If you work in the tech industry, if it’s your profession, then like me, you probably get frustrated reading numerous tech blogs, press releases and general marketing hype. You get frustrated no doubt for the same reasons that I do, these reasons being any one or all of the following:
- Nothing really to talk about, it’s all just marketing guff
- The facts are just wrong
- Appears to be written by someone who is being paid by a rival company
- Buzz words or popular terms are used and applied to software / tech when they shouldn’t
While finding any one of these in a blog is frustrating, finding more than one is just plain annoying and I believe bad journalism. Unfortunately, now that anyone can have a blog and voice an opinion (which I actually like) it does seem that there are so many miss informed and miss guided opinions, comments and blogs clogging up the web. Actually finding out the real facts, and valuable online sources is now a tough job…
So this post maybe a bit of a rant, but hopefully it will also help people to look beyond the marketing hype and start to try and understand the real facts behind the posts they read.
Nothing new here
A pet hate of mine is reading claims, marketing hype and articles that claim something new has been created or invented by a company when the simple truth is, it hasn’t. There are so many companies that do this, but the biggest and probably the best at it is Apple, and Apple supporters.
To be fair here though to Apple, they don’t out right claim it’s something only they have thought of, they just let their marketing machine lead us to that conclusion. I am sure many of you can think of numerous adverts, claims etc that the iPhone, iPad etc have made and realised that actually you aren’t seeing nothing new here….I could list so many (and I did in my draft of this blog, but it was starting to read like a rant so I’ve limited it to just one recent claim).
So this one really sticks in my mind and relates to Apple in-ear headphones (or ear plugs when they first were seen on the market in the late 80s). When I watch the advert it drives me mad. The advert pretty much paints a picture that Apple is the first company in the history of ear phones to create an earphone that has been shaped for comfort and to fit in your ear. How they get away with that one I will never know. Ear phones like this have been around since the Sony Walkman! (well almost).
But, lets hand it to the Apple marketing machine, it does work, and is it their fault if the public falls for this?
The facts are just wrong
This is a hate aimed at most tech blog posts to be honest. So many of them publish statements or claims or opinion that is just simply wrong. Sometimes these gaffs are so obvious that it brings into doubt everything that person ever writes about. I’ve seen many an example, especially involving smartphone tests, that illustrate that the writer hasn’t even used that particular device, as the statements they have made are simply wrong.
Again some examples….Windows 8 was in consumer preview and I read a few blogs posts that claimed that Windows would no longer support multiple monitors. I also read that you couldn’t flick between apps, claims that you couldn’t run old software and numerous other claims that simply showed that the writer hadn’t actually seen or used Windows 8.
It’s not just Microsoft who get a bum deal with writers getting their facts wrong. The same can be said for Apple, Google and Amazon. With that in mind, you really need to read a number of press releases and blogs on technology before you get the correct picture (if you are unable to get your own hands on that tech and form your own opinion)
Appears to be written by someone on the pay roll of a different company
Ahh my fav. Many tech blog posts have a real warped view, biased stance and take. It seems you get blogs that are very much “pro Apple” in which everything Apple does is amazing and Microsoft does is awful. On the flip side it’s just as easy to find very “pro Microsoft” blogs, which claim everything Microsoft does is amazing and Apple’s efforts are awful. Let’s not leave out Google, who have already been caught paying blog writers and commentators to bad mouth rivals and big up their own solutions.
If you read blogs that do appear to be slanted towards one company / brand or another, then it’s probably the case they (or their company) receives some form of funding from that company, or the writer is simply a fan boi who cannot write without expressing their love for something different. Opinion in reviews should be left to the reader, not shoved down your throat.
Buzz words that don’t apply
This is a tricky one as fault can be laid at so many doors. Let’s take the term “wallet” as an example. This is a real buzz word in the digital world at the moment, with many organisations now claiming they have a “wallet” solution. But you have to look at each solution to see what they mean. Marketing doesn’t help here, as we have solutions that aren’t related to a mobile wallet at all claiming to be a wallet. Google checkout is a great example. It’s a checkout process which Google put together to semi rival PayPal. However, this has now been branded Google Wallet….Really? How, it’s nothing to do with an actual Wallet and not related to their actual Mobile Google Wallet solution. So that is highly misleading.
There are lots of other wallets out there which mislead you. For years now you have been able to purchase or download a “wallet” for your iPhone. But what do you get? An app that lets you store pictures of payment cards and receipts??? Is that really a Wallet or just a photo album? Even Apples Passbook is marketed as a Wallet, and yet I can do wallet things with it. Windows Phone 8 wallet is another example, it’s not really a wallet. It seems most “wallets” are either glorified holders for pictures, or are apps that let you access other apps. Is that a wallet? I don’t think so…But Wallet is the buzzword at the moment, so lots of things that aren’t wallets claim to be wallets…
Make your own decisions
Reading just one blog on a subject just doesn’t cut it. You need to read 3,4,5+ blog posts from very different writers and sources before you start to get a more complete picture of something. I personally stay away from highly opinion focussed blog writers, which means there are quite a few writers I no longer read. These are writers for some big blog sites, like ZDNet, CNet, TechCrunch etc. Though these blogs do have some good writers, they also have a lot who are far too biased in their writing and comments, and I’ve now learnt to check who has written the article before I actually read it. You soon get to know which blog writers are good and which are poor.
As for reading blog comments these days, I find I only read them or comment on those blogs that obviously moderate and check comments for content first. I don’t want to wade through hundreds of pointless abusive comments to find those few valid comments and responses. If a blog has more than 10 comments I often skip the comments area these days…