Where have we been, where we are headed and my stupid-ass mistakes with fonefrenzy

Yep, it’s been a while since we had a post (or an actual site for that matter) hasn’t it? Well fonefrenzy wasn’t completely dead, we just took some twists and turns along the long bloggers road. And I can say that it has been a humbling learning experience. Basically, I fucked up, more than once.

Before starting fonefrenzy (the website) in 2009, I was on twitter as fonefrenzy pretty much just retweeting cell phone news and especially webOS. This guy named Phil got a hold of me and asked to me to write for his site. I started writing for PreThinking and broke the news with the first screen shots of webOS. It was pretty exciting to say the least, having every major blog in the world link back to PreThinking for our exclusive story. The site was started by Philip ‘Phil’ Lam, the same brilliant kid that got busted for selling authentic white iPhone 4 conversion kits to the masses. I guess since he spoke fluent Chinese, he was able to find a connection for the parts. I wasn’t privy to the entire story of what happened because by this time, I had already moved on my own with fonefrenzy. Though I did have a ball writing for PreThinking during that period of my life, and I thank Phil for giving me a change to get started.

I hooked up with Daniel Rodriguez from SoCal on twitter and asked him if he wanted to write for FF. We were both pretty jazzed by webOS and both of us started becoming mobile tech addicts. Later, I met with James Patterson, over Google buzz when I posted I was looking for mobile tech writers and we became friends since he was local. James told me about his friend Dillon Hanson, who at the time was stationed in Germany as a medic in the Army, but he has some pretty decent mobile chops too.

Twitter was an avenue to meet a lot of interesting people and I was very fortunate to meet tnkgrl (Myriam Joire) and Matt Bennett. We shot a several mobile video podcasts together called “talking with tnkgrl” (I showed up in the later episodes), Matt and tnkgrl had already been doing this for a while. I was always impressed with tnkgrl’s ability to get hardware. Not only did she have dual degrees but she was a mobile addict too. Myriam and I become pretty cool friends. I just wished I lived in the city, that way we could have shot many more podcasts together. We had hard times with our schedules, particularly mine at the time, to get together for more podcasts. It was fun because I would roll up from the central valley and meet her and Matt at Farley’s coffee, and she would litterally pull out a bag full of phones. Matt and I were awestruck with the shear amount of hardware she’d be packing every time. We would have audio or video problems occasionally but all in all, we had fun and got information out to the masses.

Later on, I went out to cover webOS events like the first dev meetup at Pivotal Labs (the company that coded the Tweed twitter app for webOS). Then I covered the webOS first big dev meetup a Palm’s HQ accompanied by tnkgrl. I met Luke Kilpatrick who, to this day I still have not had the opportunity to have a board session with on the coast. But we will soon Luke! Both tnkgrl and I got to meet and speak with Mitch Allen, Palm’s CTO at the time and he was one of the most down to earth people in the world. I remember earlier when my soon-to-be wife at the time saw Mitch at the Pivotal Labs dev event and she proceeded to tell me as we were leaving that she thought Mitch was hot for an older guy. I was like whatever, because had I said the same about same about Tomomi Imura, I would have received the stare-of-death from my girl.

From there, I attended the Mobilize in 2009 event in S.F., again with tnkgrl and got to meet two of the nicest guys in the blogosphere, Chris Ziegler and Ross Miller, both editors at Engadget at the time. Both of them were really cool and remembered me from emails I had sent them. I also caught up with Chris and tnkgrl earlier this year at the S.F. Engadget meet up when I brought my other buddy James Patterson editor/coder/hacker along with me to the event. And then went to CES the following January as a blogger. I got to peek inside the Engadget trailer and see their setup which was sponsored by Sprint. In retrospect, I truly had no clue as to how to put all that I saw in writing, all by myself, as it was so much information to cover in a short amount of time. I had no direction or plan for the show and that hindered me. Also, I had really lame laptop and a cheap camera I got a target. The whole experience was pretty overwhelming, but I learned what it took to become a blogger, in addition to the tools that were required to get the job done. I felt pretty lost.

Time passed and we kept sporadically writing when each of us had time. Looking back, we were trying to hard to be like the bigger tech sites: Engadget, BGR, Gizmodo, Android Central, etc., doing reviews, reporting news and such. Instead of focusing on ‘our voice’ we tried to emulate these larger sites, competing with paid writers and the ability to write full time – which we didn’t have the time, nor money to do so. None of us had that ability and we were all struggling to bring fresh daily content to the site. So in haste, I made a very bad decision to get more readers on our site; I turned fonefrenzy into a scraper site. I did this to test and see how it would affect our stats. While they improved slightly, our bounce rate was off the charts. We didn’t keep eyes on our site because content was coming from other sites. I did shut down the incoming feeds on my own because ‘our’ posts was getting lost in the massive amount of news that was coming through the site each day. And then I got a phone call earlier this year (2011) from Myriam. She never called, so I knew something was up.

I was left with a frantic message to call her back right away. I was at work and had a client with me, so I called her as soon as I could. When I returned her call, she proceeded to tell me that she was now the Senior Mobile Editor for Engadget. At this time, several of the Engadget editors split to form their own site This Is My Next, soon to be renamed The Verge. She called to offer me job as a mobile writer for Engadget. I was stunned. She told me to submit an app and she would talk with Darren Murph, the managing editor for Engadget, about hooking me up with a job. I had an ‘in’ for a dream job of my life. And believe me at the time, I had gone through two different employers and was not happy in my career at all. I am an extremely hard and dedicated worker but my compensation plan changed several times, and not for the better. In addition, my hours got worse each month.

So I submitted my application and three stories to Myriam and she passed them along to Darren. Well, my decision to ‘scrape’ other sites content totally backfired and bit me in the fucking ass. You see, all of the articles we wrote, over 1,000+, were obscured by all the feeds I had pulled into the site as a test run like Techmeme. Myriam gave Darren my URL and he started reviewing the site. He then saw posts from scraped posts from Engadget. Myriam hadn’t checked my site in a while and wasn’t aware of what transpired at all and was a little taken back. So I wrote an email explaining that I had written over 660 articles by myself on FF, not including the 160+ over at PreThinking. But the damage was already done, and I was not given the opportunity to write for Engadget after that fubar of a decision. To put salt on the wounds, I got a C&D letter from AOL’s attorneys, which weren’t happy about me scraping content from their newly acquired flagship tech blog. I fucked up and I had nightmares about it for weeks. I got so depressed, I wasn’t even associating with my coworkers, friends and family at all. It was pretty disheartening to have such a wonderful opportunity to do what I LOVE, only to be stripped away from me because I wanted more content on our FF. So I decided to shut down the site and start over with another blog with James.

Well, although the concept was pretty good, an all tech site with ‘buddies’ didn’t seem to work out to well. Dillon got back from the Army and started going to back to school and wanted to spend time with his family. Daniel didn’t like the direction of the site and had other stuff going on in his life, so he took a vacation. James and I had been working crazy hours and we both had families, which made it hard to contribute to content of various formats of technology. I want to say that James put a shitload of time into coding the new tech site to make it all pretty and running smooth, but to no avail, besides James and I throwing up posts, no one else contributed much. So I decided to shut it down.

So what now? Well, my first love is mobile tech and always will be. Each day we get glimpse of how much better the future will be every six months with better processors, better hardware, better cameras, refined OS’ and the like. Fonefrenzy will continue as a site dedicated to mobile news, just not ‘breaking’ mobile news. We are going to become a more tutorial/opinionated site, whereby we try and strive to give you unbiased and sometimes hard core fucking biased thoughts of products, services, business related news, hardware reviews, video and audio podcasts and other mobile tech tidbits. Basically, back to our roots but better. If you love us, great. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, etc. If you don’t, leave your hate filled, profane rants in the comments section and if they are good enough, we will respond accordingly. If they suck, we’ll just ban your IP 😉

And last, thank you the many readers over the years for checking out our blog.

[Video] LG E900 gets a full 20 minute hands on

Getting a glimpse of a new Windows Phone 7 powered handset is a great thing but having a full walk-through, twenty minute and extremely detailed video is another. Thanks to the guys at MobilMania.cz, our Czech brothers have put together what is surely the best pre-release hands on video of any phone.

[via MobilMania.cz]

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[Video] LG E900 packs 1.3GHz Snapdragon 3.7-inch display HD video runs Windows Phone 7

The latest handset to grace us running Windows Phone 7 OS comes packed with a capacitive touch screen 3.7-inch diagonal executed in the TFT LCD technology, the processor QSD8650A 1.3 GHz snapdragon (which promises better performing 2D and 3D graphics, UMTS and CDMA 3G connectivity, a light and proximity sensor, input miniUSB and 3.5mm input jack. Check out the videos after the break… Read more of this post

Windows Phone 7 is coming, two phones leak out to see

I hope you have not forgotten about Windows Phone 7 because by the looks of these phones, everyone will be wanting a piece of them in a couple of months. Engadget was sent these pictures, on the right, one by LG, codenamed C900 and on the left, by Samsung, codenamed Cetus, yes I am hoping better names come too. As you can see the Samsung Cetus has a round shape too it and the size looks a little small as well. The LG C900 is a landscape-QWERTY keyboard with a simple screen on top, and three buttons. These phones both look great and are supposed to be launch phones for Windows Phone 7, hopefully we will have more soon and a release date for everything. They are both suppose to release on AT&T so I am definitely going to be getting C900 when available. Anyone else looking forward to what Windows Phone 7 brings, or they are fine with Android? More shots of each phone after the break. Read more of this post

It’s official: Roger’s ‘chatr’ low cost wireless goes live in Canada

We knew it was coming but now it’s official. Rogers Wireless has launched ‘chatr’, the low cost, entry level wireless carrier in Canada. Chatr’s coverage will initially begin with  Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa, with other cities to follow soon. The plans are simple as are the phones in which chatr will launch. The plans include a $45 monthly plan for unlimited talk-and-text, followed up with a $35 for unlimited talk and 50 texts messages.

The handsets are full costs (ala MetroPCS) and come in four flavors: Nokia 1661 for $60, LG GB125R flip for $75, Nokia 2680 portrait slider for $95 and the one of the most popular phones among all carriers for the entry level consumer, the Samsung Gravity with landscape QWERTY slider keyboard. Long distance is not include and has a seperate feature on their site with U.S. and Canada both coming in at 15 cents a minute, with the first 50 text messages free on the $34 Unlimited plan, and 15 cents per minute with text messaging included on the $45 Unlimited Talk and Text plan.

[via chatr]

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Droid 2 featured in Verizon Summer Catalog, still unannounced

The good folks at BGR got sent a nice Verizon catalog showcasing the upcoming summer. What is most surprising though, is that it features the unannounced Droid 2 on it, I suppose the final name for the phone is Droid 2 then? It also gives out some more specs on the phone featuring:

  • 8GB memory card preinstalled
  • 5 megapixel camera
  • 3G Mobile Hotspot functionality
  • 1GHz CPU
  • So the summer is coming very soon, should we expect an announcement soon for the Droid 2? I think so.

Check out the whole big catalog at BGR!

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[Video] LG Panther GW910 Windows Phone 7

Can’t get enough WinMo 7 or otherwise known as Windows Phone 7? Well look no further as the video below shows us the forthcoming LG Panther GW910. Its a nice five minute long video walk through demonstrating some pretty cool features. The video was taken at Microsoft Beneluz Windows Phone Get Together event last week. One of the coolest things about Windows Phone 7 is the Zune Hub. Check out the video after the break and give us your thoughts on this new device. Read more of this post

Less than 30 seconds to boot up a Windows Phone?

Sometimes waiting for a phone to boot up can feel like forever, you want the phone to be up and ready because you may need to see some emails or even waiting for a phone call. How about if your phone booted up in less than 30 seconds? In this video, the prototype LG Windows Phone looking similar to the one seen first at Engadget months ago is running a build of Windows Phone operating system and only takes about 30 seconds to boot up and be ready for use. I hope it will boot up this fast later this year when they are released for consumers because when I have to restart my Storm2, I have to find things to keep me occupied, I just want my phone to be ready to go and this is making Windows Phone 7 even better looking.

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Get ready for more Android, LG and Motorola want to have 20 new phones by end of 2010

LG and Motorola are on Android fever! While Motorola has been pumping out successful Android phones like the Motorola Droid and Droid Eris, they are not done there. According to SlashGear, Tom Satchwell, director of marketing for Motorola’s mobile devices business, he says that by the end of 2010 Motorola will have 20 Android devices. Now that number counts worldwide so do not think of it in the United States alone, and do not think that United States doesn’t have any more Motorola Android phones coming because with the leaked screen found yesterday of the Motorola Droid 2, we have a lot to look forward too still.  LG has been a supporter of Android ever since its launch even joining the Open Handset Alliance in 2007, but they have not been a big player. While they do have a couple Android phones out there, the United States doesn’t have anything from them! That is going to change though. LG is planning to launch 20 Android phones by the end of this year. Its chief financial officer has admitted that LG needs “some more time’’ for a turnaround in its smartphone department, citing the lack of preparedness. I suppose they are seeing how successful other companies are getting and how big Android has become, well better late then never I say!

[via Android Guys]

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LG partners with T-Mobile to launch three new phones

LG has just announced a partnership with  T-Mobile for the first time ever bringing three new devices in tow. The three new handsets are the LG Sentio, LG dLite, and the LG GS170. The LG Sentio is a touch screen feature phone that comes with 3G, a 3-megapixel camera, GPS navigation, visual voicemail, and a Social Buzz feature. LG-designed interface that connects with social networks similar to Motorola’s MotoBlur (think CLIQ) and Microsoft’s Kin.
The other two phones are the  LG dLite and GS170 are both standard flip phones for the masses. The dLite will also contain the Social Buzz feature,sports 2.8-inch display, 3G and visual voicemail. The dLite will come in Bubblegum and Electric-Blue colors. Details are sparse about the GS170, but LG says it has a high-res display, a VGA camera, Bluetooth 2.1, and e-mail support. There you go. Welcome to T-Mobile LG. Now please bring some phones that consumers will actually want to buy.