Mobile Nations Newsroom

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.

 
There are 28 comments

NickA says:

Sweet. I always like waking up and reading the stuff I may have missed over night or the prior day. I like the growth of MobileNations over the last few years as well.

jeddo45 says:

This is gonna be good, especially to see editors of the other communities writing about other platforms. I'm excited!

Nexus 5...enough said

MalachyNG says:

How will this affect news aggregation apps? On Appy Geek will I have 5 (6 if webOS nations still lives) new articles of the same story coming out of each of the mobile nations feeds or will you have some other way of avoiding clutter for those types of services like a dedicated feed just from Mobile Nations under an umbrella 'newsroom' feed or option for apps to pull from?

Could there be multiple sources in Appy Geek or Pulse under each mobiles nation publication such as "all news" and "platform news" from each so you can designate one that is 'all news' and get the newsroom articles without flooding your news list with repeat stories?

I like to follow the different mobile nations platform sites on Appy Geek for their different perspectives but if fast news is coming in greater quantity I would love a way to get just the platform related from some and maybe the newsroom from just 1 or even a seperate newsroom source if possible. If that is even possible. The apps are probably more akin to RSS feeds where they collect and display items as they are published.

Seems to be a little confusion there. The number of posts you'll see repeated on all the sites should be minimal.

But me? I recommend using the Android Central App for Android Central news. :)

MalachyNG says:

Thanks for the reply Phil!

I guess the days with those stories from mobile nations will be the same days everyone else is talking about the same thing.

I of course have the AC app! I love the lock screen widget and the 'night' mode color scheme.

I'll be honest with you, when I see a new AC story on Appy Geek switch over to the app to read it and read the comments. But I'm a news junkie. Even though appy geek and their other app news republic uses the same list of sources I've set each app up to separate their lists. So appy geek only displays tech news and news republic displays regular news. my app drawer is full of news apps.

Jay Holm says:

Me too! I have Appy Geek right on my home screen, tons and tons of news, all in one place.

Posted via Android Central App

Jacques says:

I like the direction this is going, and from an organizational standpoint, it makes sense for all things news to funnel through one source (increasing efficiency) than having two or more people write the same content through the various MN properties. Good move!

No eating or drinking near the computers. Gah. That lead photo gives me the shivers.

Gotta do what you gotta do. And not a single piece of tech was ruined by food or drink that week :) .

BasPilot says:

I am willing to donate a trash bag. You never know how dirty your house is until you see it in a picture. Don't believe me, take a picture of your house, try kitchen... Would you be willing to send it to your mother? If not, it's in need of editing. The picture, not cleaning, that's hard. Get photoshop out and do that thing. Much easier, may take many more hours, but it's more fulfilling.

You know that picture was taken at CES, right? No time to clean up there when you're hauling ass! :)

Synycalwon says:

My initial thought and concern about this is that it could lead to information overload. Personally, I have limited time (more so energy) to try to keep up with everything that's going on. If there is too much being posted, I start to tune out.

ctleng76 says:

I hope your newsroom isn't like the first picture here. Those guys are really crammed in there. People work better when they are given their own space to breathe.

On a day to day basis, our newsroom is very VIRTUAL. Our goal is to have the BEST people in the world, regardless of where they live. So almost everybody on the team is setup in their own home offices.

I personally would like to see one app as well. We could then choose what content we want pulled from each site, etc instead of apps for each site.

Posted via Android Central App

TheStoryUp says:

Kevin mentioned in a comment on Crackberry that they're working on a Mobile Nations app. I'm really looking forward to this.

Posted via Android Central App

twolastnames says:

Is it gonna be straight tech news, or going the way of the dodo and doing all news? I won't lie, I hate tech sites spin on regular news, so please play it just tech news.

Sent from my bathroom

The same type of news you'd always expect to see here.

Interesting how different a reaction this article got here compared to Crackberry

Posted via Android Central App

Same news we've always covered. Just faster and written by some different people in different places :)

twolastnames says:

Fantastic. Looking forward to it.

Sent from my bathroom

rudyy50 says:

"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."

I hope your copy editors will disallow insights, opinions, and analyses in the news, and limit them to opinion pieces and editorials.

Good luck.

Posted with my HTC One GPe via Android Central App

Most interesting.

Posted via Android Central App

This is SO exciting!

Kaiser King says:

APRIL FOOLS!!!!????

I'm from Pakistan. If I want to be a part of this initiative, what would be expected from me?

Posted via Android Central App

gutt3 says:

So if i read this correctly, the "Newsroom" posts will have a little icon that says "newsroom" (kinda like the icons for editorial and news that exist now) and be duplicated on each site?

No offense intended but I care about the news. Not the writers opinion or anything else. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Lol. Glad to see you're going to make an effort to be faster.

Posted via Android Central App