Over the past year, I have become more and more dishearten with the level of tech journalism that I have read on popular websites and blogs like TechCrunch, The Verge, and podcast like The TWIT network, Cult of Mac and similar. There’s more I could mention, but you get the point.
I’ve always been a bit of a geek, a bit of a nerd, and because of that I do enjoy playing around with gadgets. (My toys) Testing new pieces of software for my Mac, and downloading apps be it for my iPad or Android phone. (Or whatever phone I’m using at that point in time)
Like a lot of people who are enthusiastic about the tech world, and don’t work within the Industry, or have pile’s of cash to buy the latest piece of tech. I have to rely on people who know what they’re talking about, and give me their unbiased opinion with the facts. But what I’ve found over the last year is they don’t. I’ve read too many articles. No, not articles, more opinion pieces. Where they’ll tell you what’s wrong with a gadget, software, app, and so on. But they won’t tell you what’s unique. Or why you might enjoy using it, there’s nothing critical about what they have written. In other words. A hit-piece.
Prior to Apple announcing the Apple Watch, I had read, listen, and watched numerous articles and podcast saying they’re so much wrong with Android wear, but as soon as Apple releases The Apple watch they’ll solve the problem.
Firstly is there a problem to solve, and how do they know? The thing hasn’t been released yet. Only a handful of people within the Industry has seen the Apple watch. Seen, not touched and on top of that it was running a demo software. No blogger or journalist that I know off has actually put the watch through its paces yet. (I like Apple Products. I have a 2007 iMac that works just find for my needs, a MacBook Pro for the heavy lifting, and a MacBook Air for when I’m on the go, plus my iPad)
What I don’t like are “journalist/bloggers” that write articles in which they pukka up, and kiss Apple’s arse, (quite hard to imagine kissing and apple’s arse) I understand companies like these will bad mouth their competition to a certain point. Google vs Apple, Coca-Cola vs Pepsi, Jaguar vs Mercedes, the list goes on and on etc. etc. etc. (Just went into The King and I mode)
But what I expect from a site that deals with Technology (yes Technology as a whole) is to tell me about the specs, tell me how it is used on a daily basis, tell me about the price, tell me the pros and cons, most importantly at the end of the article, tell me your thoughts and feelings on it. But the same goes for bloggers and journalist who write nonsense about Apple.
I like my Android phone, for me it suits my needs. But I get fed up hearing Apple copy this feature, or that feature. Android had the bigger screen first. Who fucking cares, competition in this field is great, why because companies will push one and other to improve their devices, improve the features, and hopefully lower the cost of the device. And me spending less money on a device is good news.
I’ve been thinking about the way tech is reported in the media for a while now, but what brought it to a head. Was all the “articles” that I saw concerning Ello Within a two week period. I know that Ello isn’t perfect, and anyone who says it is, is lying. But for what it is, and for the length of time it’s been available to us. Its pretty dam good, and suits my needs. (And it’s still in beta)
But what got me about these articles was the way these bloggers, journalist, writers. Called them what you want, reported their experience on the site in the last 4 months. As an example, let me give you my experience in the same time period.
When I signed up for an Ello account, I did probably what everybody else did. “Ello, Ello, lol”, and of course, being from north London, “Ello Govna”. Then for the first week all I did was follow people. During the Second week I started to post, didn’t know what to upload but I just did. At the same time I would make comments on other peoples post, and follow more people so I could get their content within my feed. This process went on, and still goes on today. By doing this I have people commenting on my post and a great feed in return. A simple process, not hard to understand, and what I assume everyone does on any social networking site.
(But it seems this process doesn’t apply to certain people within the Tech media)
Now lets look at the bloggers, and journalist who write these hit-pieces. After I read the articles I couldn’t understand why their experience was so different to mine, why they weren’t having the same level of interaction as me. Why they were saying Ello is dead before it got started. But as soon as I looked out there Ello profile, it all became clear, this is what I saw. Within the four month period that they had been on the site, they had uploaded anywhere between (on average) 4 to 8 posts, and followed around 20 to 30 people, of which more than half had stop posting. (Oh, I forgot to mention I follow around 200 people, and have roughly the same follow me back) So, here’s my argument.
If you’re not active on the site, if the people you follow don’t post, if you’re not interacting with other users, not following people, not taken into consideration the site has only been going for 5/6 months and still in beta (while other social network sites that you compare it too, has been going for anywhere from 2 to 10 years) then how will you have a rich experience. If you’re not willing to put the effort in, then of course you’re going to have a crappy experience.
But these bloggers/journalist write an article about their experience on the site, but they don’t even detail what level of participation they had/have. So Joe or Jane Public comes along Reads it and thinks, well, that’s site sounds crap I won’t bother.
I just get tired reading articles where the minimal amount of research is done if any.
As I write this I’m reminded of the hit-pieces that was, and still are done about Google+. How many times will I read about Google+ being a ghost town, it hasn’t been rehashed this year so far, but it’s still early. And the same “so-called journalist” that writes those pieces, if you go to there Google+ profile, they’ll have the same thing in common,
1. They abandoned the site back in 2012.
2. They hardly followed anyone.
3. They only left links to their own articles.
4. They never engaged with anyone.
And where to believe that they’re the authorities on social networking sites, on how to use them. These self appointed “social network gurus” who are not social, are advising us on these networks. Is this an oxymoron? There are so many more examples of this out there, and it will continue, I know this. But bad journalism, and a lack of facts truly does annoy me. I just hate the idea of people being misinformed. I’m being misinformed, due to the fact of the lack of research. So all I can do is un-subscribe to these sites, un-subscribe from these bloggers and journalist.
In the last year I’ve stopped following certain people within the tech and media Industry, and the same goes for blogs and websites. Just purely because is all about the clicks, there are some sites I still follow that are pacifically aimed at Apple,and Android users, but just for the tips, tricks, apps, and news surrounding those devices and ecosystem.
Here are some of My favorite websites that deal with tech. Android Police, XDA, Android Authority, Tech Verse, Engadget, The Next Web, Mashabal (with a pinch of salt)
People within the tech industry I follow. Jill Duffy, Kate Russell, Andy Ihnatko, Dan Patterson, Kevin Tofel, Chris Nacca, Erica Griffin, Jared Busch, Jayce Broda, TK Bay, Jason Howell, Lisa Eadicicco, and Leo Laporte.
Dan Patterson and Jill Duffy did a podcast where they discuss what makes a news source trustworthy, The Signal Podcast #01