Why I love The Verge
Ever since they were just This Is My Next, I’ve found the team behind The Verge - Joshua Topolsky, Nilay Patel, Ross Miller, Dieter Bohn and more - just extraordinarily compelling writers on technology (and technology culture, as they’d doubtless point out). It’s taken me an age to process precisely ‘why’.
Once upon a time, I did some work with The Guardian. I feel incredibly privileged to have done so, and the undoubted highlight was getting, every so often, to sit in on its editorial conference. It was such an insight into how the people who made up the paper were thinking and how the news was unfolding that you felt you gained a perspective you just couldn’t get from the final printed paper itself.
And I think this is it. The Verge lays bare its thinking and its editorial process in a way that very few media organisations do. The leading writers are also podcast presenters, are also front-of-camera reporters. They are, ahem, channel agnostic and all the better for it.
The latest Vergecast (the weekly podcast The Verge produces), is in some ways the best yet. Normally produced in a well-lit professional studio, this bare-bones Google Hangout feels like an editorial conference, raw and unedited. And in there, you’ll find some really frank and upfront analysis on a messy Playstation 4 launch, the weirdness of the Chromebook Pixel and - of particular interest to me - the launch of htc’s One phone. The analysis, particularly of what Samsung and htc are up to, and the experiential difference between iOS and Android is sophisticated, intelligent and absolutely on the mark. It’s not much to look at, but you should watch it.
Also worth reading Topolsky’s excellent piece on Google Glass, and The Verge being The Verge, a similarly excellent film contained within. This is what the future of Proper Journalism looks like.