Media Spotlight on TechStomper.com with Vinny Fanneran
By Parina Rama
30 Sep 2020
Vinny Fanneran is the editor-in-chief at TechStomper.com and a tech & games writer at The Irish Sun. Having had years of experience writing about tech and gaming and a keen personal interest in consumer technology, Vinny decided to use this to ‘deliver fresh tech and gaming reviews and insights’ with TechStomper.com, an ‘approachable professional tech & gaming site covering the UK and Ireland’.
In today’s Spotlight interview, Vinny talks about the start of his career and what led him to his current roles, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tech industry, and some of his favourite tech products.
Tell us about your career, and what lead you to tech journalism?
It was a bit of an accident, really. I have always loved consumer technology and kept up with upcoming tech. At University, I had some media training and spent a year or two on Flirt FM, NUI Galway’s student radio station.
One day, about seven years ago, a friend asked if I could do short tech review videos for The Irish Sun’s online service, seeing as I was a mild tech nerd and had rudimentary experience being recorded. They didn’t think I was too bad and when their usual gaming guy left, I was asked to start writing some tech and gaming columns.
How do you balance your work as tech & games writer on The Irish Sun with your responsibilities on TechStomper?
Thankfully, a lot of daily work I do covers both. Keeping up with developments, liaising with PR and marketers, keeping a handle of release dates and attending events (mostly online nowadays) cover both jobs. I tend to edit or write for TechStomper in the evening whereas The Irish Sun writing tends to come during the day.
What have been the main challenges of starting this role during a pandemic?
It wasn’t easy to get review products and many
events were cancelled or postponed so we had a drought of strong material for a
Covering a big event live is something TechStomper has the opportunity to do because of my access with The Irish Sun – this is something I am looking forward to. People are hungry for live, unique images of the events and the products in question.
What has been your favourite part of your editor-in-chief role so far?
Having talented, experienced and professional
people working with me and watching them turn our ideas into reality.
Being able to walk away for a few days knowing everything is in the safest hands. Seeing how their initiative and hustle yields results.
Do you think tech companies are doing a good job at adapting to the changes which the COVID-19 pandemic has brought?
Yes and no. For me, the biggest observable
difference was in how different tech companies got their products or concepts
Certain companies had great experience
delivering their highly-refined message online to a mass audience and could
easily adapt their showcases and presentations to the new climate. Apple and
Samsung would be good examples.
Others relied on relationships with the media to get their message out there. Briefing us on developments and allowing us to disseminate info with our own spin or in a form that our audience wants. Some of these companies struggled when they could no longer let media play with their products live or have intimate sessions with their engineers or designers.
Top five tech/gaming products?
This is a tough one. I might pick five tech
categories, if that still works.
My absolute favourite handset to review over the last seven or so years was the Nokia 7 Plus – it had this ceramic and copper casing that was a work of art. It was €399/£349 at launch but it looked twice that.
Best wireless headphones – Bowers & Wilkins P7 Wireless. I still judge all headphones against them.
Favourite PC product – Surface 3 Pro. One of the first things I reviewed. It blew my mind that a tablet could be powerful enough to play PC games.
PlayStation VR – it didn’t take off like it should have but it’s still an amazing product. If you have a PlayStation 4, you should absolutely look into buying one.
LG 43UK6300 Television – I bought it for gaming; the input lag is minimal and it wasn’t too expensive. Have been loving it for the last two or three years.
Do you work with freelancers and if so, what kind of pitches would you want to receive?
We haven’t considered taking on freelancers as
yet but we would be open to it.
TechStomper would be looking for cornerstone content mostly, something that can be updated every once in a while to remain relevant.
What types of contributions would be the most useful from PRs?
Product news or breakthroughs in the industry. Our bread and butter at TechStomper are reviews and news. Anything which allows us to stay ahead of our potential readers so we can offer them fresh news, reviews or insights.
And finally, what is the best part of the tech/gaming journalism industry?
It’s corny but I have made some terrific friends. Journalists, PR, marketers, a video gaming legend or two. Spending time chatting about something I am passionate about with someone who feels the same way is always wonderful.