Editorial: XDA Team Experiences & Why We Love the Site
For many power users, Android and XDA go hand in hand. The sheer amount of apps, themes, mods and ROMs in this site make it an enthusiast’s dream, and when I was offered a position to write for the XDA Portal 5 months ago, I was honored beyond explanation. Since then, I’ve learned more about XDA and the industry than I could have expected, and my views on Android, economies, communities and the world at large have been largely influenced by what I’ve seen, researched and written on here. But mostly, I grew in many ways thanks to the amazing team behind this site and the community we serve..
The last few weeks we’ve been getting extremely positive feedback, and we are more than happy to hear that so many of you like our work. I haven’t written an editorial in a while, but I’ve been wanting to share with you – our XDA readers – some of the experiences and views I’ve gathered here at XDA. There won’t be much about software here, but rather the site, journalism, and how Android communities and their news suppliers interact.
First, the team: when I began writing, the team was a bit different than it is now (and so was the site, really). Our Managing Editor, Emil Kako, saw me rambling on a forum and offered me a position here. Since then, we’ve gotten new writers such as Aamir, Chris, Mat and Mike. We are not just co-workers, we are all great friends. We spend hours talking at our virtual office in and out of working hours, sharing stories, images, projects and even playing a short game or two every once in a while. I have immense respect for everyone in the team for many reasons, some of which I will share with you:
We are a very diverse team, but in the best sense of the word : We come from all over the world, sure, but united by our hobby and we never feel cultural barriers in our way, and our differences enrich our content. But if there is something to respect about this team is its focus, drive and overall Ethos. At the XDA Portal, we try our best to add something new to the conversation, be it with thought-provoking debates or analyzing the wrong-doings of industry leaders. Each member of the team has their writing specialties, preferences and inspirations, but we all share a common trait: originality. We obviously cannot please everyone, but we try to please ourselves which is why we hold our work to high standards. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen other team members in my timezone editing our communal Google docs at 3AM in the morning!
The people we are surrounded with are excellent and wise as well. Our team receives help from Administrators, Senior Recognized Developers, scouts and even regular users. The community at XDA is what makes our job so rewarding – we spend a lot of time discussing developments from our forums, many popular mods and ROMs, and the like. We scan the forums daily for promising contributions, which we often feature with blurbs or full articles. Sometimes, there are so many good things to pick from that we have to schedule them for later. We also receive numerous tips, requests and comments from XDA members that encourage us to better ourselves.
XDA has so many facets that it is impossible to grasp the community as a whole. Each device forum (and sometimes, device sub-forum too) has its own little community, where many members know each other, joke around and speak in ways which only that community understands. There are users from all over the world, and you can find great posts in even the most forgotten or unheard of device forums. This level of civil globalization is rarely seen elsewhere. Throughout my time at XDA, I’ve spoken to amazing people from countries I will probably (and sadly) never visit, and made many friends I would have never expected to make – true friends, people I can count on.
I can’t speak for every other Android site, but few communities feature this cohesion. I volunteer for content creation at reddit, where I do bi-weekly featured posts and spend a good amount of time discussing Android, and as much as I love writing there it doesn’t give me the same feeling that writing for XDA gives me. Our team gets a lot of freedom when it comes to the topics we choose, and we pick only that which we feel is worthy of the site. We avoid reposts, reblogs, or anything of the sort in our feature articles – if we want to share something from other sites, we use the frontpage links. But we also work together between members and with you, too – I’d say that I learn more from our readers than I do from many popular Android sites and their content.
I think I speak for everyone in the Portal Team when I say that all of this is why we are proud to create content for XDA. While XDA was not and is not primarily a news content site, I am happy that I work here and not anywhere else, for it gives me the freedom, resources and encouragement to grow in several ways. Few positions allow for such enriching life and work experiences, and it is all thanks to you, the users. On behalf of the team, thank you all for contributing to this wonderful site. We promise to do our part and contribute as well!