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From Editorial Calendar To Acquisition: How ReadWrite Got The Deal Done With Trello

ReadWrite is a tech news powerhouse that boasts a robust editorial calendar and publishes a steady stream of content advancing the discussion in tech. In exciting news of their own, they were recently acquired by Wearable World, a conference organizer and startup incubator for all things wearable technology.

A wearable technology incubator acquiring a news site may seem like it makes for odd bedfellows, but it actually makes perfect sense. As ReadWrite Editor-in-Chief Owen Thomas explains, “We were already writing about wearables before Wearable World existed. So our editorial mission was already really well aligned.”


ReadWrite will continue publishing its usual content, but its editors will also be working with their new parent company to plan Wearable World tech conferences, as well as work towards initiatives like helping to crowdfund new wearable technology.

Between merging staffs to moving offices to completely overhauling long term projects and goals, ReadWrite knew that it had its hands full in order to get everything done, and smoothly. ReadWrite staff turned to Trello, as they were already integrated with boards for their content pipeline. Owen told me that amidst the chaos, Trello helped him stay sane.

Editorial Flow

Prior to the acquisition, ReadWrite was already using Trello to manage its editorial calendar. Its list flow consists of a classic editorial pipeline, with cards making their way from “Unassigned,” to “Assigned,” “Ready to Edit,” “In Edit,” and so on.

ReadWrite Editorial Calendar

This is a sample board based off ReadWrite's workflow; it does not depict actual content. 

Owen explains that getting down the necessary tasks in a Trello card gave him the ability to better connect with his writers on a human level.

“I love talking to my writers, but I like talking to them about deep stuff, not logistics,” Owen explains. “So what I like to do is break those logistics into a series of tasks and put it in the Trello card for the story, and they can check it off as they go.” This way, Owen and his team can focus on higher-level discussions around their content.

A Trello View From The Top

From a higher level, Owen says he routinely accesses Trello to get an overview of how all of their content is progressing. He uses this view to identify bottlenecks: whether it’s that more pitches need to enter the writing phase, or perhaps he would be a better help if he jumped in and edited stories in order to keep the pipeline moving.

“I can see at a glance the activity of the publication, and I can load balance,” he explains, “It’s often a question of, how can I best spend my time? And Trello helps me make that decision in a focused way that reacts to real conditions.”



"I'm a huge believer in checklists, but I hate paper."

-Owen Thomas, Editor In Chief of ReadWrite




The Merge

Since ReadWrite was already fully integrated with Trello, Owen explains that he relied on it heavily throughout the acquisition process in order to maintain his sanity. From combining staffs to moving assets over, Owen admits he has had his hands full since the ReadWrite and Wearable World deal got rolling.

“Trello basically helped get this deal done,” he says. “I was really overwhelmed, and the way I calmed down was by making Trello cards and checklists.” Owen says crossing off items on his checklist helped him to tackle the next task.

Palace of Fine Arts San Francisco

ReadWrite will move into Wearable World's offices at The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA.

Owen and his team created merger-specific boards in order for the members of two companies to collaborate together. There was a lot to get done! From small things like changing the copyright notice on the footer of their website to bigger projects like the upcoming Wearable World Congress, they corresponded across teams on Trello.

The partnership further underscores ReadWrite’s ability to facilitate discussion around technology advancements. Owen said he has always seen ReadWrite as a sort of watering hole for technology discussion. Incorporating Wearable World’s work on conferences and burgeoning technology facilitates a space for active, live journalism to take place with the people writing about, and the creators making, new technology.

“Wearable World is a passion-driven community,” Owen explains, reiterating its commitment to advancing the needs of companies developing new hardware in tech. “And ReadWrite has always been a community of creators who don’t just want to accept technology for what it is, they want to sort of take it and adapt it to what they want.”

Wearable World and ReadWrite are forging a powerful partnership that not only seeks to support the tech community, but also facilitates the discussion. Providing a platform for new technologies to enter into the dialogue promotes accessibility, collaboration, and, most importantly, more opportunities for innovation.

Wearable World & ReadWrite

Wearable World CEO Redg Snodgrass and ReadWrite Editor In Chief Owen Thomas, and Ramona the Love Terrier. Photo credit: Wearable World 

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