts by Derek Kessler and Joe Keller.

There will be no short anything. Now, if there's lack of BB news you won't see the Newsroom making stuff up, but when there are things to report it'll be up fast and accurately.

I love how many comments Kevin is making lately. Makes up for the lack of editorials lately from the Original BlackBerry fan. ;)

Posted via CB10

No Cali Lewis? No John P?

Who will be presenting the Newsroom ?

Will you be having exclusive device launches or will you have to wait like everyone else?

Have you told John Chen?

Have you worked out a deal to have exclusive BlackBerry launches in the newsroom?

'there are more questions than answers .'

BlackBerry...Get me some answers!!!

Posted via CB10

We worked w/ Cali and John for CES live. That was a special event w/ live interviews, etc all on video. We're talking about our everyday news reporting here. All text. 24/7/365. Nothing to do with them.

Can't help but feel the CrackBerry team is covering their behinds lately. Slowly distancing themselves from BlackBerry and their old die hard fans. More Mobile nations than true "crackberry". Still love Bla1ze and Zeis though! minus the smartwatch

Posted via CB10

I could care less what the CrackBerry team does. Good on them for making sure they have a plan B. I mainly just use google news for keeping up too date now. I come to CrackBerry for the in depth commentaries from Umiastowski, Parsons and Zeis. Not to say i dont enjoy what Simon, James, Alicia or DJ write. Just sucks when two half ass articles half already made it up today, Sorry Mr. Keller but please include a link to the Canadian BlackBerry store next time and maybe edit the article on the Groupon deals for the Z10 to let everyone know its a STL100-1 model!! Oh and what happened to the weekly podcasts Kevin?

Well, Mr. Editor, if you can do it better they are looking for help, as was mentioned it the article. ;-)

I'm looking forward to see what the new setup brings.

Posted via CB10

Grow up fanboi... changes are always needed and I applaud Mobile Nations for making the necessary steps to modernize and improve.

If you stick to the same old same old they would wind up like www.RimRoad.com.

Innovate, modernize... or die. I think Kevin and his crew are taking a lesson from Hmmmm... BLACKBERRY!! And not standing pat.

Relax everyone. Relax.

Posted via CB10

Often in news, fast means inaccurate information that is pumped out for the sake of matching competitors or being FIRST. Hope you don't fall into that trap. Getting it right should still count for something.

Definitely agree. We're not sacrificing quality for speed. It's just a more efficient structure that will allow us to do more, better.

Can we please have an app for The Mobile Nations News Room that is on all platforms? My household consists of IPhone (daughter) , Windows Phone (Wifey) and BlackBerry (me), so at any given time I'm on one of those devices and I wish I could let's say access CrackBerry from my wife's Nokia when I using her phone for the moment without having to go to the browser. Heck how about a Mobile Nations app for all platforms?

I flick all my words from my amazing BlackBerry Z10

Any plans for a CB10 update? It eats memory (device storage) and the only way to fix is uninstall and reinstall. I was at 760MB for CB10 before I did this.

Please add an option to delete the cache.

Also the active frame has a horizontal white bar on the bottom now on Z30STA100-3/10.2.1.2180.

Posted via CB10

well there ya go... I guess I was right with what I wrote a few comments up.. that kevin kinda ignored and just posted down here... anyway... kevin I know your still mad at me for not sending you news your way... im sorry man.. please can we just let it go... how about this... ill trade you your z30 for my q10.... we call it even... what ya say?

As a long time blackberry user that just went to Apple. The Blackberry community has no idea how much better the BB10 app is over the Imore app. I also find the content lacking huge compared to the Blackberry side. Just my opinion. As you can see I'm starving for content so I'm still staying in the loop with the Blackberry side. Hope this improves the whole community.

We can translate in french if you need more help ! Don't forget this.. we are TeamBlackBerry ;) thanks Kevin

I'm very interested in seeing this happen. Actually, I'm very interested in being a part of this as the self-proclaimed tech guru that I am. Might have to drop Derek a line...

Posted with my CB-Q10 using the power of " Q "

Excellent move. However, I knew as I read it this was going to bring out the comments from concrete thinkers easily overwhelmed by complex information and ambiguity. Have an opinion, folks, just think it out. Like they taught us in English 101: if you don't understand the other person's point, you have no argument.

Posted via CB from "Z" best

@Kevin Michaluk can you please also create a website that we can share pins for networking and other, also a platform to share pins for video chat too :)

Need to do something to bring in iMore - that place feels like a ghost town. Last time I was in there, I swear I saw a tumble weed blow across my screen.

Posted via CB10

We have Android Central, Windows Phone, etc. I think it's time for the "Crackberry" name to be retired. Maybe officially brand the site as "CB" and move beyond the "Crack". It's time.

Posted via CB10

Probably won't happen as long as BlackBerry keeps making devices, and BB10 is still supported. There's still lots of discussions going on in Crackberry. The forums seem to be the most active among mobile nations.

There's ~60 comments on this post in Crackberry. The same post in Android Central has ~20 comments. Think of how many more Android users there are compared to BlackBerry?

Zed30

I just hope we don't end up with the types of articles other sites have: reporting news about BlackBerry, but also reporting how much bias they have against BlackBerry. The writers from the other sites need to keep it free of hate.
I really dislike reading articles (anywhere) that start with "The dying company has finally..." or "too little, too late", etc. just report the news.

Posted via CB10

No need to worry on that. News is news is news. Opinion comes from the regular CB team. You won't see leading crap tacked on for no reason.

Two important questions, Kevin, about the new Daily Planet news setup: Who's going to be Jimmy Olsen? Is Cali playing Lois Lane? :-)

Can you comment in Newsroom? I could see some pretty heated debating going on if you can, but that's all good as long as it's moderated

Zed30

If we can comment, I presume it would be kept a lot more professional and cleaner than these types of threads. We get away with murder in these posts.

I'm looking forward to this as I am sad to say that I get BBRY news far faster from other sites while CB just seems to have simple reviews, cases for sale and other non breaking news items.

Posted via CB10 on my Z30

This sounds great, am excited to see the changes.

Living in England, writing copy as a day job and loving smartphones and tech I am so tempted to put my hat in the ring as a junior reporter, but realise that you aren't looking for people doing this as a hobby so I'll just look forward to seeing the new blood in action and not clog up Derek's inbox!

Two additional points, one somewhat off topic, one tongue in cheek - I would actually welcome editorials from non BlackBerry folk, or folk who have knowledge of BlackBerry but not BlackBerry alone - it's one of the reasons I've always really liked Craig being a contributor, esp on podcasts. The second point - have Alex Dobie post on CrackBerry! He's a really insightful member of the AC Team!

Posted via the Android CrackBerry App!

So, I guess I was not imagining the lack of focus on BlackBerry as of late. It's no surprise that this was announced today. Nice to see honesty rather than just wondering what's going on. Hopefully Kevin is going to somehow improve Mobile Nations without compromising BlackBerry coverage.

Powered by BlackBerry

I always thought the segregation between the sites was a little on the extreme side. I understand that fans like reading only what they're interested in and aren't too keen on reading about the competitors, but what i'd like to see is the same great editorials with reference and comparison to other mobile platforms!

And just as a side note i'd also love to see news and info on desktop software, we can love our mobiles but we all end up in front of some sort of desktop OS!

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry future (at least for the next years) IS cross-platform. Period.
For the rest of it, Derek, "you've got a new mail" (oops, now I'm in the ages reference lol).
Let's rock this.

I have been conversating with a few people who wondered if there's a certain age a writer has to be to work for the News Room?

Posted via CB10

I would just like to see the black themed CB10 app, and less lock ups trying to post a comment. I missed out on entering a couple of contest simply because I was unable to post a comment.

Posted via CB10

Time will tell how this works out. I honestly only care about reading about blackberry when I come to this site. I read all my other tech related news elsewhere. My concern is the focus on BlackBerry.

Posted via CB10

Keep it coming crackberry, imore, android central, windows phone central and mobile nations! It'll be awesome! GO GO GO!!! I strive for blackberry news mostly but it never hurts to check the other sites. :)

Great work. I look forward to getting my news even faster.

Quick question - does this mean there is a new "newsroom" site or will the news just be posted here at CB?

It would be nice to get all major news from all sites in one location.

I take it this is more of a centralized news backoffice and won't have much front end impact.

Posted via CB10

Let's wait and see what's gonna come out of it....

If you wanna spread the true gospel, you need to know where the heresies (other platforms, lol) are!

"No Q10?" -> "Buy from Chen... "

MobileNations and Kevin:
I hope you'll require all of your writers to proofread before publishing. Or hire a good copy editor. I'm not talking about spell-checking or differences between Canadian/British/American English. I'm talking about correct use of. vocabulary (affect vs. effect), of plurality (there is vs. there are), of homonyms (your vs. you're), etc. I stop reading when a so-called writer has obviously sacrificed correct language usage and sentence structure for speed.

Typed on my Q10, SQN100-2, 10.2.1.2228 :-)

This is a really amazing approach and looking forward to what a more public facing collaboration between the mobile nations will look like.

I'm not sure whether to compare this to the visionary driving force behind the founding of the European Union or to that moment in BSG when the humans and the rebel cylons team up. Yep... it's Friday.

Bad idea as already demonstrated by Sabri on the John Chen Reuters interview. Those who have a demonstrated interest in the OS will invariably do a better job reporting on the OS.

Steve/Boanerges Performance