Chances are that by the time you read this, not only will the title of this post have gone through 10 different revisions but so will have what I’ve written here. And that’s just for me announcing some of the big changes that are going to take effect soon. In my own mind, I’ve likely gone through hundreds of versions and reasons for changing the site (or not), a identity that’s been established for now nearly a decade. But before I get into why SonyRumors is going to become Sony Reconsidered, let’s start from the beginning.
SRN history from 1877 to present
It’s crazy to think that it’s almost been a decade since SRN started. When it did in 2008, the site and my views about online journalism/blogging were fairly naive but as time progressed, so did everything with the site. It went from a basic WordPress site to one on its own servers and like all things, eventually better servers were needed, and those better servers needed more RAM, etc. Besides the underpinnings of SRN improving over the years, so has what the site can do and offer. Again from a simple WP blog theme to the now custom built site that you see today which is tied to Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/YouTube and whatever other social platforms that have arisen during this time.
However the one thing that hasn’t changed is the core reason the site exists. Back in 2008, the goal and drive was simple – to create a site for Sony fans to get their news from. I’m sure some of you have guessed at this and others who know me in person know it to be a fact but I quite the close ties with Apple which is how this site came to be. Looking around back then, there were and continue to be numerous sites that cover Apple in a near obsessive manor but none for Sony. Expand out a bit and you’ll find individual sites that cover either PlayStation, phone, or camera business but there was no one true destination for everything Sony. Add to that mix my personal belief that Sony doesn’t always get a fair run from the press and the idea of creating a site that was all about Sony seemed ripe for the fruition.
Quickly jumping back to my naive stance, I also firmly believed that SRN was a place where I could put my thoughts out into the world and that perhaps someone from Sony would recognize, value, and act upon them. After all, I was bringing perspective from a company that approached product, marketing, and even outreach quite different than how Sony operated so surely there would be some value for them. In looking back, I tend to not be happy with what I’ve written 6 months ago so I can perhaps see why no one at Sony was eager to give me a call about taking over their operations.
From a single voice, I eventually tried my hand at growing SRN, to compete with the big boys like Engadget, The Verge, DualShockers, and what have you and for a while we did. There would be weekly PlayStation Store release updates, movie reviews, Blu-ray releases, editorial series, but none of them felt right to the core of what the site was to be. Also operating on a budget of hopes and dreams apparently doesn’t pay the bills which makes retention of staff a hard affair. As for myself, I could justify working on the site for hours upon hours after my normal job ended but it’s hard to have that same expectations for others and eventually I began to once again slim down the site to just me, with Allegra, now my wife, as the editor.
Long story short, SRN has always been and will continue to be a place for those who love Sony/PlayStation – that’s not going to change. What is going to change is pretty much everything else. If you’ve noticed a shift in the way I cover things in the past few months, it’s not you, it’s me. When I was attempting to compete with the big boys, I treated the site as an original destination for news, meaning that I’d take whatever announcement and try to say it all over again without repeating what had been written 10 times over. And for anybody who has covered the specs of a recently released speaker or changes to a TV lineup, you’ll know that you can only write something in so many ways. This alone slowed down what I’d cover but more importantly, didn’t differentiate what was on SRN compared to any different site. I just happened to write about it slightly different but what you ultimately got out of here was exactly the same as any other site, albeit a few hours or a day later, seeing how I don’t have a world wide team that’s only job is to cover Sony.
Enter the transition of the past 6 months where I’m less likely to cover to a specific announcement from scratch and more likely to point you to pieces written about Sony with highlights of it posted here alongside my own commentary. One thing that absolutely appalls me is most of the coverage around technology today which lacks any form of context. In my long time as a consultant where many times I’m coming into the picture to fix a mess, I’ve learned to have respect for the person that was there before me – and this extends to my coverage of Sony as well. This doesn’t mean giving them a pass but instead, to understand why they made the decision that they did. At times, I find the story around the products far more interesting than a given product itself. Sony wasn’t “stupid” when they launched PS4 Pro without a 4K Blu-ray drive, nor are they oblivious to the fact that we in the US also want a Fingerprint sensor on the Xperia.
In fact I’ll go as far as to say that for any company, be it Sony or Apple, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt before I park the bus over them because I guarantee you that they’re filled with talented women and men who obsess way more than you and me about their products. And so the story of what went into bringing the Xperia Ear to market and comparing it against the AirPods is far more interesting than a topic that just covers the unit in general terms. It’s also far more interesting to analyze the Xperia Ear in order to better understand where Sony might go with a product like it and attempt to tie it to other related news, both from Sony and the industry. Now this shouldn’t be taken as somehow I’ve been soft or will be soft on Sony; as regular readers know, I have no problem pointing out the many faults that lie within the company.
But even when pointing out the faults at Sony, I hope to do with more context, clarity, and constructive criticism which brings us to the name. SonyRumors was started as a place that wanted to report nonstop on Sony, including whatever news and rumors I could get my hands on. Today, I find that less interesting (though that doesn’t mean I’ll stop reporting on them) than looking at Sony and reporting the news around them with context – enter Sony Reconsidered.