Ryan’s wrapup of tough day at Engadget

Ryan Block and I have had our troubles in the past but he’s always been a standup guy and yesterday in his life was probably pretty rough (he printed an email that he got from an Apple employee that later turned out to be a hoax, well, you can read the whole story over at TechMeme. Turned out Apple’s stock took a hit because of the report and Apple’s PR was slow to react).

In this situation I back Ryan Block 100%. His post on the matter is the way to handle it.

If anything went wrong here, it’s the pressure on everyone (bloggers and journalists) to be first. Why is that pressure there? Because the first one to post a story will usually get linked to by everyone after that. Links bring traffic. Traffic brings money (at least to sites that have ads). That’s one reason why I don’t put ads on my blog. I already feel enough of that pressure and don’t need to feel more because my paycheck is being affected.

I’ve also mostly jumped off the “be first” bandwagon and I’m sorry for pushing it over the past few years. For one, I can’t keep up (which is why I do my link blog, to show that so much news is being broken every day by a number of blogs, not just one). For two, I want to be known for my video work, not my blogging work, and video slows you down — a blogger can bang out a post in a few minutes, video takes longer so you’ll never be first and even if you are it won’t get linked to as much during the link storm because it takes more time to watch and is harder to link to and reuse on other blogs. For three, I am getting older and can’t stay up until the wee hours of the morning anymore which is often when interesting news breaks. I’ve gotta start taking care of my health, rather than worrying about being first on the next big story.

Anyway, I’ve taken my shots at Engadget in the past (not my proudest moments in life, truth be told) and Ryan’s post raised his stock way up in my eyes.

72 thoughts on “Ryan’s wrapup of tough day at Engadget

  1. I hate engadget. They’re a covert, clandestine Microsoft advertising arm that hits out against Microsoft’s competitors. What Ryan did was criminal, plain and simple. Numerous breaches of the law from stock manipulation to corporate espionage were involved. Ryan should stand trial, testify under oath about how he came about the email, and go to prison.

    engadget would never release email affecting Microsoft stock price in this manner.

  2. I hate engadget. They’re a covert, clandestine Microsoft advertising arm that hits out against Microsoft’s competitors. What Ryan did was criminal, plain and simple. Numerous breaches of the law from stock manipulation to corporate espionage were involved. Ryan should stand trial, testify under oath about how he came about the email, and go to prison.

    engadget would never release email affecting Microsoft stock price in this manner.

  3. I actually think that most everyone else would have acted the same way. Just look at the New York Times with the Microsoft-Yahoo rumor and how that affected the price of YHOO.

    I also believe the non-apologetic words of Ryan too. Unfortunately, it does’t “raise his stock up in my eyes”… it make me less likely to ever believe what he writes again.

    I’m long AAPL. Have been for a few years now. Since the next horizon to review my position is January 2008, this was just a blip on my radar.

    But there was REAL harm done to others. And Ryan – however criminally innocent – is directly responsible. Yet, here’s the sentence that imediately tuck out in my eyes:

    “Given the nature of that news, we felt we had an obligation to inform people that Apple had sent out an internal memo in preparation of a delay in the iPhone and Leopard.”

    An obligation? To whom? You wanted to be first Ryan. Nothing more. To say nothing about your ignorance to your REAL obligation – to the truth.

  4. I actually think that most everyone else would have acted the same way. Just look at the New York Times with the Microsoft-Yahoo rumor and how that affected the price of YHOO.

    I also believe the non-apologetic words of Ryan too. Unfortunately, it does’t “raise his stock up in my eyes”… it make me less likely to ever believe what he writes again.

    I’m long AAPL. Have been for a few years now. Since the next horizon to review my position is January 2008, this was just a blip on my radar.

    But there was REAL harm done to others. And Ryan – however criminally innocent – is directly responsible. Yet, here’s the sentence that imediately tuck out in my eyes:

    “Given the nature of that news, we felt we had an obligation to inform people that Apple had sent out an internal memo in preparation of a delay in the iPhone and Leopard.”

    An obligation? To whom? You wanted to be first Ryan. Nothing more. To say nothing about your ignorance to your REAL obligation – to the truth.

  5. I have no problem with Engadget here – actually they’ve been just as wrong hundreds of times, and they eventually correct themselves. It’s not what I’d call proper fact-checked journalism, but it is what it is.

    The problem is with any idiot who makes stock trading decisions based on what Engadget says…

  6. I have no problem with Engadget here – actually they’ve been just as wrong hundreds of times, and they eventually correct themselves. It’s not what I’d call proper fact-checked journalism, but it is what it is.

    The problem is with any idiot who makes stock trading decisions based on what Engadget says…

  7. Engadget posted a 12-paragraph excuse that basically said everyone else would have done it, too. Um, no.

    Mr. Scoble, if you were ever going to take a shot at them, this time you would have been justified. I guess the blogger school is just going to stick together on this one…

  8. Engadget posted a 12-paragraph excuse that basically said everyone else would have done it, too. Um, no.

    Mr. Scoble, if you were ever going to take a shot at them, this time you would have been justified. I guess the blogger school is just going to stick together on this one…

  9. Of course, Winer is tying himself in a knot to fellate Engadget and lick the feet of the “First is all that matters” gods. If they’re SO professional, why couldn’t they sit on the story until they had better confirmation?

  10. Of course, Winer is tying himself in a knot to fellate Engadget and lick the feet of the “First is all that matters” gods. If they’re SO professional, why couldn’t they sit on the story until they had better confirmation?

  11. So letseee, post anything that moves, don’t double check, but bleeding-heart apologize later. Works for bloggers, I guess…

  12. So letseee, post anything that moves, don’t double check, but bleeding-heart apologize later. Works for bloggers, I guess…

  13. Why would anyone make stock deals based on engadget’s writings, which have a hit & miss history regarding accuracy (and frequently put their on “spin” into stories, which sometimes lowers them to (almost) the level of theRegister and theEnquirer sites)?

    it’s an old scam, not limited to blogs. You create buzz that drops the price long enough to buy cheap. As soon as the buzz is shown to be crap, the price goes up, and you sell. Lots of money, not a lot of work.

  14. Why would anyone make stock deals based on engadget’s writings, which have a hit & miss history regarding accuracy (and frequently put their on “spin” into stories, which sometimes lowers them to (almost) the level of theRegister and theEnquirer sites)?

    it’s an old scam, not limited to blogs. You create buzz that drops the price long enough to buy cheap. As soon as the buzz is shown to be crap, the price goes up, and you sell. Lots of money, not a lot of work.

  15. Anything that comes from an email has to be considered a rumor, until you confirm that the email came from whom it says it comes. In this time of phishing scams and spams that has to be the rule. Ryan Block, who is an all around nice guy in my experience, should think why he posted what he posted. Yes being first was there, but also putting down a high flying Apple. I know I smiled when I read the post and didn’t for a minute think it was a hoax…

  16. Anything that comes from an email has to be considered a rumor, until you confirm that the email came from whom it says it comes. In this time of phishing scams and spams that has to be the rule. Ryan Block, who is an all around nice guy in my experience, should think why he posted what he posted. Yes being first was there, but also putting down a high flying Apple. I know I smiled when I read the post and didn’t for a minute think it was a hoax…

  17. It was only $4 billion, what’s the big deal? – I feel a blogger challenge coming on – who can knock the most share value off a company in one go.
    With great power comes great responsibility…

  18. It was only $4 billion, what’s the big deal? – I feel a blogger challenge coming on – who can knock the most share value off a company in one go.
    With great power comes great responsibility…

  19. Why would anyone make stock deals based on engadget’s writings, which have a hit & miss history regarding accuracy (and frequently put their on “spin” into stories, which sometimes lowers them to (almost) the level of theRegister and theEnquirer sites)?

    This shows how screwed up Wall Street is. Even if iPhone and/or Leopard were delayed, Apple would still make about the same money after they were released. So the company’s bottom line would only be affected short term, if at all. But speculators buy and sell based on what they think other speculators will do, not based on a company’s actual financials, so people sell based solely on the fear that others will sell and drive the stock price down, which ends up being a self-fullfilling cycle.

  20. Why would anyone make stock deals based on engadget’s writings, which have a hit & miss history regarding accuracy (and frequently put their on “spin” into stories, which sometimes lowers them to (almost) the level of theRegister and theEnquirer sites)?

    This shows how screwed up Wall Street is. Even if iPhone and/or Leopard were delayed, Apple would still make about the same money after they were released. So the company’s bottom line would only be affected short term, if at all. But speculators buy and sell based on what they think other speculators will do, not based on a company’s actual financials, so people sell based solely on the fear that others will sell and drive the stock price down, which ends up being a self-fullfilling cycle.

  21. Robert,

    I’m not sure I know what you’re saying. On the one hand, you are backing away from the policy of shoot first and let the blogosphere self-correct if it turns out you were wrong. On the other hand, you are fully endorsing Ryan Block, who doesn’t seem to be backing away from the practices which led Engadget to post false information, but simply explaining how he was fooled and how he made an impatient good-faith effort to verify the.

    Are these positions consistent?

  22. Robert,

    I’m not sure I know what you’re saying. On the one hand, you are backing away from the policy of shoot first and let the blogosphere self-correct if it turns out you were wrong. On the other hand, you are fully endorsing Ryan Block, who doesn’t seem to be backing away from the practices which led Engadget to post false information, but simply explaining how he was fooled and how he made an impatient good-faith effort to verify the.

    Are these positions consistent?

  23. No, they do not know where the email truly originated. If you can show anyone an absolutely foolproof method for showing an email’s origins, you can make a ton of money, because that’s a problem that a lot of people would like to solve.

    They *thought* it originated from Apple, but they didn’t *know* and rather than waiting a few hours for confirmation, they just had to be first, because being “first” is more important than “correct”.

  24. No, they do not know where the email truly originated. If you can show anyone an absolutely foolproof method for showing an email’s origins, you can make a ton of money, because that’s a problem that a lot of people would like to solve.

    They *thought* it originated from Apple, but they didn’t *know* and rather than waiting a few hours for confirmation, they just had to be first, because being “first” is more important than “correct”.

  25. Engadget is in the right here, as long as the email did in fact originate from Apple HQ. It’s up to Apple to figure out who sent out the hoax email, and whether or not explain this to their investors/public.

    Leaks happen – it’s a fact of journalism. If Engadget completely made up the story then they would have had a serious problem on their hands.

  26. Engadget is in the right here, as long as the email did in fact originate from Apple HQ. It’s up to Apple to figure out who sent out the hoax email, and whether or not explain this to their investors/public.

    Leaks happen – it’s a fact of journalism. If Engadget completely made up the story then they would have had a serious problem on their hands.

  27. Oh yeah, the whole “Apple PR should have gotten back to us faster”. Christ. They didn’t take DAYS here, they took hours. But if Engadget had waited, then OMG, NO SC00P FOR THEMOMGWTFKHAAAAAN!!!!

    Here’s a thought. maybe, just maybe, with the imminent release of the iPhone and the WWDC both less than a month away, they’re a little busy.

  28. Oh yeah, the whole “Apple PR should have gotten back to us faster”. Christ. They didn’t take DAYS here, they took hours. But if Engadget had waited, then OMG, NO SC00P FOR THEMOMGWTFKHAAAAAN!!!!

    Here’s a thought. maybe, just maybe, with the imminent release of the iPhone and the WWDC both less than a month away, they’re a little busy.

  29. “yesterday in his life was probably pretty rough”

    Ignoring the mangled syntax, his “pretty rough” day was of his own making. Not much sympathy here.

    “Apple’s PR was slow to react.”

    I’m sorry…what? Apple PR is supposed to jump when Engadget says jump?

    “If anything went wrong here”

    Are you implying you don’t think *anything* went wrong?

    “it’s the pressure on everyone (bloggers and journalists) to be first.”

    No – bloggers feel (completely made up) pressure to be first. Real journalists feel the pressure to *both* “get it first and get it right”. *Huge* difference.

    “For two, I want to be known for my video work, not my blogging work”

    Then stop blogging. Written blogs will *always* be easier to keep up with and noticed more than video.

    “I’ve taken my shots at Engadget in the past (not my proudest moments in life, truth be told)”

    *Never* take a shot if you’re not going to be proud of it. :)

    “and Ryan’s post raised his stock way up in my eyes.”

    Why? I’ve been in a similar situation (it didn’t cost the stock market billions in valuation but it did cause quite a sh*tstorm at Apple) and the first thing I did when I found out I was wrong was – I APOLOGIZED.

    Re-reading Ryan’s post, I don’t see an apology. So, why has his stock gone up, Robert?

  30. “yesterday in his life was probably pretty rough”

    Ignoring the mangled syntax, his “pretty rough” day was of his own making. Not much sympathy here.

    “Apple’s PR was slow to react.”

    I’m sorry…what? Apple PR is supposed to jump when Engadget says jump?

    “If anything went wrong here”

    Are you implying you don’t think *anything* went wrong?

    “it’s the pressure on everyone (bloggers and journalists) to be first.”

    No – bloggers feel (completely made up) pressure to be first. Real journalists feel the pressure to *both* “get it first and get it right”. *Huge* difference.

    “For two, I want to be known for my video work, not my blogging work”

    Then stop blogging. Written blogs will *always* be easier to keep up with and noticed more than video.

    “I’ve taken my shots at Engadget in the past (not my proudest moments in life, truth be told)”

    *Never* take a shot if you’re not going to be proud of it. :)

    “and Ryan’s post raised his stock way up in my eyes.”

    Why? I’ve been in a similar situation (it didn’t cost the stock market billions in valuation but it did cause quite a sh*tstorm at Apple) and the first thing I did when I found out I was wrong was – I APOLOGIZED.

    Re-reading Ryan’s post, I don’t see an apology. So, why has his stock gone up, Robert?

  31. In this situation I back Ryan Block 100%. His post on the matter is the way to handle it.

    No, his post on the matter is the way to clean up the crap he stirred up by following your example of “First over facts”. What he did was irresponsible, and quite frankly, stupid. If you ever wanted a better example of why the “blogosphere” is not a collective of journalists, that’s a great example. His insinuation that he knew beyond a doubt where that email came from is not only silly, it’s completely ignorant of how easy it is to fake an email. He’s just in high-speed CYA mode now.

    If anything went wrong here, it’s the pressure on everyone (bloggers and journalists) to be first. Why is that pressure there? Because the first one to post a story will usually get linked to by everyone after that. Links bring traffic. Traffic brings money (at least to sites that have ads). That’s one reason why I don’t put ads on my blog. I already feel enough of that pressure and don’t need to feel more because my paycheck is being affected.

    Are you proud of your second child? Because you’re one of the leading creators of the “First or die” mentality that led to this, and you have yet, as evidenced by this post, really come to understand how stupid and dangerous that is.

    I’ve also mostly jumped off the “be first” bandwagon and I’m sorry for pushing it over the past few years.

    Over the last year, you certainly haven’t demonstrated this. Deeds, not words Robert. Jumping on the “LYNCH HER NOW” bandwagon over the HP scandal. The complete lack of any kind of reality in your initial posts on the iPhone. Harry McCracken. On and on. You talk about how you’re getting off the bandwagon you helped build, and yet, you can’t really seem to let go.

    Anyway, I’ve taken my shots at Engadget in the past (not my proudest moments in life, truth be told) and Ryan’s post raised his stock way up in my eyes.

    Right. Because his non-apology, (WE WERE FOOLED, NOT OUR FAULT!), make up completely undoes everything his lack of fact-checking caused. I doubt you’ll ever really understand why this monster you helped create and nurture is such a bad thing.

  32. In this situation I back Ryan Block 100%. His post on the matter is the way to handle it.

    No, his post on the matter is the way to clean up the crap he stirred up by following your example of “First over facts”. What he did was irresponsible, and quite frankly, stupid. If you ever wanted a better example of why the “blogosphere” is not a collective of journalists, that’s a great example. His insinuation that he knew beyond a doubt where that email came from is not only silly, it’s completely ignorant of how easy it is to fake an email. He’s just in high-speed CYA mode now.

    If anything went wrong here, it’s the pressure on everyone (bloggers and journalists) to be first. Why is that pressure there? Because the first one to post a story will usually get linked to by everyone after that. Links bring traffic. Traffic brings money (at least to sites that have ads). That’s one reason why I don’t put ads on my blog. I already feel enough of that pressure and don’t need to feel more because my paycheck is being affected.

    Are you proud of your second child? Because you’re one of the leading creators of the “First or die” mentality that led to this, and you have yet, as evidenced by this post, really come to understand how stupid and dangerous that is.

    I’ve also mostly jumped off the “be first” bandwagon and I’m sorry for pushing it over the past few years.

    Over the last year, you certainly haven’t demonstrated this. Deeds, not words Robert. Jumping on the “LYNCH HER NOW” bandwagon over the HP scandal. The complete lack of any kind of reality in your initial posts on the iPhone. Harry McCracken. On and on. You talk about how you’re getting off the bandwagon you helped build, and yet, you can’t really seem to let go.

    Anyway, I’ve taken my shots at Engadget in the past (not my proudest moments in life, truth be told) and Ryan’s post raised his stock way up in my eyes.

    Right. Because his non-apology, (WE WERE FOOLED, NOT OUR FAULT!), make up completely undoes everything his lack of fact-checking caused. I doubt you’ll ever really understand why this monster you helped create and nurture is such a bad thing.

  33. Robert, have you switched yet from “who I believe” to “what I believe”? Do you see everyone as a mix of credibility and error yet, or still see some as wholy credible, some people as not worth listening to?

    jd

  34. Robert, have you switched yet from “who I believe” to “what I believe”? Do you see everyone as a mix of credibility and error yet, or still see some as wholy credible, some people as not worth listening to?

    jd

  35. I agree with Wilhelm. That was just plain and irresponsible of Engadget. Ryan’s explanation doesn’t make sense. He mentioned that even after he found out, less than two hours later, that the email was bogus he didn’t edit his post. Why?

    Some people mentioned that not much was lost. I’m long on Apple so it didn’t matter much to me. But, did you see the exchange volume? That’s a huge exchange of money there.

  36. I agree with Wilhelm. That was just plain and irresponsible of Engadget. Ryan’s explanation doesn’t make sense. He mentioned that even after he found out, less than two hours later, that the email was bogus he didn’t edit his post. Why?

    Some people mentioned that not much was lost. I’m long on Apple so it didn’t matter much to me. But, did you see the exchange volume? That’s a huge exchange of money there.

  37. I don’t trust Engadget any less…they made a goof and owned up to it. Besides, if they received the memo from their usual good sources, what were they supposed to think. The bigger issue is that someone has the ability to publish erroneous information through Apple’s own internal systems. Sounds like a serious breach of security to me…and in a publicly traded company no less.

    The people up in arms over this are most likely Apple shareholders or individuals who already had a beef with Engadget. Get over it. It’s a gadget site.

  38. I don’t trust Engadget any less…they made a goof and owned up to it. Besides, if they received the memo from their usual good sources, what were they supposed to think. The bigger issue is that someone has the ability to publish erroneous information through Apple’s own internal systems. Sounds like a serious breach of security to me…and in a publicly traded company no less.

    The people up in arms over this are most likely Apple shareholders or individuals who already had a beef with Engadget. Get over it. It’s a gadget site.

  39. There is no excuse for Engadget. None. They should have understood that this kind of information would never, ever, be widely released internally only – if valid it must be accompanied by a public press release at the same time.

    Unless Engadget (and apparaently Scoble) actually think Apple is unaware of the requirements of being a public company.

  40. There is no excuse for Engadget. None. They should have understood that this kind of information would never, ever, be widely released internally only – if valid it must be accompanied by a public press release at the same time.

    Unless Engadget (and apparaently Scoble) actually think Apple is unaware of the requirements of being a public company.

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