How hard it is to RTFA?
There are some folks over at Business Insider (recently rebranded from “Silicon Alley Insider”) that do some decent reporting. Nicholas Carlson was always one of my very favorite ValleyWag authors, and I think he’s still doing good work over at BI/SAI.
Unfortunately, the place is run by Henry “Google-at-$2000” Blodget, and the sensationalist and cavalier research and reporting methods he’s known for seem to infect some of the other authors there.
It wouldn’t be so annoying if it didn’t attract so much attention. I generally kept my mouth shut when I was at Mashable, since we had a general policy of not badmouthing other fellow bloggers in our space for most of my tenure. It’s honestly past the point, though, where I think it’d be irresponsible of me not to point out what I see as an ongoing pattern of wrong-headed reporting and posting.
And it’s not that Techmeme is the measure of all that’s relevant in tech, but somehow today, BI/SAI has gotten Techmeme headlines on each one of their short and incorrect blurbs they’re passing off as posts.
Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to go too far into my backlog of irritating posts I’ve bookmarked from there over the years, but I’ve seen a few today that warrant mentioning (as well as a few that stick out in memory from days gone by).
- Google at $2000: I’d never heard of SAI before this article. I’m sure I’d read them before this, but the absolute retarded premise of this post alerted me to what Henry and company were up to over there.
In general, the assertions in this article directly contradict a litany of posts from a few months later where he badmouths Google and ponders it’s eminent demise. If you page even further forward, he pretends like this was never even said as he talks about the eminent demise of all economies everywhere.
- Google Isn’t Recession-Proof: This is a premise the team there has been advancing since shortly after “Google at $2000.” Every quarter, though, Google has continually outperformed every other ad agency on or off the web.
What’s worse is that by declaring Google not recession-proof, as Henry did quite often, it completely ignores the large market cap and cash reserves Google has, which in and of itself makes the company recession-proof. There would have to be some very calamitous events to bring about the end of Google.
- Today – Wolfram Alpha Sucks. I wrote about this over at SiliconANGLE today. Henry doesn’t even bother to read the whole press release or do more than look at the template before pronouncing Wolfram Alpha an abject failure.
- Today – “Peter Thiel Says Valleywag Is ‘Silicon Valley Equivalent Of Al Qaeda’”. Certainly what Peter said, if you read only the first answer, is quite over the top. Dan Frommer quite obviously didn’t even read into the third paragraph of the post he responded to where Peter very clearly clarified his comment:
“Terrorism is obviously a charged analogy, but it’s like terrorism in that you’re trying to be gratuitously meaner and more sensational than the next person, like a terrorist who is trying to stand out and shock people. It becomes this unhealthy dynamic where it just becomes about shocking people. On the other hand, it’s an interesting theoretical question, whether, if Valleywag went away, something else would fill in to replace it.”
This doesn’t even scratch the surface of the host of un-researched and uninformed rants I’ve read by Hank Williams and other members of the team at BI/SAI.
I hate it when I’ve got a rant here that almost exclusively centers around a person or small group of people instead of an issue or an event. I don’t like beating up on people for their practice of their craft.
It just seems like a total insult is being levied my way every time I’m lured into clicking on an BI/SAI link. The headlines are craftily written, their topic selection is impeccable.
Their analysis, either intentionally or unintentionally, is almost always completely out in left field. I don’t understand how it can be anything but intentional, since these folks aren’t spring chickens. Most of them have been covering tech intensively for years. It’s almost impossible not to pick up on this stuff through osmosis!
Somehow, they manage to get it wrong more consistently than any other analysts I’ve ever seen, and more amazingly never get called out for their consistently poor track record.