Presented by Blackberry
Talk Mobile 2013 Wrap-Up
This marks the conclusion of Talk Mobile 2013. After fifty episodes, more than a hundred breakout videos, and two hundred essays, it's time to wind down the insanity and take a step back an look back at what all transpired. While Talk Mobile brought new tools to the mix, both technical and editorial, the crowning accomplishment was the conversation - not between the writers, but the community.
And that's a conversation that has only just begun.
Talk Mobile could certainly be described as a labor of love. It was a ton of fun with a boatload of stress, but in the end it came out even better than many of us had imagined. The whole project contributed to a fascinating and ongoing transition in modern culture, that of the digital age and mobile technology.
While many of the on-site editors are experts in their own right, it was only by pooling our knowledge together and being moderated by smarter people than ourselves that we were able to create something of lasting value.
Having said all of that, I'm dreading next year.
I think the main reason for being able to pull off Talk Mobile was that we basically did not tell anyone the scope until it was too late to back out. "Hey guys, we need to build this cross-site platform in 2 months and then write 200 articles, record 50 shows and 100's of interviews over the course of a few months k?"
The second biggest reason is our community - we had no idea how they would react to an event like this - treating each platform equally. We asked our members to step away from their phone of choice and engage in an unbiased debate. It was a gamble but they really stepped up to the plate and delivered some of the best commentary we've ever seen.
I loved pulling Talk Mobile together. We've got four amazing editors with incredibly insightful opinions, and it was a real privilege to work with them, even if it was a lot like herding cats sometimes.
Apart from doing Talk Mobile they all had everything else going on with their sites while we were doing this - everybody had big launches and huge news and somehow we managed to balance it all out. There was some whip-cracking to make it happen, but it all came together beautifully in the end.
What impressed me the most, however, was the community. They didn't know what to expect from Talk Mobile until we published our first day, and their response has been awesome and humbling from day one. The discussions in the comments were fascinating with fresh insights that I hadn't considered - even when we offered up some topics that were admittedly a bit dry. It's kind of hard to spice up multi-platform IT infrastructure.
I'm looking forward to being able to go back to writing news and reviewing smartphones and tablets. Even once I do, I'm going to carry a lot of what I've learned from Talk Mobile with me. The community is what makes Mobile Nations - without them, we're nothing.
It's worth mentioning just how many moving parts there were in Talk Mobile. We're just the schlubs in front of the camera doing our thing — albeit in a much shinier way than we've ever done. There were so many more people behind the camera and sitting in front of computer screens who really made this happen.
You learn a lot about video and web production doing something at this scale. And makeup. And sound. And lighting. It's not easy making us look this good.
And you also learn just how important this ongoing conversation is to everyone. That the platforms and the specs and the smartphones really are only the beginning. And at the risk of sounding happy and like I want to give everyone a hug, it really is a conversation that brings us all together — and it's a conversation that's not going to lose importance anytime soon.
My wife and I are raising two young daughters. For as much of an "expert" as I might be at this stuff, it's conversations like what we've had in Talk Mobile that really help shape things not just for those of us here, but for the generations to come.
Talk Mobile was ambitious. Beautifully, stupidly, inspiringly, tragically, audaciously, perilously, definingly ambitious. From helping to conceive it, to shoot it, to write it, to edit it, to engage with it, to promote it, Talk Mobile is one of the hardest things, personally, professionally, individually, and as a team, I've ever had the privilege to be part of. If I knew then what I know now, I'd beat Kevin Michaluk up for even suggesting it. But then I'd dive headlong into doing it with every bit as much gusto.
Because it was worth it. It is worth it.
We like to say Mobile Nations is the best community anywhere on the internet, but until this summer we were all just saying it. Talk Mobile proved it. The conversations we started, driven by the relevance of our topics, fueled by the passion of our members, rose to a level I've never seen on any tech site before. Thought provoking, opinion changing, future making, they challenged all of us to elevate the discussion, reconsider long held ideas, and learn so much more than we could have imagined.
I fully intend to sleep through the month of November in its entirety, but then I even more fully intend to dive right into Talk Mobile 2014. Because, all of you.
As we conceived the idea of and began laying the groundwork for Talk Mobile, we knew it was an ambitious undertaking. Now that it's over, in retrospect I think it's fair to say it was a ridiculously overly ambitious undertaking. Seriously. Talk Mobile 2013 encompassed soooo much content, all produced at an extremely high quality level. I don't think I've ever witnessed another online editorial event executed to the same level of quality and duration as we achieved with Talk Mobile. The effort was worth it though. I've also have never witnessed another online event with as much ongoing user engagement as Talk Mobile. The day after day, week after week participation by the community was amazing.
I think we all learned a lot during Talk Mobile. I know I did. After kickstarting the topics, the real event took place in the comment section - I spent hours each week combing through what the participants were saying. We built the platform and put it out there, but the community took it to another level.
The truth is, Talk Mobile isn't over. Yes, the intense content production and publishing schedule for the event is complete, but in reality the conversation has only just begun. You can continue to visit our Talk Mobile hub at www.talkmobile2013.com and easily find your way into the topics that interest you most. I encourage you to join in.
Looking ahead to Talk Mobile 2014, we'll learn from this year's event and improve upon it for next year. Talk Mobile isn't about being locked into a set format - it's about uniting passionate mobile enthusiasts, experts and opinion leaders together and there are a number of different ways we can do just that. We already have some great ideas for next year, and if you have feedback on things you'd like to see us do, please let us know. We value your feedback. Until then, be sure to keep it locked to all of our Mobile Nations sites.
Talk Mobile 2013 changed a lot about Mobile Nations. It forced us to build new tools and change the way that we think about technology. And while we sometimes surprised ourselves with what our own true thoughts and motivations were, it was, as we've been saying all along, all about the community.
Without the amazing community response with the thousands upon thousands of comments this would have all been for naught. It would have been a technical exercise, something we did because we could. But it was the engagement with the community that made this all worthwhile. You all continually amazed with your willingness to dive in to meaningful and thoughtful conversations.
It's the community and that discussion that's the true legacy of Talk Mobile. The fancy templates and swanky comment system are nice and you can expect them to be deployed across Mobile Nations in the future, but it's the community that made this all work.
So, thank you. With out all of you, this would have just been work.And, of course, our thanks to BlackBerry for their sponsorship of Talk Mobile 2013. Without their generosity we wouldn't have been able to have all of this awesomeness happen.
- The Talk Mobile Team
Leadership and Editorial Team
Marcus Adolfsson, Founder and CEO Kevin Michaluk, Chief Media Officer Derek Kessler, Managing Editor, Talk Mobile James Falconer, Community Manager Phil Nickinson, Editor-in-Chief, Android Central Rene Ritchie, Editor-in-Chief, iMore Daniel Rubino, Editor-in-Chief, WPCentral
David Lundbland, Director of Design Jose Negron, Lead Creative
Stephane Koenig, Director of Technology Tom Kaminski, Community Web Master Mike De La Morena, Developer
Cali Lewis, Host, GeekBeat.TV John Pozadzides, Host, GeekBeat.TV
Tom Anderson, Developer Evangelist Team, BlackBerry Matt Bischoff, Developer, Lickability Vivek Bhardwaj, Head of Software Portfolio, BlackBerry Dieter Bohn, Assistant Managing Editor, The Verge Dalton Caldwell, Founder and CEO, Mixed Media Labs Brian Capps, Developer, Lickability Chris Cheung, Senior Product Manager, Autodesk Peter Cohen, Managing Editor, iMore Alex Dobie, Managing Editor, Android Central Marc Edwards, Developer, Bjango Guy English, Developer, Kicking Bear Georgia, Senior Editor, iMore Anders Jeppsson, Global Head of Gaming, BlackBerry Gary Klassen, Principal Architect, BlackBerry Leo Laporte, Host, TWiT Sebastien Marineau-Mes, SVP BlackBerry OS, BlackBerry Simon Sage, Editor-at-Large, Mobile Nations Alec Saunders, VP of Developer Relations, BlackBerry Sascha Segan, Lead Mobile Analyst, PCMag Michael Seibel, Founder and CEO, Socialcam Michael Singer, AVP Mobile, AT&T Scott Totzke, SVP of Security, BlackBerry Christina Warren, Senior Tech Analyst, Mashable