March 27, 2006

Reactionary Tech Media Doesn't Add to Conversation

On March 21st, I posted a piece discussing how technology companies need to adjust their pitches in a world of near-instant analysis, when it seems both the blogosphere and the mainstream media are in a race to announce their take on an announcement even before the ink is dry or before the product has reached its intended audience. Interestingly, Business 2.0 reporter Om Malik and I had a discussion about this on Sunday, in regards to a piece called "Trigger Happy", where he acknowledged that often the race to be first means that more research should be required.

Om's piece in turn led us to a parallel post from Robert Scoble, by far the most popular Microsoftee blogger, who argued that journalists who were not credible were incredibly irritating, and suggested that in retaliation for a publication's continually getting the facts wrong, Web users should not link to the site, or even mention it, and that in a vacuum, it would die. This piece, of course, quite controversial, came at a time when big companies including Microsoft (MSFT) and Apple (AAPL) were both being raked over the coals for exaggerations and untruths widely disseminated - including one that Vista would require a 60% code rewrite, and that Steve Jobs was jettisoning nearly one half of his Apple stock holdings.

In fact, more than a week after the stock transaction took place, only now are the wire services catching up to this would-be controversy. Though they are all now getting the story right, saying Jobs sold his shares for tax purposes, in the fast-moving world of tech media, the time to have made your mark has already come and gone. Those who followed the stock closely had already reviewed the news, analyzed it and moved on, and now we have to sit and watch as the Walmart (WMT) of news sources catches up. If you're going to lead the pack in tech news, be sure to get the facts right, and don't be afraid to let some stories go by. If you're a week late, move on.

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