The irritant of the non-credible journalists

Last week they went after Microsoft.

This week they are going after Apple.

You know, I'm seeing a trend here. Some bloggers don't know who is a credible journalist and who isn't. Hint: anything the Register writes is NOT credible. Why do I say that? Cause they lied about me last year and didn't even care about the damage they did to their brand. They just want you to visit and click on their ads.

Sorta like the gossip magazines in the grocery stores want you to buy them. And many people do, even though they are filled with complete fabrications.

But, we should now start deriding people who link to non-credible sources. I will. Anyone who links to that jerk down in Australia anymore is simply not doing bloggers any favors. Same for anyone who links to the Register. I don't believe a word they write. At least not while Andrew Orlowski works there.
Om Malik chimes in and corrects Andrew's latest against Apple's chief, Steve Jobs. So does Apple Insider. And so does Michael Parekh. And so does Zoli Erdos.

We need to be vigilant against bad journalism. Here's a hint: when you see a story about a company and that story doesn't even attempt to get that company's point of view, then it probably is a non-credible journalist writing it. All credible journalists will get at least three sources to every story and will try to remain objective and impartial.

Here's another hint: when a story or a blogger doesn't link to anything outside of his/her article. The other day I made a mistake in one of my posts about Adobe. But, I LINKED so that you could check out the story for yourself. Another hint? Lack of comments on articles. Tells me that the writer can't stand up to criticism. Yeah, I've gotten close to turning them off cause the anonymous jerks do get to you after a while, but this is the reason I don't. Another hint? When a story contains only one anonymous source. Come on, if you really have a good story about a company you should be able to get one on-the-record source. Yeah, I can see reasons to not require that, but they are rare exceptions, not the rule. Another hint? When there are more anti-the-article links than pro ones. Another hint? When no one credible will defend the article.

The problem is, some people want to believe certain stories and use them against companies for whatever reason. That's wrong. I hate it when it's done against Apple. I hate it when it's done against Microsoft.

Thanks to this group of bloggers for digging into the truth and keeping these guys from perverting the blogosphere!

What's worse is that by linking to the Register, even to deride this article, it pushes this article up and makes it far more visible, which gives the Register exactly what it's seeking: an audience. Why do that? Audiences also bring advertising money.

I wish Memeorandum (and other memetrackers like TailRank) had a "no follow" link so that when I link to something I can tell Memeorandum's engine that I don't want the linked article to go up.

Comments

  1. “We need to be vigilant against bad journalism. Here’s a hint: when you see a story about a company and that story doesn’t even attempt to get that company’s point of view, then it probably is a non-credible journalist writing it. All credible journalists will get at least three sources to every story and will try to remain objective and impartial.”

    Get real. Do YOU do this? Did you even check out the 60% Code Rewrite journalist’s credentials before slaming him and calling for him to fired?

    I think his credentials are quite impressive. Or do you just simply dismiss him because he’s Australian?

    http://squash.wordpress.com/2006/03/25/who-the-heck-is-david-richards/

  2. “We need to be vigilant against bad journalism. Here’s a hint: when you see a story about a company and that story doesn’t even attempt to get that company’s point of view, then it probably is a non-credible journalist writing it. All credible journalists will get at least three sources to every story and will try to remain objective and impartial.”

    Get real. Do YOU do this? Did you even check out the 60% Code Rewrite journalist’s credentials before slaming him and calling for him to fired?

    I think his credentials are quite impressive. Or do you just simply dismiss him because he’s Australian?

    http://squash.wordpress.com/2006/03/25/who-the-heck-is-david-richards/

  3. Yeah, and lets censor the whole friggin’ blogosphere while we’re at it.

    Blacklist certain blogs and publications because we don’t like what they say.

    What’s happening to you, Robert. Losing your own objectivity?

    I can’t believe you wrote the above post.

  4. Yeah, and lets censor the whole friggin’ blogosphere while we’re at it.

    Blacklist certain blogs and publications because we don’t like what they say.

    What’s happening to you, Robert. Losing your own objectivity?

    I can’t believe you wrote the above post.

  5. Jobs Dumps Apple Stock? Readers Should Dump The Register.

    Ironically the same day the San Francisco Chronicle celebrates Apple’s 30th anniversary and devotes an article to “The man behind the Mac”  Steve Jobs,  The Register’ came out with this headline: “Jobs dumps…

  6. Dominic: you call that impressive? I call it a history of non-credibility.

    It’s not about not liking what they have to say. It’s about sticking up for objectivity and journalists who do their job professionally (like Om Malik, who writes for Business 2.0 magazine).

    I’ve been reading the stuff you’ve been writing lately and it seems YOU have lost your WAY to figure out who is credible and who isn’t. The fact that you are defending a guy, who Squash says, is “Richards is the most notorious and controversial technology journalist in Australia” and someone who has been accused of plagiarism and conflicts of interest says VOLUMES ABOUT YOU.

    But, I guess there’s a reason why those gossip magazines make lots of money: people like you buy this crap.

  7. Dominic: you call that impressive? I call it a history of non-credibility.

    It’s not about not liking what they have to say. It’s about sticking up for objectivity and journalists who do their job professionally (like Om Malik, who writes for Business 2.0 magazine).

    I’ve been reading the stuff you’ve been writing lately and it seems YOU have lost your WAY to figure out who is credible and who isn’t. The fact that you are defending a guy, who Squash says, is “Richards is the most notorious and controversial technology journalist in Australia” and someone who has been accused of plagiarism and conflicts of interest says VOLUMES ABOUT YOU.

    But, I guess there’s a reason why those gossip magazines make lots of money: people like you buy this crap.

  8. Oh, not to mention that you don’t know the difference between censorship and asking people to demonstrate that they will link only to credible news sources. You know, I want smart readers only, please. Sometimes you need to fire a reader. You’re fired.

  9. Oh, not to mention that you don’t know the difference between censorship and asking people to demonstrate that they will link only to credible news sources. You know, I want smart readers only, please. Sometimes you need to fire a reader. You’re fired.

  10. Dominic: you can't censor a blogger unless you have control of his/her server (I do not) and you'll notice I don't remove your comments, no matter how idiotic I think they are. Just proved you don't know the meaning of the word "censor." Hope that helps.

  11. Dominic: you can't censor a blogger unless you have control of his/her server (I do not) and you'll notice I don't remove your comments, no matter how idiotic I think they are. Just proved you don't know the meaning of the word "censor." Hope that helps.

  12. Robert, the problem with giving a general hit tool to all and sundry is that it will mostly be used for malicious purposes. You of all people will know that. Blogs will get blacklisted for trivial, spiteful reasons and that’s one more reason not to blog at all.

  13. Robert, the problem with giving a general hit tool to all and sundry is that it will mostly be used for malicious purposes. You of all people will know that. Blogs will get blacklisted for trivial, spiteful reasons and that’s one more reason not to blog at all.

  14. Robert,

    It’s great to see you and OM pick up on this issue, as discussed on GigaOM. When I wrote my comments on Launching Products in the Age of Instant Analysis, I really felt that people were not checking their facts or were eager to be among the first to stake a claim on whether something was an accomplishment or a disappointment, even if the products had not yet hit the shelves.

    It’s too early to say that Origami is a failure, or that the iPod HiFi is a disappointement, or that Google Finance will never catch up to Yahoo! Finance. Myself, I was at first disappointed with iTunes music offerings, but since then, they’ve dramatically expanded their library, as they have also done with video. Services and products are continuously improved, often because of feedback from customers.

    Whether it’s from the blogs or from print and TV media, we should hold ourselves to a standard that we can be trusted.

  15. Robert,

    It’s great to see you and OM pick up on this issue, as discussed on GigaOM. When I wrote my comments on Launching Products in the Age of Instant Analysis, I really felt that people were not checking their facts or were eager to be among the first to stake a claim on whether something was an accomplishment or a disappointment, even if the products had not yet hit the shelves.

    It’s too early to say that Origami is a failure, or that the iPod HiFi is a disappointement, or that Google Finance will never catch up to Yahoo! Finance. Myself, I was at first disappointed with iTunes music offerings, but since then, they’ve dramatically expanded their library, as they have also done with video. Services and products are continuously improved, often because of feedback from customers.

    Whether it’s from the blogs or from print and TV media, we should hold ourselves to a standard that we can be trusted.

  16. It is curious that some bloggers appear to believe nothing published by anyone who’s paid to report, while other bloggers appear to be prepared to believe anything published by anyone, so long as it plays to their personal wish fulfilment fantasies.

    News sourced to a single source, especially a source lacking a track record, should be handled with care, if at all.

  17. It is curious that some bloggers appear to believe nothing published by anyone who’s paid to report, while other bloggers appear to be prepared to believe anything published by anyone, so long as it plays to their personal wish fulfilment fantasies.

    News sourced to a single source, especially a source lacking a track record, should be handled with care, if at all.

  18. Standing up for an ethic in blogging seems to me the right thing to do. The rallying cry of old journalism is that bloggers are irresponsible and untrustworthy, therefore their work should be diregarded or maligned. I think a stand in the face of that, like Robert’s here, helps all of us. It doesn’t mean that we all have to jump on board and follow some strict protocal, but it helps keep blogging in general from being pigeonholed as crap gossip.
    Right on Robert.

  19. Standing up for an ethic in blogging seems to me the right thing to do. The rallying cry of old journalism is that bloggers are irresponsible and untrustworthy, therefore their work should be diregarded or maligned. I think a stand in the face of that, like Robert’s here, helps all of us. It doesn’t mean that we all have to jump on board and follow some strict protocal, but it helps keep blogging in general from being pigeonholed as crap gossip.
    Right on Robert.

  20. So… the fact that The Register and The Inquirer are not credible isn’t news to me.

    They’ve been around for ages, and people pay attention to them because *sometimes* they get it right. Usually they’re stories are either:
    A) Completely and utterly wrong.
    B) Completely and utterly common knowledge with some worthless commentary.

    Once in a great while they’ll post a rumor or prediction that will turn out to be true. For all I know, they’re just guessing and by chance they’re right at least some of the time.

    In either case, you’re right that they’re pretty much tabloids like The National Inquirer and whatnot. I’d rather read The Onion, at least their fake news is funny.

  21. So… the fact that The Register and The Inquirer are not credible isn’t news to me.

    They’ve been around for ages, and people pay attention to them because *sometimes* they get it right. Usually they’re stories are either:
    A) Completely and utterly wrong.
    B) Completely and utterly common knowledge with some worthless commentary.

    Once in a great while they’ll post a rumor or prediction that will turn out to be true. For all I know, they’re just guessing and by chance they’re right at least some of the time.

    In either case, you’re right that they’re pretty much tabloids like The National Inquirer and whatnot. I’d rather read The Onion, at least their fake news is funny.

  22. The odd thing is how are these sites still allowed to exist? I mean, if James Frey and Randomhouse get crucified, how are these purportedly legit news sources still allowed to continue without at least some sort of slap on the wrist and/or a disclaimer a la getodd.com?

    Someone sic Oprah on The Register!

  23. The odd thing is how are these sites still allowed to exist? I mean, if James Frey and Randomhouse get crucified, how are these purportedly legit news sources still allowed to continue without at least some sort of slap on the wrist and/or a disclaimer a la getodd.com?

    Someone sic Oprah on The Register!

  24. “But, we should now start deriding people who link to non-credible sources. I will.”

    Sounds like a lynch mob. If they are non-credible, then link to them and let your readers decide.

    I think we should deride people who suggest deriding people who link to sources that may or may not be credible. I have.

  25. “But, we should now start deriding people who link to non-credible sources. I will.”

    Sounds like a lynch mob. If they are non-credible, then link to them and let your readers decide.

    I think we should deride people who suggest deriding people who link to sources that may or may not be credible. I have.

  26. Talk of firing people is the sort of stuff that I hear from you only when you are saying things that I know that you later wish you hadn’t said.

    Your old policy, your best policy, is just “link and comment, or comment and link”.

    Policies like “deliberately not linking as a punishment” and “not linking because they don’t deserve the traffic” is a sign that you are “giving your own links in too much respect”.

    Stop giving your links or anyone else’s links any “respect”.

    Think humility, which is your stongest suit.

    You link and comment in order to “add one more potentially interesting journey” to the web.

    Not to “spread the truth according to St Scoble” or to “teach someone a lesson” in how to be a good journalist.

    The moment you start to “set a standard” for what you will or won’t link to, you restrict the number and diversity of experiences that you can provide for your readers.

    It is NOT “what you link to” that defines the service that you give to your readers.

    It is “what you say about it”.

    “Look at this STORY I linked to here, I personally don’t think this is accurate” is a perfectly good piece of blogging, while either “blogger’s silence”, or telling people about the existence of something that you then tell them that won’t link to, what kind of “naked conversation” is that?

    You’re much, much better than that.

  27. Talk of firing people is the sort of stuff that I hear from you only when you are saying things that I know that you later wish you hadn’t said.

    Your old policy, your best policy, is just “link and comment, or comment and link”.

    Policies like “deliberately not linking as a punishment” and “not linking because they don’t deserve the traffic” is a sign that you are “giving your own links in too much respect”.

    Stop giving your links or anyone else’s links any “respect”.

    Think humility, which is your stongest suit.

    You link and comment in order to “add one more potentially interesting journey” to the web.

    Not to “spread the truth according to St Scoble” or to “teach someone a lesson” in how to be a good journalist.

    The moment you start to “set a standard” for what you will or won’t link to, you restrict the number and diversity of experiences that you can provide for your readers.

    It is NOT “what you link to” that defines the service that you give to your readers.

    It is “what you say about it”.

    “Look at this STORY I linked to here, I personally don’t think this is accurate” is a perfectly good piece of blogging, while either “blogger’s silence”, or telling people about the existence of something that you then tell them that won’t link to, what kind of “naked conversation” is that?

    You’re much, much better than that.

  28. Robert,
    I’m no expert on whether one blogger is more honest than another or contributes a ton of value, but I can say one thing, too many bloggers don’t point to sources. I dislike running across an interesting story on /. for example, only to read the link and it points to a blog. Open the full blog and find it points to an earlier post on the blog, and so on. No actual link to the website or company blogged about is provided.

    I’m not sure if that qualifies as shody journalism, but it certainliy makes it hard for me to take them seriously. Heck, if I’m going to blog about something Google or MS does, I could at least link to that company’s own news release. If I’m just ranting about someone else’s opinion, then I link to their blog post or article.

    Anyway, though I sometimes have a hard time keeping up, at least you provide links. As to whether that makes you a good journalist…well…you know… :)
    Todd

  29. Robert,
    I’m no expert on whether one blogger is more honest than another or contributes a ton of value, but I can say one thing, too many bloggers don’t point to sources. I dislike running across an interesting story on /. for example, only to read the link and it points to a blog. Open the full blog and find it points to an earlier post on the blog, and so on. No actual link to the website or company blogged about is provided.

    I’m not sure if that qualifies as shody journalism, but it certainliy makes it hard for me to take them seriously. Heck, if I’m going to blog about something Google or MS does, I could at least link to that company’s own news release. If I’m just ranting about someone else’s opinion, then I link to their blog post or article.

    Anyway, though I sometimes have a hard time keeping up, at least you provide links. As to whether that makes you a good journalist…well…you know… :)
    Todd

  30. Robert, a hearty slap on the back. If bloggers or anyone else want to wear the mantle of journalist, they need to do more than write “Joe Schmoe said this or Joe Blow told me that — here’s a link.” More like yourself and Om need to stand up and denounce people who report “news” without any fact-checking beyond someone told them something. Without first checking on the validity of these comments whispered in your ear, reporting simply become rumor-mongering.

  31. Robert, a hearty slap on the back. If bloggers or anyone else want to wear the mantle of journalist, they need to do more than write “Joe Schmoe said this or Joe Blow told me that — here’s a link.” More like yourself and Om need to stand up and denounce people who report “news” without any fact-checking beyond someone told them something. Without first checking on the validity of these comments whispered in your ear, reporting simply become rumor-mongering.

  32. Ricky: why, again, am I listening to someone who doesn’t even have the courage to sign his/her name on what he/she writes?

    Dominic: I thought I was dealing with someone who has a respect for the truth. Obviously I was wrong.

  33. Ricky: why, again, am I listening to someone who doesn’t even have the courage to sign his/her name on what he/she writes?

    Dominic: I thought I was dealing with someone who has a respect for the truth. Obviously I was wrong.

  34. you dont have to worry about the register or bloggers giving microsoft/msn a bad name – the incompetent goofs that are somehow called management there do it just fine all by themselves.

  35. you dont have to worry about the register or bloggers giving microsoft/msn a bad name – the incompetent goofs that are somehow called management there do it just fine all by themselves.

  36. If you are going to call me a liar(someone who doesn’t respect the truth), then could you at least explain why? Provide some support for the accusation.

    It is important for the credibility of any accusation — be it the claim by Smarthouse or your accusation of me being untruthful — that it be supported by detail and evidence.

    Just because you say something is true, doesn’t make it so, even if your name is Robert Scoble, or Bill Gates or Nelson Mandela.

    You still have an onus to provide support for your argument. Otherwise you are just calling people names and acting like a childish snob brat: “You bad! I hate you.”

    Back it up, like backing up the non-official denial that 60% of Vista must be rewritten.

  37. If you are going to call me a liar(someone who doesn’t respect the truth), then could you at least explain why? Provide some support for the accusation.

    It is important for the credibility of any accusation — be it the claim by Smarthouse or your accusation of me being untruthful — that it be supported by detail and evidence.

    Just because you say something is true, doesn’t make it so, even if your name is Robert Scoble, or Bill Gates or Nelson Mandela.

    You still have an onus to provide support for your argument. Otherwise you are just calling people names and acting like a childish snob brat: “You bad! I hate you.”

    Back it up, like backing up the non-official denial that 60% of Vista must be rewritten.

  38. Robert, you want to know why you are listening to me, even though I don’t have the courage to sign my name?

    Because deciding whether to listen to someone based upon what they say, rather than who they are, is the precise opposite to something both you and I don’t like.

    That thing we don’t like is something called “ad-hominem”.

    Not signing your name is no more likely to invalidate what you say, than your race, colour, gender, or anything else.

    Ask any poet for the name to be found at the bottom of some of the greatest verse ever written: “anonymous”.

  39. Robert, you want to know why you are listening to me, even though I don’t have the courage to sign my name?

    Because deciding whether to listen to someone based upon what they say, rather than who they are, is the precise opposite to something both you and I don’t like.

    That thing we don’t like is something called “ad-hominem”.

    Not signing your name is no more likely to invalidate what you say, than your race, colour, gender, or anything else.

    Ask any poet for the name to be found at the bottom of some of the greatest verse ever written: “anonymous”.

  40. Robert:

    I agree with you completely that all journalists, bloggie or not, should check three sources. But I can tell you, from personal experience writing and reporting on the staffs of both a paper and a radio station (both allegedly “credible”) that this rarely happens. And it will continue to happen less and less as the pressure to fill up inches/minutes is the order of the day. As “credible” news organizations continue to consolidate, the bottom line (I mean profit at any cost) will contine to dominate. This is not just happening with the big guys. When a newspaper wants its reporters to write up to 5 articles a day? You can rest assured there will not be a single article with three sources.

  41. Robert:

    I agree with you completely that all journalists, bloggie or not, should check three sources. But I can tell you, from personal experience writing and reporting on the staffs of both a paper and a radio station (both allegedly “credible”) that this rarely happens. And it will continue to happen less and less as the pressure to fill up inches/minutes is the order of the day. As “credible” news organizations continue to consolidate, the bottom line (I mean profit at any cost) will contine to dominate. This is not just happening with the big guys. When a newspaper wants its reporters to write up to 5 articles a day? You can rest assured there will not be a single article with three sources.

  42. Ricky: unfortunately I like listening a lot more to people who are credible. Anonymous people are NOT credible.

    Dominic: when you write headlines like this: http://irwebreport.blogsome.com/2006/03/26/microsoft-blogger-scoble-wants-to-censor-unfriendly-blogosphere/ “Microsoft blogger Scoble wants to censor unfriendly blogosphere” that demonstrates you have absolutely no clue what truth is.

    I never advocated censoring bloggers. Even unfriendly ones. If I did, I’d delete your posts here. I DID advocate not listening to those people who put crap out there. Glad you demonstrated that you don’t know the difference. You misrepresented my point. Therefor you demonstrated you are NOT a defender of truth.

  43. Ricky: unfortunately I like listening a lot more to people who are credible. Anonymous people are NOT credible.

    Dominic: when you write headlines like this: http://irwebreport.blogsome.com/2006/03/26/microsoft-blogger-scoble-wants-to-censor-unfriendly-blogosphere/ “Microsoft blogger Scoble wants to censor unfriendly blogosphere” that demonstrates you have absolutely no clue what truth is.

    I never advocated censoring bloggers. Even unfriendly ones. If I did, I’d delete your posts here. I DID advocate not listening to those people who put crap out there. Glad you demonstrated that you don’t know the difference. You misrepresented my point. Therefor you demonstrated you are NOT a defender of truth.

  44. Curt: that’s cool, but we get the journalism we deserve. Do we want the kind that Dominic is printing? Or do we want stuff that’s at least fair and objective?

  45. Curt: that’s cool, but we get the journalism we deserve. Do we want the kind that Dominic is printing? Or do we want stuff that’s at least fair and objective?

  46. Robert,

    I applaud your passion for Microsoft and defending the company. The past week has been hard for you, as you have said.

    You’d like to stop people writing rubbish or not linking to people who write what you think or know is rubbish.

    You wish people would take your word for it that 60% of the Vista code in not garbage, or at least that it’s impossible to rewrite that much before the deadlines.

    You wish we weren’t all so dumb as to believe a muckraking journalist who knows how not to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    I can fully understand how you feel. The powerlessness to stop the meme must be frustrating.

    But you need to chill, recognize that people are not stupid.

    Just give them access to all sides of the story, and let them decide. As an old editor or mine used to say, “the truth will out.”

    So your strategy should be to link to this guy’s stuff AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE to show people just what he’s up to. And to show that you’re not afraid to point to what he says.

    How about you go through his site and pick out all the pieces he’s written that you consider rubbish and write them up as “Is this credible journalism?”

    Or you could just have the PR people put out a press release denying the claim and telling us exactly what is being done with Vista and why.

  47. Robert,

    I applaud your passion for Microsoft and defending the company. The past week has been hard for you, as you have said.

    You’d like to stop people writing rubbish or not linking to people who write what you think or know is rubbish.

    You wish people would take your word for it that 60% of the Vista code in not garbage, or at least that it’s impossible to rewrite that much before the deadlines.

    You wish we weren’t all so dumb as to believe a muckraking journalist who knows how not to let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    I can fully understand how you feel. The powerlessness to stop the meme must be frustrating.

    But you need to chill, recognize that people are not stupid.

    Just give them access to all sides of the story, and let them decide. As an old editor or mine used to say, “the truth will out.”

    So your strategy should be to link to this guy’s stuff AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE to show people just what he’s up to. And to show that you’re not afraid to point to what he says.

    How about you go through his site and pick out all the pieces he’s written that you consider rubbish and write them up as “Is this credible journalism?”

    Or you could just have the PR people put out a press release denying the claim and telling us exactly what is being done with Vista and why.

  48. If you care about journalistic integrity, why link to Zoli’s blog? He says that Jobs basically did Apple a favor by doing the net share settlement. Not true. It’s no favor to the company when they use company cash to buy back shares. That’s a corporate finance decision unrelated to Job’s tax situation. It’s clear Zoli doesn’t know anything about corp finance or taxes, but feels free to write about it anyway. There’s no integrity in that.

    He also makes a dig at Bill Gates at the bottom of the post because the picture of Gates shows a Mac in the background. Gates used to be a huge cheerleader for the Mac and Microsoft continues to support the platform. Only in the the conspiracy-theory-addled mind of the Mac fanatic does Gates hate the Mac and want to destroy it. How many times have you heard Steve Jobs publicly dis Microsoft and Gates? Too many to count. How many times have you heard Bill Gates publicly dis Apple and Jobs?

    The problem with bloggers is that they feel they can write about any subject, even when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Many blog posts are nothing more than self-righteous, biased opinion paraded as fact. And if you link to zealots, even ones on the “other side” in a weak attempt at objectivity, you can’t really pretend to stand for journalistic integrity.

  49. If you care about journalistic integrity, why link to Zoli’s blog? He says that Jobs basically did Apple a favor by doing the net share settlement. Not true. It’s no favor to the company when they use company cash to buy back shares. That’s a corporate finance decision unrelated to Job’s tax situation. It’s clear Zoli doesn’t know anything about corp finance or taxes, but feels free to write about it anyway. There’s no integrity in that.

    He also makes a dig at Bill Gates at the bottom of the post because the picture of Gates shows a Mac in the background. Gates used to be a huge cheerleader for the Mac and Microsoft continues to support the platform. Only in the the conspiracy-theory-addled mind of the Mac fanatic does Gates hate the Mac and want to destroy it. How many times have you heard Steve Jobs publicly dis Microsoft and Gates? Too many to count. How many times have you heard Bill Gates publicly dis Apple and Jobs?

    The problem with bloggers is that they feel they can write about any subject, even when they don’t know what they’re talking about. Many blog posts are nothing more than self-righteous, biased opinion paraded as fact. And if you link to zealots, even ones on the “other side” in a weak attempt at objectivity, you can’t really pretend to stand for journalistic integrity.

  50. Robert: Remember when I emailed you a few months back and said you were getting too angry and needed to take a vacation? You weren’t this bad then. As a pseudo-internet-almost-friend-through-blogging, I suggest some heavy drinks and a long nap.

    Also, from what I can tell, you have completely removed any separation of work and personal life. You are available 24/7 as a Microsoft employee. And that’s great for Microsoft. But I hope you find some time to be a Scoble as well.

    You say you want only smart readers on your blog. But I would guess it’s the smart that ones that would stop coming first when you start yelling at your readers. Just food for thought, and yes I know if you read my blog you know I don’t always practice what I preach ;)

  51. Robert: Remember when I emailed you a few months back and said you were getting too angry and needed to take a vacation? You weren’t this bad then. As a pseudo-internet-almost-friend-through-blogging, I suggest some heavy drinks and a long nap.

    Also, from what I can tell, you have completely removed any separation of work and personal life. You are available 24/7 as a Microsoft employee. And that’s great for Microsoft. But I hope you find some time to be a Scoble as well.

    You say you want only smart readers on your blog. But I would guess it’s the smart that ones that would stop coming first when you start yelling at your readers. Just food for thought, and yes I know if you read my blog you know I don’t always practice what I preach ;)

  52. Seeing as MS are a company that values spin over reality at times i find your cries rather laughable.

  53. Seeing as MS are a company that values spin over reality at times i find your cries rather laughable.

  54. “we should now start deriding people who link to non-credible sources.” I call that censorship through coersion.

    “I wish Memeorandum (and other memetrackers like TailRank) had a “no follow” link so that when I link to something I can tell Memeorandum’s engine that I don’t want the linked article to go up.” I call that censorship.

    “Some bloggers don’t know who is a credible journalist and who isn’t.” Whose definition are you using of credible? Yours? That’s censorship of a sort.

    “We need to be vigilant against bad journalism.” And who defines what is bad. You? Censorship.

    To my mind, any attempt to control what people think — by banning them or not linking to them or whatever other action — is censorship.

    I STAND BY MY HEADLINE. You do want to censor the blogosphere.

  55. “we should now start deriding people who link to non-credible sources.” I call that censorship through coersion.

    “I wish Memeorandum (and other memetrackers like TailRank) had a “no follow” link so that when I link to something I can tell Memeorandum’s engine that I don’t want the linked article to go up.” I call that censorship.

    “Some bloggers don’t know who is a credible journalist and who isn’t.” Whose definition are you using of credible? Yours? That’s censorship of a sort.

    “We need to be vigilant against bad journalism.” And who defines what is bad. You? Censorship.

    To my mind, any attempt to control what people think — by banning them or not linking to them or whatever other action — is censorship.

    I STAND BY MY HEADLINE. You do want to censor the blogosphere.

  56. Richard – Robert: I agree.

    I unsubscribed Friday because of Robert’s, uh, personal attacks on me in his comments – attacks he has a total right to do, however personally unfair. I thought I’d come back one more time to see how things are going with Robert…

    You hit it right on Richard.

    It’s one thing for him to post like we simply read his words and take them as gospel truth. It’s another for him to believe it.

    What’s the saying? The proof is in the pudding? (Or something like that.)

    Robert wants us to believe he is (a) objective, (b) not biased to critical posts about Microsft, (c) that he comes from – an appearantly – past age of things where bloggin is positive….

    And when it comes to that moment of truth…. that moment where he could have proved to us this…. he took 2 days to attack someone – followed by many others in comments – instead of providing us with details.

    Yes Robert. I’m STILL only providing you with my first name only. Not last name. No place of emplyment. And no blog. Guess that makes you the bigger man…. in spite of your very bitter words that defy everything you’ve said FOR YEARS prior to this weekend.

    Deal with it.

    And I’m quite sure you can’t understand me right now…. but I do mean this in a positive way.

    You HAVE changed. Just like the environment has too.

    Better? Worse? I have no clue. But since there ARE more sources for “credible” journalism than the MSM and PR types like who have (so far) spoken for MS…. I’d have to say it ain’t worse.

  57. Richard – Robert: I agree.

    I unsubscribed Friday because of Robert’s, uh, personal attacks on me in his comments – attacks he has a total right to do, however personally unfair. I thought I’d come back one more time to see how things are going with Robert…

    You hit it right on Richard.

    It’s one thing for him to post like we simply read his words and take them as gospel truth. It’s another for him to believe it.

    What’s the saying? The proof is in the pudding? (Or something like that.)

    Robert wants us to believe he is (a) objective, (b) not biased to critical posts about Microsft, (c) that he comes from – an appearantly – past age of things where bloggin is positive….

    And when it comes to that moment of truth…. that moment where he could have proved to us this…. he took 2 days to attack someone – followed by many others in comments – instead of providing us with details.

    Yes Robert. I’m STILL only providing you with my first name only. Not last name. No place of emplyment. And no blog. Guess that makes you the bigger man…. in spite of your very bitter words that defy everything you’ve said FOR YEARS prior to this weekend.

    Deal with it.

    And I’m quite sure you can’t understand me right now…. but I do mean this in a positive way.

    You HAVE changed. Just like the environment has too.

    Better? Worse? I have no clue. But since there ARE more sources for “credible” journalism than the MSM and PR types like who have (so far) spoken for MS…. I’d have to say it ain’t worse.

  58. Oscar, a stock repurchase is often a good move for a company, but if you read my post, you realize I am not analizing the situation and much as quite someone that has facts, and point out my preference for that, rather then the summary judgement of “Jobs dumping stock, (the ship is sinking)”.

    As for the Gates photo – oh, man, you’re putting word in my mouth. You left your sense of humor at home today, I suppose (the smiley in the post could have helped).

  59. Oscar, a stock repurchase is often a good move for a company, but if you read my post, you realize I am not analizing the situation and much as quite someone that has facts, and point out my preference for that, rather then the summary judgement of “Jobs dumping stock, (the ship is sinking)”.

    As for the Gates photo – oh, man, you’re putting word in my mouth. You left your sense of humor at home today, I suppose (the smiley in the post could have helped).

  60. I guess I’m the only one who was intrigued by this statement:

    “I wish Memeorandum (and other memetrackers like TailRank) had a “no follow” link so that when I link to something I can tell Memeorandum’s engine that I don’t want the linked article to go up.”

    There actually are ways of making a link have no Google juice or showing your opinion of the linked site. Check out the nofollow attribute, which I know Scoble’s aware of. There’s also a neat microformat called VoteLinks that allows you to tag a link as to whether you support the linked content or not.

    If Memeorandom or other popularity-tracking sites took these attributes into account when ranking things, it wouldn’t be censorship. It would just be making a link more meaningful, and making the job of these popularity-trackers easier. When Scoble refuses to link to a story he doesn’t like, it denies me the ability to check it out for myself. But I also don’t want to see those bad links helping out the linkee. It would also be cool to see in Memeorandom “this article had 34 votes for, 26 votes against, and 120 ambigous links”.

  61. I guess I’m the only one who was intrigued by this statement:

    “I wish Memeorandum (and other memetrackers like TailRank) had a “no follow” link so that when I link to something I can tell Memeorandum’s engine that I don’t want the linked article to go up.”

    There actually are ways of making a link have no Google juice or showing your opinion of the linked site. Check out the nofollow attribute, which I know Scoble’s aware of. There’s also a neat microformat called VoteLinks that allows you to tag a link as to whether you support the linked content or not.

    If Memeorandom or other popularity-tracking sites took these attributes into account when ranking things, it wouldn’t be censorship. It would just be making a link more meaningful, and making the job of these popularity-trackers easier. When Scoble refuses to link to a story he doesn’t like, it denies me the ability to check it out for myself. But I also don’t want to see those bad links helping out the linkee. It would also be cool to see in Memeorandom “this article had 34 votes for, 26 votes against, and 120 ambigous links”.

  62. Robert

    Put this post as your background. And when your finders are flying, and you’re in a “OMGI’MFIRST” fuge, read it until you calm down, and make sure that what you’re writing is accurate, and what you’re saying is the precise message you want to get across.

    If you want things to change, you must set that example in your writing. If you want things to be better, you must be better as well. No more “Oh, well, it was hard to get ahold of the guy” stuff. If you can’t verify it, don’t post it. If it means you delay your posts by an hour, you do that. You’ve been getting better about it, but you have to set the example for at least this site.

  63. Robert

    Put this post as your background. And when your finders are flying, and you’re in a “OMGI’MFIRST” fuge, read it until you calm down, and make sure that what you’re writing is accurate, and what you’re saying is the precise message you want to get across.

    If you want things to change, you must set that example in your writing. If you want things to be better, you must be better as well. No more “Oh, well, it was hard to get ahold of the guy” stuff. If you can’t verify it, don’t post it. If it means you delay your posts by an hour, you do that. You’ve been getting better about it, but you have to set the example for at least this site.

  64. Robert, I really think you need to take a step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and go spend some more time with your family. You’re getting *way* overheated about this, and it doesn’t sound like the Robert Scoble I respect and enjoy reading at the moment.

    To elaborate, when you say: “Ricky: why, again, am I listening to someone who doesn’t even have the courage to sign his/her name on what he/she writes?”

    Perhaps because Ricky is writing something pretty sensible when he says “It is NOT ‘what you link to’ that defines the service that you give to your readers. It is ‘what you say about it’”

    And when you say “anonymous people are not credible” you’re falling into one of the oldest traps in the book. Stating that someone who chooses to keep their identity quiet is “not credible” *no matter what they say* is the exact equivalent of stating that nothing you say about Microsoft is credible because you happen to work there. The people who sneer “Yeah, Scoble, you can’t trust him because he works for Microsoft” are making exactly the same call. They’re judging you not on what you say, but on who you are.

  65. Robert, I really think you need to take a step away from the keyboard, take a deep breath, and go spend some more time with your family. You’re getting *way* overheated about this, and it doesn’t sound like the Robert Scoble I respect and enjoy reading at the moment.

    To elaborate, when you say: “Ricky: why, again, am I listening to someone who doesn’t even have the courage to sign his/her name on what he/she writes?”

    Perhaps because Ricky is writing something pretty sensible when he says “It is NOT ‘what you link to’ that defines the service that you give to your readers. It is ‘what you say about it’”

    And when you say “anonymous people are not credible” you’re falling into one of the oldest traps in the book. Stating that someone who chooses to keep their identity quiet is “not credible” *no matter what they say* is the exact equivalent of stating that nothing you say about Microsoft is credible because you happen to work there. The people who sneer “Yeah, Scoble, you can’t trust him because he works for Microsoft” are making exactly the same call. They’re judging you not on what you say, but on who you are.

  66. Robert: Just because something is doesn’t mean it’s as it ought to be. Or course we don’t deserve bad journalism (or its variants) at any time. But we get it. All we can do is decide to accept it or reject it. What you’re describing with the Register is the real problem with journalism, not the alleged political biases that take up so much of the news (ironically). Perhaps you’ll convince enough people of the Register’s malfeasance that it will cease to be a viable site. I will certainly regard it with a greater skepticism next time I encounter it.

  67. Robert: Just because something is doesn’t mean it’s as it ought to be. Or course we don’t deserve bad journalism (or its variants) at any time. But we get it. All we can do is decide to accept it or reject it. What you’re describing with the Register is the real problem with journalism, not the alleged political biases that take up so much of the news (ironically). Perhaps you’ll convince enough people of the Register’s malfeasance that it will cease to be a viable site. I will certainly regard it with a greater skepticism next time I encounter it.

  68. Well, I guess all the information we got to ultimately bring down Richard Nixon was not credible because it came from an “anonymous” person that refused to give his name. Man! Luckily Woodward and Bernstein weren’t as apoplectic as you are. Imagine if every journalist took the position you did, Scoble, and chose not to listen to people who refused to identify themselves?

    I guess the book “Primary Colors” should have never been intially published, either.

    I now know where NOT to send my kids to study journalism if they want to.

    I guess we should start ignorning mini-microsoft. Few know who he is, or even if he currently works for Microsoft. Can we assume you’ve unsubcribed to him (her?), Scoble?

  69. Well, I guess all the information we got to ultimately bring down Richard Nixon was not credible because it came from an “anonymous” person that refused to give his name. Man! Luckily Woodward and Bernstein weren’t as apoplectic as you are. Imagine if every journalist took the position you did, Scoble, and chose not to listen to people who refused to identify themselves?

    I guess the book “Primary Colors” should have never been intially published, either.

    I now know where NOT to send my kids to study journalism if they want to.

    I guess we should start ignorning mini-microsoft. Few know who he is, or even if he currently works for Microsoft. Can we assume you’ve unsubcribed to him (her?), Scoble?

  70. @44: Don’t you have the guts to trackback in English?! How can anyone understand what you are saying?

    (That would be sarcasm, folks.)

    All I will say about this thread is this: I recently asked “The Head Lemur” to provide me with his blogging pedigree. I was kidding when I did this. The lashing out at “Ricky” above shows that I was about 14 days +/- ahead of the curve.

    Papers, please.

    (Nevermind this comment, by the way, as it is “unsigned”.)

  71. @44: Don’t you have the guts to trackback in English?! How can anyone understand what you are saying?

    (That would be sarcasm, folks.)

    All I will say about this thread is this: I recently asked “The Head Lemur” to provide me with his blogging pedigree. I was kidding when I did this. The lashing out at “Ricky” above shows that I was about 14 days +/- ahead of the curve.

    Papers, please.

    (Nevermind this comment, by the way, as it is “unsigned”.)

  72. Hey Robert…

    The nofollow rel attribute would actually be fine for this. I’m not sure if Memeorandum supports it.

    The problem I have with it is that within comments it might be nice to follow a nofollow attribute.

    I’ve blogged about this in the past:

    http://www.feedblog.org/2005/08/nofollow_consid.html

    “At the time it really bothered me since while it would in fact punish spammers it would also publish bloggers since legitimate links wouldn’t be included within ranking algorithms (which yielded to nofollow). The problem was that at lot of people went storming through the gate with their support for nofollow.”

    …… I have a better idea though. Maybe we could have a central repository for bloggers so that thhey can link to an MSM site and note how reputable it is.

    I’ve had problems with MSM rags in the past (including the print version of Wired (not the online one)) so I can feel your pain.

    Onward!

  73. Hey Robert…

    The nofollow rel attribute would actually be fine for this. I’m not sure if Memeorandum supports it.

    The problem I have with it is that within comments it might be nice to follow a nofollow attribute.

    I’ve blogged about this in the past:

    http://www.feedblog.org/2005/08/nofollow_consid.html

    “At the time it really bothered me since while it would in fact punish spammers it would also publish bloggers since legitimate links wouldn’t be included within ranking algorithms (which yielded to nofollow). The problem was that at lot of people went storming through the gate with their support for nofollow.”

    …… I have a better idea though. Maybe we could have a central repository for bloggers so that thhey can link to an MSM site and note how reputable it is.

    I’ve had problems with MSM rags in the past (including the print version of Wired (not the online one)) so I can feel your pain.

    Onward!

  74. Dmad: Mini Microsoft is NOT anonymous. I know at least one person, Jay Greene at Business Week, who knows who he is and has verified he works at Microsoft. That’s already FAR MORE information than I know about you.

    Also, go back and study the Watergate era. I did in journalism school. They held the story for weeks because they couldn’t verify it with a second source.

    Getting a second source, particularly when it’s an anonymous one, is tantamount to keeping credibility and ensuring you aren’t being used to hoodwink your readers.

  75. Dmad: Mini Microsoft is NOT anonymous. I know at least one person, Jay Greene at Business Week, who knows who he is and has verified he works at Microsoft. That’s already FAR MORE information than I know about you.

    Also, go back and study the Watergate era. I did in journalism school. They held the story for weeks because they couldn’t verify it with a second source.

    Getting a second source, particularly when it’s an anonymous one, is tantamount to keeping credibility and ensuring you aren’t being used to hoodwink your readers.

  76. Actually, if you link to the memeorandum permalink instead of to the article itself, you impart no Google/memeorandum juice to the article, send no direct traffic to the article, and still get your post associated with the article on memeorandum!

  77. Actually, if you link to the memeorandum permalink instead of to the article itself, you impart no Google/memeorandum juice to the article, send no direct traffic to the article, and still get your post associated with the article on memeorandum!

  78. Doing journalism out in the open

    It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of the blogosphere’s reaction to the Microsoft Vista and Apple stories – both of which started out as big headlines (complete with exclamation marks) about a lot of code being rewritten in the M…

  79. I posted this on Dominic’s blog. I was talking to a bunch of other internal folks and we cannot believe that people are actually taking this story seriously. Sheesh!

    I dont understand why Scoble or Microsoft has to ‘prove’ it. For example, let me make a random accusation off the top of my head here. I’m going to say that using Mac OS X has hidden back doors put in by a terrorist organization. And my source. I’m going to say that my source is an ‘anonymous’ insider inside Apple.

    Now, who needs to prove/disprove this claim? Does Steve Jobs need to come out and say Apple is not hand-in-glove with the Al-Qaeda? Or does he need to sue me?

    I hope you see where I’m going with this – the burden of proof is always on the accuser.Just like I need to prove this nonsensical claim about Apple, so does David Richards. A past as in ‘Fleet Street’ does not proof make.

    In this specific case, this 60% thing is a nonsensical statement. You’ve already seen blog posts from Larry Osterman, Scoble and the XBox team talking about how false it is. What more proof do you want? Code diffs for the next 4 months?

    Vista is 10s of millions of lines of code and is a few months away from shipping. Knowing our internal processes, I expect all teams to be really locked down now and focussing on stabilizing the operating system. Rewriting 60% is not possible if we want to ship this decade.

  80. I posted this on Dominic’s blog. I was talking to a bunch of other internal folks and we cannot believe that people are actually taking this story seriously. Sheesh!

    I dont understand why Scoble or Microsoft has to ‘prove’ it. For example, let me make a random accusation off the top of my head here. I’m going to say that using Mac OS X has hidden back doors put in by a terrorist organization. And my source. I’m going to say that my source is an ‘anonymous’ insider inside Apple.

    Now, who needs to prove/disprove this claim? Does Steve Jobs need to come out and say Apple is not hand-in-glove with the Al-Qaeda? Or does he need to sue me?

    I hope you see where I’m going with this – the burden of proof is always on the accuser.Just like I need to prove this nonsensical claim about Apple, so does David Richards. A past as in ‘Fleet Street’ does not proof make.

    In this specific case, this 60% thing is a nonsensical statement. You’ve already seen blog posts from Larry Osterman, Scoble and the XBox team talking about how false it is. What more proof do you want? Code diffs for the next 4 months?

    Vista is 10s of millions of lines of code and is a few months away from shipping. Knowing our internal processes, I expect all teams to be really locked down now and focussing on stabilizing the operating system. Rewriting 60% is not possible if we want to ship this decade.

  81. 48. But in the end they went with the one “anonymous”source, right? Really, man, the ad-hominem comments are really childish.

    Whether you know me or not, does that take away from discussing the value of getting Brian Valentine on Channel 9 to discuss the current state of Vista? Having worked with Brian years ago during some early adopter programs, I can tell you, (as I’m sure you know), he can be quite entertaining, as well as honest and up front. Again, just a suggestion.

  82. 48. But in the end they went with the one “anonymous”source, right? Really, man, the ad-hominem comments are really childish.

    Whether you know me or not, does that take away from discussing the value of getting Brian Valentine on Channel 9 to discuss the current state of Vista? Having worked with Brian years ago during some early adopter programs, I can tell you, (as I’m sure you know), he can be quite entertaining, as well as honest and up front. Again, just a suggestion.

  83. Hey Robert-

    I don’t have first hand knowledge of whether Vista needs 0.6%, 6%, or 60% of the source code rewritten.

    Is it possible that they can rewrite 60% of such a bloated OS by January 07? Okay, probably not.

    Is it possible that 60% *should* be rewritten (or better tested)? Yes, without question.

    I hope you guys get the next generation right! People hate dealing with Microsoft bugs…especially with products that they don’t love.

    -E. David Zotter

  84. Actually Robert you are promoting censorship of bloggers when you say this:

    But, we should now start deriding people who link to non-credible sources. I will.

    It would seem that you are trying to suppress ideas or expression by threatening bloggers who link to non-credible sources (as defined by you).

    It’s a free country, and people have every right to link to whatever they want, and to suggest otherwise is to censor them. It doesn’t matter if what they link to is true or not; they have every right to make fools of themselves (i.e. even the Ku Klux Klan has the right to free speech).

    People lacking in common sense will believe whatever they want to. Threatening them only reflects badly on you.

  85. Hey Robert-

    I don’t have first hand knowledge of whether Vista needs 0.6%, 6%, or 60% of the source code rewritten.

    Is it possible that they can rewrite 60% of such a bloated OS by January 07? Okay, probably not.

    Is it possible that 60% *should* be rewritten (or better tested)? Yes, without question.

    I hope you guys get the next generation right! People hate dealing with Microsoft bugs…especially with products that they don’t love.

    -E. David Zotter

  86. Actually Robert you are promoting censorship of bloggers when you say this:

    But, we should now start deriding people who link to non-credible sources. I will.

    It would seem that you are trying to suppress ideas or expression by threatening bloggers who link to non-credible sources (as defined by you).

    It’s a free country, and people have every right to link to whatever they want, and to suggest otherwise is to censor them. It doesn’t matter if what they link to is true or not; they have every right to make fools of themselves (i.e. even the Ku Klux Klan has the right to free speech).

    People lacking in common sense will believe whatever they want to. Threatening them only reflects badly on you.

  87. Sriram, I posted this in reply to your comments and questions:

    The onus to prove the story is on the writer. That’s a heavy burden, and partly why we generally attach credibility to what journalists do.

    The company doesn’t have to prove anything. It simply has to deny or correct the facts in the story.

    In this case, it has not denied — officially — that up to 60% of the Vista code needs to be rewritten.

    Yes, individual employees have denied and made very logical arguments why this story is wrong and not credible. But individuals are not speaking on behalf of Microsoft. If they get it wrong, the company itself is not accountable for these individual employees’ statements unless they are officers or official spokespersons on behalf of officers. Last time I checked, bloggers are not designated officers or spokespersons for the company.

    What I and people like Neville Hobson are saying is “kill this thing now by getting out an official company statement.” Preferably that statement will tell us how much of the code is broken and how much needs to be fixed.

    But there has been no official statement or denial. Add to this the fact that Microsoft’s PR people spun the delay of Vista as a kind of good news story, the company’s credibility is vulnerable.

    Scoble going off half-cocked and calling people “slimebags” and liars and “jerks” and dismissing the real experience of a real journalist, without being specific about what the real story is, has not helped things for MSFT.

    Then, importantly, he calls for his followers to form a blogophere guardian angels patrol to weed out the “non-credible journalists…”

    Sorry, that’s going too far. He said lets deride those we don’t like.

    Instead, we should deride those who suggest that it is acceptable to deride those we don’t like.

  88. Sriram, I posted this in reply to your comments and questions:

    The onus to prove the story is on the writer. That’s a heavy burden, and partly why we generally attach credibility to what journalists do.

    The company doesn’t have to prove anything. It simply has to deny or correct the facts in the story.

    In this case, it has not denied — officially — that up to 60% of the Vista code needs to be rewritten.

    Yes, individual employees have denied and made very logical arguments why this story is wrong and not credible. But individuals are not speaking on behalf of Microsoft. If they get it wrong, the company itself is not accountable for these individual employees’ statements unless they are officers or official spokespersons on behalf of officers. Last time I checked, bloggers are not designated officers or spokespersons for the company.

    What I and people like Neville Hobson are saying is “kill this thing now by getting out an official company statement.” Preferably that statement will tell us how much of the code is broken and how much needs to be fixed.

    But there has been no official statement or denial. Add to this the fact that Microsoft’s PR people spun the delay of Vista as a kind of good news story, the company’s credibility is vulnerable.

    Scoble going off half-cocked and calling people “slimebags” and liars and “jerks” and dismissing the real experience of a real journalist, without being specific about what the real story is, has not helped things for MSFT.

    Then, importantly, he calls for his followers to form a blogophere guardian angels patrol to weed out the “non-credible journalists…”

    Sorry, that’s going too far. He said lets deride those we don’t like.

    Instead, we should deride those who suggest that it is acceptable to deride those we don’t like.

  89. When you don’t link to something you are criticizing, you’re punishing your audience. It also implies some doubt about what you’re writing, as if you don’t want your readers to look at the source and decide for themselves.

  90. When you don’t link to something you are criticizing, you’re punishing your audience. It also implies some doubt about what you’re writing, as if you don’t want your readers to look at the source and decide for themselves.

  91. re: the repeated Woodward & Bernstein analogies, folks here are still assuming they got Truth from WaPo. I’m not sure… I was exposed to the evidence from Hougan, Colodny and Gettlin in the late 80s and have been distressed since that these legit questions have flown beneath the radar of “professional news” reporting.

    Main takeaway: Let’s not assume that what we know is all there is, okay?

  92. re: the repeated Woodward & Bernstein analogies, folks here are still assuming they got Truth from WaPo. I’m not sure… I was exposed to the evidence from Hougan, Colodny and Gettlin in the late 80s and have been distressed since that these legit questions have flown beneath the radar of “professional news” reporting.

    Main takeaway: Let’s not assume that what we know is all there is, okay?

  93. [...] Next up, Robert Cringely gives us a delicious mangling piece about Redmond office politics and psychology. Blimey, if half of it’s true you wouldn’t want to mess with these guys. No wonder they’ve got Mr Nice Chap, Robert Scoble, fronting the public face. [...]

  94. Orlowski is nothing but a lower-budget Dvorak. Don’t expect anything close to credible reporting from him, and you won’t be disappointed.

  95. Orlowski is nothing but a lower-budget Dvorak. Don’t expect anything close to credible reporting from him, and you won’t be disappointed.

  96. Robert,

    I see MS is still a major banner-ad sponsor of The Register.

    Clearly, you have nothing to do with where the marketing budget is spent. But there can’t be any harm in giving your opinion to those with the purse strings.

  97. Robert,

    I see MS is still a major banner-ad sponsor of The Register.

    Clearly, you have nothing to do with where the marketing budget is spent. But there can’t be any harm in giving your opinion to those with the purse strings.

  98. [...] Now, don’t get me wrong, but given the severity of this Internet Explorer bug, I’d have expected more information about it to be flowing from Microsoft.  However, as usual, Microsoft are tight-lipped as to what they are going to do about it and not offering much at all in the way of advice either for those affected or those wanting to defend against it.  There’s no word even from Scoble, who instead spent the end of last week and part of the weekend on the 60& rewrite of Windows Vista code  and arguing with other bloggers about credible vs. non-credible  journalists.  Hmmmm.  Priorities people! It’s getting harder and harder to put the phrase “Internet Explorer” and the word “security” together in a credible way. Quickly bookmark Unpatched Internet Explorer vulnerability hitting users at                                                     [...]

  99. Simon: the problem is that they have an audience of tech users who have money. To NOT advertise to that audience would be irresponsible. Unfortunately as long as people want to read this kind of “journalism” (and I use that word lightly) then we’ll need to be there advertising.

  100. Simon: the problem is that they have an audience of tech users who have money. To NOT advertise to that audience would be irresponsible. Unfortunately as long as people want to read this kind of “journalism” (and I use that word lightly) then we’ll need to be there advertising.

  101. The only part of the Register that is definitely, absolutely, literally true is BOFH.

    All else is windy wittering.

  102. The only part of the Register that is definitely, absolutely, literally true is BOFH.

    All else is windy wittering.

  103. When Evangelism becomes Fundamentalism.

    When evangelism becomes fundamentalism, it loses authority. In the latest online validation of my call for Robert Scoble’s Intervention is the 60% problem. Last Week a story was written whose headline read: 60% Of Windows Vista Code To Be Rewritten se…

  104. I like The Register. You know it’s trashy, but trashy news makes money because people like it!

    Surely people don’t really believe everything they read in a news site whose tagline is “Biting the hand that feeds IT” and who hosts the BOFH? Some people will, sure, but then some people probably believe what they read in The Onion.

  105. I like The Register. You know it’s trashy, but trashy news makes money because people like it!

    Surely people don’t really believe everything they read in a news site whose tagline is “Biting the hand that feeds IT” and who hosts the BOFH? Some people will, sure, but then some people probably believe what they read in The Onion.

  106. I find your frequent use of “Here’s a hint” very condescending. If you want to say something just say it, don’t hint around it like we’re idiots.

  107. I find your frequent use of “Here’s a hint” very condescending. If you want to say something just say it, don’t hint around it like we’re idiots.

  108. Dan: here’s a hint: it’s something I picked up in usenet and newsgroup discussions. I’ll try to delete it from my vocabulary, but sometimes I like being condescending. It’s better than kicking a dog.

  109. Dan: here’s a hint: it’s something I picked up in usenet and newsgroup discussions. I’ll try to delete it from my vocabulary, but sometimes I like being condescending. It’s better than kicking a dog.

  110. I think this is very very rich coming from someone who works for a company that feeds wheelbarrow loads of dung to the press on a daily basis. Microsoft has no credibility whatsoever. Now you’re whingeing about people that don’t tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? MS has been convicted in court as a monopolist, has left a trail of shattered innovative companies in it’s wake while it grabs every penny it can. And now we must feel sorry for you? O boo hoo.
    Quote:
    “Cause they lied about me last year and didn’t even care about the damage they did to their brand. They just want you to visit and click on their ads.” And you want us to come here and hang on every word you say. Are your motives purely altruistic? I don’t think so. Oh and they did so much damage to their brand they went under, oh no wait a minute, they didn’t. I think you overestimate your own popularity and influence.
    And thanks for all the helpful hints too on how to spot “non-credible journalists” but unfortunately we are not the brain damaged morons you and Microsoft so desperately wish we are. MS is finding out much to it’s own pain that you cannot bully and bullshit people indefinitely.
    Your article is condescending and another insincere attempt to paint Microsoft as this beleaguered underdog that just wants the best for everybody and is just so misunderstood.
    I’m sure you link to Microsoft on a regular basis. They are a non-credible source, should we start deriding you?
    “We need to be vigilant against bad journalism” – I’m going to throw up.
    I forgot why I haven’t been here for some time but I remember now, you have no credibility.
    Enough said.

  111. I think this is very very rich coming from someone who works for a company that feeds wheelbarrow loads of dung to the press on a daily basis. Microsoft has no credibility whatsoever. Now you’re whingeing about people that don’t tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? MS has been convicted in court as a monopolist, has left a trail of shattered innovative companies in it’s wake while it grabs every penny it can. And now we must feel sorry for you? O boo hoo.
    Quote:
    “Cause they lied about me last year and didn’t even care about the damage they did to their brand. They just want you to visit and click on their ads.” And you want us to come here and hang on every word you say. Are your motives purely altruistic? I don’t think so. Oh and they did so much damage to their brand they went under, oh no wait a minute, they didn’t. I think you overestimate your own popularity and influence.
    And thanks for all the helpful hints too on how to spot “non-credible journalists” but unfortunately we are not the brain damaged morons you and Microsoft so desperately wish we are. MS is finding out much to it’s own pain that you cannot bully and bullshit people indefinitely.
    Your article is condescending and another insincere attempt to paint Microsoft as this beleaguered underdog that just wants the best for everybody and is just so misunderstood.
    I’m sure you link to Microsoft on a regular basis. They are a non-credible source, should we start deriding you?
    “We need to be vigilant against bad journalism” – I’m going to throw up.
    I forgot why I haven’t been here for some time but I remember now, you have no credibility.
    Enough said.

  112. I left a comment and was about to leave when I saw this:
    “Simon: the problem is that they [The Register] have an audience of tech users who have money. To NOT advertise to that audience would be irresponsible. Unfortunately as long as people want to read this kind of “journalism” (and I use that word lightly) then we’ll need to be there advertising.”
    What a clanger!
    Wow, I’ve haven’t seen someone contort a viewpoint so badly to try and make something stick for a long time. The last person with so much entertainment value was the Iraqi Information Minister telling the journalists in Iraq how they were going to defeat those American Oppressors when over his shoulder you could see American tanks rolling into Baghdad…
    So you are going to take this strong moral stand point against bad bloggers and non-credible sources but your moral viewpoint evaporates as soon as there is money involved? Before I was just kinda outraged by your thoughtless comments but this is so bad it is actually embarrassing.
    I personally think that you have spent an enormous amount of time building up your credibility but you have just shown your true colours and blown all that credit right out the window. When I left my last comment I thought I would come back another time to see what you were up to, now I just know I won’t, what’s the point?
    Don’t worry about firing this “ignorant” reader, I resign!
    Bye bye.

  113. I left a comment and was about to leave when I saw this:
    “Simon: the problem is that they [The Register] have an audience of tech users who have money. To NOT advertise to that audience would be irresponsible. Unfortunately as long as people want to read this kind of “journalism” (and I use that word lightly) then we’ll need to be there advertising.”
    What a clanger!
    Wow, I’ve haven’t seen someone contort a viewpoint so badly to try and make something stick for a long time. The last person with so much entertainment value was the Iraqi Information Minister telling the journalists in Iraq how they were going to defeat those American Oppressors when over his shoulder you could see American tanks rolling into Baghdad…
    So you are going to take this strong moral stand point against bad bloggers and non-credible sources but your moral viewpoint evaporates as soon as there is money involved? Before I was just kinda outraged by your thoughtless comments but this is so bad it is actually embarrassing.
    I personally think that you have spent an enormous amount of time building up your credibility but you have just shown your true colours and blown all that credit right out the window. When I left my last comment I thought I would come back another time to see what you were up to, now I just know I won’t, what’s the point?
    Don’t worry about firing this “ignorant” reader, I resign!
    Bye bye.

  114. [...] The blogosphere has been giving Robert Scoble some hell this weekend. He posting an article (titled The Irritant of the Non-Credible Journalists) that was essentially a cry for the bloggers of the world to take more responsibility of their writings. It wasn’t a single event that spurred this, but the final straw seemed to be the story running rampant throughout the web claiming Microsoft was having to recode up to 60% of Vista, the next version of their Windows operating system.  His gripe appears to be be that too often these days bloggers catch wind of a rumor, see a chance for some Technorati or digg fame, and spread it like wildfire. Since the blog community is becoming mainstream, some of the net users less informed catch the news, and you can only imagine the problems this causes corporate PR teams. Many of Scoble’s fellow bloggers lashed back at him, which you can see here. Robert eventually issued an apology of sorts, but I believe that was just to stop the hate mail. Sure, maybe he did word it wrong for some people. But his point stands.  If you are going to be an active part of the blogosphere, lets have some manners. Let’s not spread crazy rumors as fact just because we can. If I were to post some random story and quote it is fact, you all (the community) would shoot me down. Let some other moderately famous site post the same type of story, and you applaud it. Regardless of the source. Scoble does the sane thing and tries to put it into perspective, and you shoot him down hard.  No, my site is not completely unbiased. I am not yet what you would consider a professional blogger. Nor does my site give off that professional feel. But I am not going to put false information out there to you. I have more respect for the rest of you than to do that. [...]

  115. With all due respect Robert, I think you need to take a little bit of time out. In the past couple of days your posts have started to display a real “siege” mentality.

    To my mind the acme of that has been the way you have gone on the offensive and started to attack people. As an important PR rep for Microsoft I understand that, at times, that is part of your job. Just as I understand that it is part of your job to “spin” news.

    The question at issue here is how you go about doing that in the age of instant analysis, where editorial, weblogs and news websites are so easily conflated into a broad stream of information.

    For me you are an important source of information. I’m always mindful of your job, and the colour that will lend to your writing. Just as I am always mindful of the colour and slant of the register articles. When reading instant mediums it would be foolish not to be mindful of that. Having said, I want you to remember in the future that when you go on the offensive, you had better do it carefully because _your_ reputation will be as much at stake as the person (or media outlet) you are attacking.

    To wit, your statement: “Some bloggers don’t know who is a credible journalist and who isn’t. Hint: anything the Register writes is NOT credible. Why do I say that? Cause they lied about me last year and didn’t even care about the damage they did to their brand. They just want you to visit and click on their ads.”

    You know full well that is an poorly considered, emotive, totalising statement that can easily be disproved, and in disproving it your credibility suffers just as much as Andrew Orlowski’s cred suffered last year.

    Given that, was it such a smart move? Was it worth the cost? Do you seriously think you come off looking better than The Register by doing it?

    I expect more from you, and you’ve disappointed me, and I’ll never give what you say as much credence as before, and I imagine many of your readers feel the same.

    Yes, the register and andrew orlowski sometimes get it wrong. Perhaps you have a basis for attributing it to something more than human error, instant reporting, deadlines etc. But you’ve presented your personal opinion as a totalising fact, and frankly the evidence you put forward just isn’t good to support it.

    You work in PR and are fully conversant with spinning the news, yet you go apocalyptic when a news source makes a mistake, or rushes to print an article that might not be completely correct, or displays something less than perfect objectivity. It verges on hypocrisy. Instead why can’t we all acknowledge that no one source of information should be trusted entirely. That no one article or media outlet is objective – not the times, not the New York Times, not the register and not your blog – people would be crazy to regard your weblog as an unencumbered news source, and it would be a rather foolish reader that treated the reg as an unencumbered news source either.

    Instead readers need to assemble their own opinions of events by reading multiple sources and comparing and contrasting them. That’s the value of listening and participating in these conversations you’re so passionate about, and if you want to continue being treated as a credible speaker in that conversation you need to take a step back and think about what’s happening, what your saying, and all the things at stake. Its unfair that you have to reach such a high standard when others don’t appear to be doing the same, but you’re paid to try and get good coverage and rapport for microsoft, and you can’t do that without credability.

    I’m sorry to lecture and sound patronising, but I’m surprised at the basic error you’ve made here. Perhaps you can use this scenario in the revised edition of your book? “casualities in a crisis – your tone, your credibility, and your readers”.

    Hint: Get A Grip.

  116. With all due respect Robert, I think you need to take a little bit of time out. In the past couple of days your posts have started to display a real “siege” mentality.

    To my mind the acme of that has been the way you have gone on the offensive and started to attack people. As an important PR rep for Microsoft I understand that, at times, that is part of your job. Just as I understand that it is part of your job to “spin” news.

    The question at issue here is how you go about doing that in the age of instant analysis, where editorial, weblogs and news websites are so easily conflated into a broad stream of information.

    For me you are an important source of information. I’m always mindful of your job, and the colour that will lend to your writing. Just as I am always mindful of the colour and slant of the register articles. When reading instant mediums it would be foolish not to be mindful of that. Having said, I want you to remember in the future that when you go on the offensive, you had better do it carefully because _your_ reputation will be as much at stake as the person (or media outlet) you are attacking.

    To wit, your statement: “Some bloggers don’t know who is a credible journalist and who isn’t. Hint: anything the Register writes is NOT credible. Why do I say that? Cause they lied about me last year and didn’t even care about the damage they did to their brand. They just want you to visit and click on their ads.”

    You know full well that is an poorly considered, emotive, totalising statement that can easily be disproved, and in disproving it your credibility suffers just as much as Andrew Orlowski’s cred suffered last year.

    Given that, was it such a smart move? Was it worth the cost? Do you seriously think you come off looking better than The Register by doing it?

    I expect more from you, and you’ve disappointed me, and I’ll never give what you say as much credence as before, and I imagine many of your readers feel the same.

    Yes, the register and andrew orlowski sometimes get it wrong. Perhaps you have a basis for attributing it to something more than human error, instant reporting, deadlines etc. But you’ve presented your personal opinion as a totalising fact, and frankly the evidence you put forward just isn’t good to support it.

    You work in PR and are fully conversant with spinning the news, yet you go apocalyptic when a news source makes a mistake, or rushes to print an article that might not be completely correct, or displays something less than perfect objectivity. It verges on hypocrisy. Instead why can’t we all acknowledge that no one source of information should be trusted entirely. That no one article or media outlet is objective – not the times, not the New York Times, not the register and not your blog – people would be crazy to regard your weblog as an unencumbered news source, and it would be a rather foolish reader that treated the reg as an unencumbered news source either.

    Instead readers need to assemble their own opinions of events by reading multiple sources and comparing and contrasting them. That’s the value of listening and participating in these conversations you’re so passionate about, and if you want to continue being treated as a credible speaker in that conversation you need to take a step back and think about what’s happening, what your saying, and all the things at stake. Its unfair that you have to reach such a high standard when others don’t appear to be doing the same, but you’re paid to try and get good coverage and rapport for microsoft, and you can’t do that without credability.

    I’m sorry to lecture and sound patronising, but I’m surprised at the basic error you’ve made here. Perhaps you can use this scenario in the revised edition of your book? “casualities in a crisis – your tone, your credibility, and your readers”.

    Hint: Get A Grip.

  117. Scoble : Tells me that the writer can’t stand up to criticism.

    You tell them, bud.

    Hilary’s right. The Register has a huge pro audience and it’s earned much of it through its coverage of Microsoft – through really great legal and business analysis. And BOFH, heh.

    Of course this makes Microsoft nervous. Go figure.

    So Robert when you go off on one of your emotional rants about The Register, and try to bully the publication and its journalists, are you speaking on behalf of Big Corp., or yourself?

    If it’s Big Corp., it’s disturbing. If it’s only yourself, it just looks like you want to dish it out but can’t take it.

  118. Scoble : Tells me that the writer can’t stand up to criticism.

    You tell them, bud.

    Hilary’s right. The Register has a huge pro audience and it’s earned much of it through its coverage of Microsoft – through really great legal and business analysis. And BOFH, heh.

    Of course this makes Microsoft nervous. Go figure.

    So Robert when you go off on one of your emotional rants about The Register, and try to bully the publication and its journalists, are you speaking on behalf of Big Corp., or yourself?

    If it’s Big Corp., it’s disturbing. If it’s only yourself, it just looks like you want to dish it out but can’t take it.

  119. [...] Nick Carr recently posted seven rules for corporate blogging on his blog in response to Scoble having cracked (his opinion, not mine).  I think some of his rules certainly have merit, while others are just too over the top.  The following are his seven rules with my comments interspersed. 1) Don’t do it. If you have no compelling business reason to get involved in the blogosphere, then don’t. While there’s no evidence, beyond a few anecdotes, that corporate blogging leads to better business results, there are clearly risks. If you give bloggers too much freedom, they may “go native” and tarnish your reputation by writing something stupid. If you try to rein them in, you’ll be attacked for being a dinosaur. That’s a lose-lose situation – the kind companies should avoid if at all possible. And don’t buy that nonsense about needing to have “conversations” with the marketplace. That’s an ideology, not a strategy. [...]

  120. Robert,

    although I am no fan of Microsoft, I disagree with most of the s**t that is being thrown at you, and I think you have some nerve in letting all comments in. Kudos to you for that.

    I don’t know if the 60% story is any true, I read Mini like the next guy, and – let’s be honest – a lot of people would like to see MS in trouble.

    But the side discussion on corporate blogging (as demonstrated by you) is interesting in its own right. Is this something every corporate should do?

    I advise my clients to start a corporate blog only if they’re prepared to trade in the Credibility Currency, something most companies are not really equipped for.

  121. Robert,

    although I am no fan of Microsoft, I disagree with most of the s**t that is being thrown at you, and I think you have some nerve in letting all comments in. Kudos to you for that.

    I don’t know if the 60% story is any true, I read Mini like the next guy, and – let’s be honest – a lot of people would like to see MS in trouble.

    But the side discussion on corporate blogging (as demonstrated by you) is interesting in its own right. Is this something every corporate should do?

    I advise my clients to start a corporate blog only if they’re prepared to trade in the Credibility Currency, something most companies are not really equipped for.

  122. Yo, Mr. Scoble! I’d like to repeat the kudos in the comments for speaking your mind, letting people comment on your post, and responding to criticism later. Even when you get saucy, you promote a great conversation in the blogosphere. . .and isn’t that what it’s all about?

  123. Yo, Mr. Scoble! I’d like to repeat the kudos in the comments for speaking your mind, letting people comment on your post, and responding to criticism later. Even when you get saucy, you promote a great conversation in the blogosphere. . .and isn’t that what it’s all about?

  124. Bad News Travels Fast or Why Scoble Can’t Be Trusted

    This is really a 2 for 1 posting special. It has to do with Scoble having his panties in a wad over some errant news about the delay in Vista. (Microsoft’s new OS which is delayed until 2007 much to the chagrin of Dell, HP and other computer manufactu…

  125. Top 5 Blogosphere Smackdowns

    Where would television be today without Reality TV? Where would the blogosphere be today without web celebrity smackdowns?
    Without further ado, I give you, the Top 5 Web Celebrity Smackdowns in 2006 (ranked in order of TechMeme link popularity). Enjoy!…

  126. Unfortunately, the Internet has tended to dumb down journalism, now that anyone can post anything online without having to pass it by an editor first.

    It’s great to have so much freedom of expression, but it does come at a price.

  127. Unfortunately, the Internet has tended to dumb down journalism, now that anyone can post anything online without having to pass it by an editor first.

    It’s great to have so much freedom of expression, but it does come at a price.

  128. Wired News copies Marketing Nirvana!

    Well — or great minds think alike, either way, I’m thrilled!
    Wired News, one of my favorite tech websites, had a post yesterday on the Best Blogfights of 2006 (via Steve Rubel) which seems a close adaptation of two posts I wrote last year: