Habbox News, also known as the News Department, now merged into the Articles Department, provided the Habbox community with all the latest news from around Habbo Hotel. This included both rumours and officially released information on competitions and special Celebrity Visits.
News Reporters, later known as Articles Staff, were part of one of the oldest and most essential departments at Habbox. It was renowned throughout the fansite world as one of the only fansites which had consistently maintained an active news department. Throughout the years, the News Department had evolved and changed as Habbo have posted more updates. Instead of posting the basic and generic news, Habbox's News Reporters aimed to write more freely and present information in more of an article form with individual quotes and personal opinions for instance.
As well as reporting on the latest news, the department also interviewed members of both Habbo Staff and Habbox Staff, reviewed Rooms around the hotel, and posted about new items soon to be released. Over the years, the department had been one of the first to release and reveal big stories such as the merge of the English Speaking Hotels and the departure of prominent members of Hotel Management. The news department also published real-life news and unique, original articles for the enjoyment of the Habbox community.
The Habbox news department was first launched back in 2005 by the staff member Seacat. It proved to be a very popular department amongst Habbo users, with many people checking the site daily for updated information about each of the Hotels, while also providing entertainment and witty pieces of news. To begin with, the Articles Department and the News Department were completely separate in work and volunteers, Articles provided roles such as Interviewer, Writer or Reviewer whereas News aimed at releasing information on Habbo’s latest releases and news.
Both departments began operating in 2004 when Habbox Forum originally opened, but some articles and news bits appeared on the site in 2003; these were never posted as an official department base, nor were they posted with any set minimums as the departments had.
The News Department ran from 2004 – 2014 and over its 10-year span won awards for the best news fansite multiple times. It was also subject to radio shows such as News@Live, which took written news and became broadcast on air by a DJ. Over the years, News has taken on many views for reports, and offered different subjects throughout its time – previously, it had dedicated subjects for sports and technology whereas in its later years it also focused on the more Habbo side, bringing in room reviews, and interviews. The latter was originally done by the Articles Department, before the various closures it had.
In 2012, News took on a more personal approach and engaged the reader into the reports posted more. The manager at the time, Samanfa brought a new look to News, focusing more on the Habbo side with the use of Habbo Staff interviews and editorials. After Samanfa stepping down in early 2013, the News Department became a much quieter department, with fewer people wanting to become a News Reporter and ultimately it was in dire need of a revival, which would occur in 2014.
In 2014, the Assistant General Manager (Content), lawrawrrr overlooked the News Department and saw how much quality had declined over the years; she decided to completely overhaul and revamp it with a new, yet previously used name. She brought back the Articles Department and created a new role of ‘Team Leader’, which ex- Habbox Canada Forum Manager, Drewar undertook, he was later given the full role in helping revamp the department.
This category is the most common type of news that News Reporters write. This type of report could feature anything from future client updates to new badges being discovered. This is the type of news that usually attracts the most interest from users and is a vital part of a Fansite due to the updated Fansite requirements stating that each site "must post Habbo news". Without this type of news, interest in the Fansite would diminish significantly, and users would move to different sites looking for Habbo news.
Habbo News used to be written very briefly many years ago until the introduction of RSS feeds occurred, thus enabling News Reporters to automatically post any article which had been placed on Habbo without the need to write out the entire article again. However, in the Summer of 2011, the RSS feed was axed, and News Reporters were given a lot more control over what they could write and how much they could write - this system is still in process today but has constantly been improved.
The general subjects surrounding Habbo news are;
- Recently discovered Furniture items
- Recently discovered Badges
- Recently discovered codes
- Recently discovered Effects
- New competitions/events/quests created by Sulake
- Client Updates in general
- Hotel staff changes
- Removal of beloved features (e.g. HC)
- General news concerning Sulake
Habbo news is always posted onto the front page of the Habbox website due to it being of the utmost importance to users - you can tell if an article is about Habbo news if there is a blue icon in the top right of the article which says "Habbo".
Room reviews are another type of article that is often written by News Reporters. They are filled with a lot more text and enable the News Reporter to write about their opinion throughout the entire article, which is something you wouldn't expect to see in an article about Habbo news.
The general layout for a Room Review is;
- Room name and room owner
- Image directly underneath
- Short introduction of the room
- Design pros
- Design con
- Overall rating and improvements
This layout is not compulsory, but it is the format that most News Reporters follow when creating a room review. There is no requirement for what type of room a reporter should review, but it is sensible to choose a brilliantly designed, popular and large room in which a lot can be analysed. A few of the room reviews that have occurred include a review of the Habbox Help Desk and Trade City! There is currently a weekly room review entitled 'A-Maze-ing', which reviews and recommends the best mazes to Habbox users.
You can tell if an article is about a room review if there is an icon in the top right of the article which says "Room Review".
Interviews are another type of report that can be published by News Reporters, although they are not as common as Habbo news or room reviews. There are no specific questions which need to be asked in an interview for a news article - the News Reporter has complete control over this type of article but must remember to keep the questions to a decent standard and not be rude in his/her interview.
Generally speaking, interviews are most likely to be done with Habbox staff members (e.g. Arfar; a former news manager) but reporters are being encouraged to interview more people inside Habbo Hotel who are "virtually famous". A good example of this would be the recent interview with ex-hotel staff member Yurre.
You can tell if an article is about a room review if there is an icon in the top right of the article which says "Interview".
Real life news used to be an essential feature in the News Department many years ago. Although it was never as popular as Habbo news, it was still widely read by many users, and the department even had to introduce "Real Life Specialists" to help keep up the output of real life news! However, as time went on the number of people viewing real life news articles started to decline gradually, thus eventually rendering real life news as a pointless feature to the department. Real life reports were axed in the Summer of 2011, but the real life reports remained available to write about until March 2012 when the final decision to axe real life occurred. In July 2012, Real Life News was re-introduced.
Real life news was written about quite often, almost as often as Habbo news! It came as quite a shock to many News Reporters (and Ex-News Reporters) when the real life news section was removed with immediate effect, but a few of them had correctly predicted it wouldn't last forever. After a lot of forum members had requested the return, Samanfa made the decision to re-introduce Real Life articles on a permanent basis. You can identify a report about real life news via an icon in the top right of the article saying "Real Life".
From time to time, habbox users who felt led to write an article can have their articles published in the Guest Article category. This started in May 2014, with the department under order through lRhyss. This tradition still exists today, and the Articles Department received various Guest Articles which include; Real Life News, Cosmetics, Habbo Updates, Interviews, etc.
The articles department was the original name for the News department as a whole, but when it was reintroduced in early 2011, it came with a makeover. Due to the interest of many forum members of creative writing, the Articles sub-department focused on writing original pieces, everything from poetry to commentaries to scripts and screenplays. However, after just a few months, fewer articles were being posted, and Habbox managers decided to focus on Habbo news and rumours.
Articles were posted much less regularly than any other kinds of news but were enjoyed by many as original entertainment. You could identify an article by a purple icon saying "Article", though this no longer exists.
Reader of the Month
Reader of the Month is a scheme set-up to get the Habbox community more involved with the Habbox News department. The system was publicly released on the 01/01/2013 by news manager, Samanfa. The idea is similar to Rare Values and Content Design departments, of the Month competitions.
All users have to do to gain the reward is post positive quality comments on news reports with suggestions, ideas or thoughts on the topic. Then at the end of the month, the most active and positive commenter would receive the reward. The reward would be given to whoever the News Departments Management decides.
The prize for winning Reader of the Month would be either one month forum VIP (of winners choice) or 15 credits on Habbo.com. The winner would also receive a badge on Habbox Forum. The first winner ever was Skandar in January 2013.
A Day In The Life Of...
A Day in the life of... was a series of news articles posted between 17th and 23rd of September 2012. The articles were produced as part of the Back 2 School campaign going on at the time. The News Department produced the articles and named them "Work Experience" to suit the theme of Back 2 School. The articles were written by Habbox Staff in various departments but were edited by Pipette and laura.
- 17-Sept-2012 - A Day in the life of... Content - Written by Skynus
- 18-Sept-2012 - A Day in the life of... Competitions - Written by Samanfa
- 19-Sept-2012 - A Day in the life of... Moderation - Written by Runeaddict99
- 20-Sept-2012 - A Day in the life of... Helpdesk - Written by Biscuitss
- 21-Sept-2012 - A Day in the life of... News - Written by Grig
- 22-Sept-2012 - A Day in the life of... Rare Values - Written by ,AAiden (Skandair)
- 23-Sept-2012 - A Day in the life of... HabboxLive - Written by LiquidLuck.
There have been 17 News Managers so far and 13 Assistant News Managers (with most of them progressing to the status of News Manager). Here is the list of all past News Managers and Assistant News Managers:
Assistant News Managers
- There used to be a HabboxLive show all about news. It was called "News@Live" and was presented to listeners daily.
- Habbox has received numerous amounts of rewards for 'Best News Fansite'.
- For a brief period, Arfar (a former news manager) introduced a type of article called "Special Reports". These articles would explore a feature from Habbo in more detail (e.g. Credit pricing) and discuss how it had been affected over the years. These were later known as Editorials.
- The Habbox News team posted over 1250 news articles.
- The department briefly hosted The Weekest Link, introduced by Inseriousity., in early January 2014. It was patterned after the UK gameshow The Weakest link.