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WMPU Versus Mobility Digest? Not So Much: Here’s The Full Story

For those of you that follow tech blogs like stocks you’ve probably seen Surur at WMPowerUser lay down a healthy dose of fire against our site today. It was premised on the basis that our site took a ‘direct attack on [their] site and its readers. Implying that [they] are psychologically disturbed for choosing Windows Mobile and Windows Phone.” Seems like some serious stuff. The reference, of course, is to a post from Doug Simmons called “Open Letter to Readers” in which Simmons accuses WM users of having Stockholm Syndrome, states that WP7 is a nonevent and no one cares about it…in a lot more colorful words than I’m going to reiterateJ For those of you who have watched Simmons go from a WM all-star (even running to now an Android Kool-Aid chugger, you’ll know that this language from him is nothing. For better or worse, it’s part of our site and we often go after specific OSes and phones. We’ve done it to the iPhone, BlackBerry and had a back and forth between Android and Windows Mobile and that’s the tip of the iceberg.

But why would he write an open letter to WMPU readers? Well yesterday WMPU ran a story called “Thoughts of Windows Phone 7 so Far By Doug S” of Mobility Digest. Wait, so I wrote an article to post on WMPU? Well, aside from covering Windows Mobile devices, WMPU and Mobility Digest have something else in common. When we recently asked the community for their interest in writing for our site WenW from WMPU responded to the email. To be clear about this – he was NOT going to write about Windows Mobile and was NOT going to compete with WMPU for our site. On the contrary, he had an Android itch that needed scratching and since we cover Android as much as we do WM, it seemed like a good place for him to reside. In fact he talked to Surur about this for approval prior to doing it so it was all on the table. Of course, being that we’re all looking at the same news and talking about phones all day there was bound to be some crossover. And there was. Wen posted this interesting piece about the state of WP7 hardware on WMPU the other day. It was a good read and Wen emailed our team and wrote

I just wrote a very thoughtful article on how I feel about the hardware I have been seeing being leaked for Windows Phone 7. I would really like for you guys to each send me your thoughts about this whole thing, and ill post it and say “This was sent in by my friends at MobilityDigest”.

After a few email exchanges, Doug Smith’s thoughts were posted by Wen on WMPU as Thoughts of Windows Phone 7 so Far By Doug S. At WMPU there was lots of fire directed at my thoughts. I’ll respond to those in time but let’s stay on topic for now. Here’s the thing, we have two Doug S’s. Myself and Doug Simmons. The comments showed that there was clearly confusion as to who wrote this (and accusing the author of being an Android user which is the wrong Doug). The title of the article was later corrected to include my last name but Doug Simmons (Android fanboy and current hater of all things that start with “Win”) wanted to clear his name since he would have laid down a lot more fire than I would have. Or as Simmons wrote

Put a story of a quote that’s inadvertent flamebait, and because of the name ambiguity and the less than extremely flattering things said toward WP7…and it’s in enemy territory, so naturally I don’t want it there, and in exchange for setting the record straight now I have to come cook up something to show them who the real Doug S is.

So Simmons would then write his article and post it to our site with the thought that Wen would also post it at WMPU and keep this little bit of fun going on. Simmons informed Wen that it was live on our site and asked Wen to post it on WMPU to which he was told “let’s see this. How it turns out. I’ll post it when I get out of bed.” So to be clear, this was intended for WMPU’s audience as part of what we thought was an ongoing bit of fun that started as WP7 devices, had some confusion as to the author and was now headed towards Simmons clearing his name via an attack on the one he once loved on their turf…which was approved by WMPU.

As you likely know, WMPU posted the article and then removed it. Neither myself nor any of the other administrators ever received an email from Surur regarding this. We did get some indirect emails through Wen but nothing directly to me. To be frank, Mobility Digest is for fun. We don’t have full time writers like WMPU has. So if stuff like this goes on in the background, it gets addressed when our real jobs and real lives are not too busy and I would have loved to have a direct email exchange with Surur to clear this up before it got out of hand. I did not contact Surur and he did not contact me. The next thing to happen, as you know, is Surur’s post.

I hope that’s enough background for everyone out there to see that this is a lot more like a high school breakup with notes being passed around than anything. There was no bad intent on the part of Simmons. There was no bad intent by myself. There was no bad intent by Mobility Digest. And there was no bad intent by Wen. Simply put, there was a misunderstanding that clearly got out of hand and that’s about it.

We all know that Doug Simmons’s style can be abrasive, to some. I think he’s like Glenn Beck Howard Stern. You’re not sure how stable the guy is but you want to watch what’s going to come out of his mouth (and Simmons, you know I only mean that in the best of ways and as a joke – don’t flame me tooJ). The ‘attack’ on WMPU was no attack at all. It was (as far as he and our site thought) a continuation of a bit of fun shared between the sites.

The fact that Surur pulled the article is something I understand and respect. WMPU is a pure WM site and that article was filled with hate and light on facts. It was a hit piece…an entertaining one at that;) So I get why he did not want it on his site. On MD we regularly go at each other and our base covers other OSes so we don’t find any hits over the line but that’s neither here nor there. In the end, Surur was right for removing the post from WMPU. Was he right to direct Mobility Digest to remove the post from our site? Well I don’t know how much of the backstory he knows but if he thinks the piece was an attack on WMPU then we’ll gladly change the name of the article and make it a regular ole’ hit piece on WP7…which is just about a weekly thing;)

But enough about Simmons and his stability. As many of our readers know, we actually share a common base of readers with WMPU and we’ve worked with them a lot in the past. When we put together our WM6.5 widget pack we included them. When we were given the right to host an interview with Brandon Watson, we invited them.

Do we link them as much as they link us? Maybe not. That’s more likely the result of the differences in our sites. They do a lot of news (which we sometimes have the same news sources so there’s no link either way) and we tend to tweak the hell out of whatever we’re holding and try to make news.. Nothing for or against either site’s styles – we’re just different. And I know that Surur thinks that linking our site will just ‘spread the hatred [he] often encounters when reading the site” and we get that. We happen to think that our ‘hatred’ is actually filled with laughs and a little back and forth between Simmons and DavidK is in good fun. So yeah, it’s just for giggles, but hey, I can’t make someone love everything we do.

Enough of the banter, let’s cut to the chase. Surur has stated that he will not link Mobility Digest.

Will we continue to link WMPU? Yes. If they are the source of the story then we will continue to link them. Heck we did it a bunch of times in this post. But we’ve had and continue to have no mal intent towards any individuals there or the site owner.

Was there any bad intent on the part of myself, Doug Simmons, Mobility Digest or Wen? No. None.

Is a Windows Mobile user psychologically disturbed? OK that we save for another day…

Guys, at Mobility Digest we don’t do this for the money. Hell we don’t earn any money to do this for. We do it cause we like it and we enjoy what we do. We don’t have any bad feelings towards Surur or WMPU or any other site. So we’re moving on with what we do, just like you know and love, and we hope you stick around for the ride cause we’re not taking our foot off the pedal.