You can tell how close a tech company is to the bleeding edge of technology and consumer love by the number of fan boys it has. Apple, of course, has had them in spades for years, although some of them are getting a bit annoyed with the Steve’s one-man crusade to be the mobile world’s Big Brother.
Android, too, is now generating its own share of fan boys as more and more people see just how powerful, innovative and truly open the platform is.
Nokia too used to have its fan boys. But now – well, they’re deserting the company in droves.
Want proof? Symbian-Guru, one of the most passionate blogs about Nokia and Symbian is closing down. The reason? …
“I can’t continue to support a manufacturer who puts out such craptastic ‘flagships’ as the N97, and who expects me to use services that even most of Nokia’s own employees don’t use.
I also can’t continue to support a mobile operating system platform that continually buries itself into oblivion by focusing on ‘openness’ while keeping a blind eye towards the obvious improvements that other open platforms have had for several iterations.”
This is more than just the usual ranting of some puffed-up blogger, though. Symbian-Guru’s chief writers, Ricky Cadden ad DotSisx, were known thorughout the mobile and blogging world as evangelists for Nokia and Symbian, people who poured their heart, soul and energy into raving about Nokia for the past three years.
For them to close the blog and in such a vitriolic way should be seen as a gigantic red flag for Nokia. Everything they say is bang on. I’ve been a supporter of Nokia for several years, and loved my old Nokia E90. But as I’ve said repeatedly, Nokia reached a high water mark with the N95, and every phone since has just been a slight variant of it.
They lost the cutting edge, they never competed effectively with iPhone, they’ve lost the battle with Android, and if you read Ricky’s complaints about his N97, they’re not even developing good phones any more, let alone cutting edge phones.
Nokia Fan boys
Nokia has had its fan boys for years, a genuine reflection of the love and passion that people naturally have towards cutting edge tech companies that repeatedly delight with awesome products. If you want to read just how passionate they can be just check out the comments on YouTube on the video review I did of the N97 when it first came out last year (warning: NSFW!).
Foolishly, I retorted, if only to explain what I thought the video wasn’t getting across. But then I realised that the people commenting dismissively were Nokia fanboys – they didn’t care about the truth, they just cared that a Nokia phone was being abused.
So Nokia has its fan boys, but for how much longer? Fan boy blogs such as Symbian-Guru (and Symbian-Show, for that matter) evangelise to other people about the delights of the platform they support. They have a wide audience. For them to close down in such a high profile and disparaging way is just about the worse kind of publicity Nokia could ever get. They’re no longer evangelists for the company: they’re anti-evangelists, actively turning people off their products.
When companies let you down
I’m lucky: MobileMentalism is a general mobile phone blog, not tied to any one particular mobile manufacturer. I’ve owned Motorola, Sony Ericsson, Nokia and HTC phones, and although I’m currently favouring Android, the blog is wide enough to accommodate all types of mobile.
But for the people behind Symbian-Guru, they were passionate supoprters of one company: Nokia and its Symbian technology. For them to close down shows just how much the company has let them down.
Ricky and DotSisx, my heart goes out to you guys. I know what it takes to build up a blog of such passion and energy, to do it day in and day out. To see it all go down in flames because the technology you believe in no longer competes must be gutting.
To Nokia, I say this: heed these guys. They are the cutting edge of your customers. They are the thought leaders, the people you actively court in your truly great blogger outreach programme. Without their support, you’re dead in the water – unless your strategy is to focus on the mid- and low-end devices.
I seriously hope not. Flagship Nokia phones used to be the highlight of my blogging year, and I long for those times to return once more.