Quarter Life Crisis

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The Engadget Scandal

479 words

To be honest, I hardly even know what Engadget is. As far as I could tell it’s a tech-junk gossip site re-printing geeky press releases. (Mediocre, unoriginal, nerdy – one of those combinations which seem to be quite successful.)

But in the past days they seem to have written some post claiming (further) delays of the iPhone and Mac OS X.5. Apparently that had the amusing consequence of sending Apple’s share price down for a short while. And afterwards man and dog started complaining about this behaviour and how reckless it is.

Because, you see, if you write text on a web page you are forced to write things that are true and tested rather than having been typed by those monkeys on keyboards in the back room. Geez. I bet that Engadget site never claimed – in a relevant way – that they print the truth and nothing but the truth and their readers have all the right to expect them to do so that visiting a free site gives them. The whole hysteria is just insane.

And even some company’s marked value dropping by some million, billion, schmazillion monetary units as a consequence shouldn’t be too big of a deal. It will lose some hysterical people money and win some other hysterical people the same money. But the incredible wisdom of the ‘markets’ will – and did – sort this out soon after. Of course this is a shame for the people who fell for the wrong report and started being hysterical. But who but themselves could they blame? For following hysterical stock movements rather than a long-term strategy? For believing what some web site writes at the blink of an eye?

Somehow I’m sure that the people who were involved in that stock movement fall in two classes – idiots and people making money on this kind of crookery. The first kind are – well – idiots. And the second kind actually like that kind of risk and won’t complain if they lose money because of it.

And that web site? Interesting question. I guess their job is to generate stuff like ‘page views’, ‘ad impressions’ and ‘profit!’. And in the short term their report may have been very good at that. In the medium term, it may – or may not – hurt them a little because a fraction of their readers actually enjoy the illusion of being fed the truth with shiny images in it and the site may lose some of those. Time will tell whether that fraction really matters.

Of course the whole interweb has been full of this for the past week. Gruber thinks it makes the Engadget people look stupid – so what’s new? The Scoble guy thinks the cock-up was handled well by Engadget – fun thing is how Scoble and most people there just take everything dead seriously. And others just say the obligatory morons

May 26, 2007, 0:44

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