Ed Bott is pissed off at A list bloggers who don’t get it right

I started Google Reader to see what the bloggers are yakking about and Ed Bott was the first poster I saw. He’s complaining that A-list bloggers don’t get it right and don’t correct their posts. What caused him to write this? A story that’s at the top of Techmeme that announces that Skinkers and Microsoft announce a live, streaming content venture. But the problem with Ed’s whine is that I see three headlines on TechMeme, one from “One Microsoft Way;” another from “TechCrunch”; and another from Don Dodge who works at Microsoft. That’s it. And all three stories don’t have the problems that Ed is going on and on about. So, not sure who the “A listers” who got it wrong are. Ahh, I see, Long Zheng wrote a post that details it.

Interesting that I saw both of these guys’ posts before I saw any of the offending ones. Maybe that’s why I like reading feeds more than I like reading TechMeme lately.

But it’s also why I’m at least partially off of the “break the news first” bus. That business is getting a LOT more competitive and I find I’d rather sit back and read everyone’s feeds and pick the best post out of the bunch for my link blog.

One other thing, I told an audience recently that I don’t believe anything on the blogs for the first 24-hours. So I guess I actually agree with Ed’s thesis. If it doesn’t get refuted by someone who is actually involved then it probably is true. Except over on sites like Valleywag and Fake Steve. There they don’t even try to get the facts right and are TOTALLY for entertainment value. I read those things just for a laugh and don’t try to refute every little post they make about me (which seems like every few hours lately which is funny cause Nick Douglas of Valleywag, about a month ago, wrote a post saying I was irrelevant. If I’m irrelevant and they are writing about me what does that make them? Heheh).

Anyway, onward. I’d rather work with mainstream press than take potshots at them. Same with bloggers. We all can do a better job.

UPDATE: Of course it’s not just bloggers who don’t get things right. Here’s a Dow Jones refutation of a professional news outlet’s claim that Dow Jones has been acquired.

Translation: be skeptical! And distrust things that don’t have open comments. :-)

44 thoughts on “Ed Bott is pissed off at A list bloggers who don’t get it right

  1. Robert, I read your blog and several others, NOT because you get the story first. I read you because you have an opinion, some insight, or personal experience.

    Newspapers and magazines print lots of verified facts, but very little opinion, insight, or personal experience. That is why I like blogs, and still read the trade magazines.

  2. Robert, I read your blog and several others, NOT because you get the story first. I read you because you have an opinion, some insight, or personal experience.

    Newspapers and magazines print lots of verified facts, but very little opinion, insight, or personal experience. That is why I like blogs, and still read the trade magazines.

  3. The irony Robert is if people have watched the interview I did with Matteo, the facts are all there. I guess people just watched the demo or part of the video, drew their conclusions and hit publish.

    Now, if YOU had shot that video would they have watched in it’s entirity or emailed/Twittered you for clarification? I thought I’d made things pretty clear for people but would have been happy to clarify if they’d asked!

  4. The irony Robert is if people have watched the interview I did with Matteo, the facts are all there. I guess people just watched the demo or part of the video, drew their conclusions and hit publish.

    Now, if YOU had shot that video would they have watched in it’s entirity or emailed/Twittered you for clarification? I thought I’d made things pretty clear for people but would have been happy to clarify if they’d asked!

  5. Pot, meet kettle.

    *laugh* what I love about this piece Robert is that while you spin Ed in a negative way you two are pretty much the exact same type of blogger. You both have your whines, your rants, your defending of products based on emotion rather than fact. What’s funny is you both see yourselves as being different yet you’re both really just blogger jocks that play for different teams.

    All spin aside, the core of the issue is a good one, check all the facts first. Bloggers have nailed the editorializing, now if they could pick up just a few journalistic bits as well.

  6. Pot, meet kettle.

    *laugh* what I love about this piece Robert is that while you spin Ed in a negative way you two are pretty much the exact same type of blogger. You both have your whines, your rants, your defending of products based on emotion rather than fact. What’s funny is you both see yourselves as being different yet you’re both really just blogger jocks that play for different teams.

    All spin aside, the core of the issue is a good one, check all the facts first. Bloggers have nailed the editorializing, now if they could pick up just a few journalistic bits as well.

  7. @12 “Oh, and Robert, glad to hear you’ve changed your style. Back in 2005, you said: “I bias toward getting the story first rather than getting it right, too.”

    I agree that this is certainly a 180 degree shift for Scoble. And they say people can’t be rehabilitated. :-) But, I’ll take the Reagan approach: “Trust, but verify”.

  8. @12 “Oh, and Robert, glad to hear you’ve changed your style. Back in 2005, you said: “I bias toward getting the story first rather than getting it right, too.”

    I agree that this is certainly a 180 degree shift for Scoble. And they say people can’t be rehabilitated. :-) But, I’ll take the Reagan approach: “Trust, but verify”.

  9. How about abolishing “people say” so-called reporting by so-called newspapers of record as well: NYT, WSJ, NYP…As in Microsoft merging with Yahoo, “those people say.”

    What “people”? Stock market moving stories ought not be permitted based solely on anonymous “sources said” attributions.

    “Reporting” based on unidentified “people” is not journalism and ought not be trusted; BUT most everyone does take any piece of writing, and every piece of writing, at face value.

    People believed the unnamed “people” that purportedly told the New York Post in May about a supposed impending Microsoft-Yahoo blockbuster deal AND the same people believed the other unnamed people that then purportedly told the Wall Street Journal the following day that NO such deal.

    No “people” should trust any writers, nor their repective publications, that quote unnamed people and headline stories off of the resulting self-interested hot air and/or calculated manipulation of public communications, no matter the “reputation” of the writer or the sponsoring publication.

  10. How about abolishing “people say” so-called reporting by so-called newspapers of record as well: NYT, WSJ, NYP…As in Microsoft merging with Yahoo, “those people say.”

    What “people”? Stock market moving stories ought not be permitted based solely on anonymous “sources said” attributions.

    “Reporting” based on unidentified “people” is not journalism and ought not be trusted; BUT most everyone does take any piece of writing, and every piece of writing, at face value.

    People believed the unnamed “people” that purportedly told the New York Post in May about a supposed impending Microsoft-Yahoo blockbuster deal AND the same people believed the other unnamed people that then purportedly told the Wall Street Journal the following day that NO such deal.

    No “people” should trust any writers, nor their repective publications, that quote unnamed people and headline stories off of the resulting self-interested hot air and/or calculated manipulation of public communications, no matter the “reputation” of the writer or the sponsoring publication.

  11. How about abolishing “people say” so-called reporting by so-called newspapers of record as well: NYT, WSJ, NYP…As in Microsoft merging with Yahoo, “those people say.”

    What “people”? Stock market moving stories ought not be permitted based solely on anonymous “sources said” attributions.

    “Reporting” based on unidentified “people” is not journalism and ought not be trusted; BUT most everyone does take any piece of writing, and every piece of writing, at face value.

    People believed the unnamed “people” that purportedly told the New York Post in May about a supposed impending Microsoft-Yahoo blockbuster deal AND the same people believed the other unnamed people that then purportedly told the Wall Street Journal the following day that NO such deal.

    No people should trust any writers, nor their repective publications, that quote unnamed people and headline stories off of the resulting self-interested hot air and/or calculated manipulation of public communications, no matter the “reputation” of the writer or the sponsoring publication.

  12. How about abolishing “people say” so-called reporting by so-called newspapers of record as well: NYT, WSJ, NYP…As in Microsoft merging with Yahoo, “those people say.”

    What “people”? Stock market moving stories ought not be permitted based solely on anonymous “sources said” attributions.

    “Reporting” based on unidentified “people” is not journalism and ought not be trusted; BUT most everyone does take any piece of writing, and every piece of writing, at face value.

    People believed the unnamed “people” that purportedly told the New York Post in May about a supposed impending Microsoft-Yahoo blockbuster deal AND the same people believed the other unnamed people that then purportedly told the Wall Street Journal the following day that NO such deal.

    No people should trust any writers, nor their repective publications, that quote unnamed people and headline stories off of the resulting self-interested hot air and/or calculated manipulation of public communications, no matter the “reputation” of the writer or the sponsoring publication.

  13. In the group I work in, one of our motto’s is ‘Trust but verify.’

    I think the greater public is still used to believing what they read, and that trust has spilled over into the blogger arena. Blogger’s are being trusted like old time journalist who took more responsibility for fact checking information.

    In this day we rush to break information and post first, and sometimes don’t check our facts as well as we should. In the end bloggers just end up sounding like Roseanna Roseannadana talking about ‘Endangered Feces’ without the appropriate ‘Nevermind’ follow up.

  14. In the group I work in, one of our motto’s is ‘Trust but verify.’

    I think the greater public is still used to believing what they read, and that trust has spilled over into the blogger arena. Blogger’s are being trusted like old time journalist who took more responsibility for fact checking information.

    In this day we rush to break information and post first, and sometimes don’t check our facts as well as we should. In the end bloggers just end up sounding like Roseanna Roseannadana talking about ‘Endangered Feces’ without the appropriate ‘Nevermind’ follow up.

  15. Robert, to me the definition of a professional news organization is that they have disciplined processes and thus rarely make mistakes, and when they do, they correct them promptly. Print media has the problem that they can’t go back and fix the original, which is (literally) read only. But online publishers can. Slate and Salon both do a good job at integrating corrections into stories. I think the Web 2.0/Silicon Valley crowd is so busy doing 20 posts a day on whatever is hot this afternoon that they miss the fundamentals. To the detriment of all of us.

  16. Robert, to me the definition of a professional news organization is that they have disciplined processes and thus rarely make mistakes, and when they do, they correct them promptly. Print media has the problem that they can’t go back and fix the original, which is (literally) read only. But online publishers can. Slate and Salon both do a good job at integrating corrections into stories. I think the Web 2.0/Silicon Valley crowd is so busy doing 20 posts a day on whatever is hot this afternoon that they miss the fundamentals. To the detriment of all of us.

  17. Ed: thanks, didn’t know they were online only. I only read news online anymore so I guess there’s no real difference. At least they pretend to be a professional news organization.

    Figuring out what’s truth and what’s fiction in reporting is quite a challenge. No matter where it’s done.

    I remember my first interview in college with Steve Wozniak. He told me “don’t believe a thing you read about me in the local newspapers.”

    So this isn’t a new problem, it’s one we all need to work on. At least we have a defense mechanism now.

  18. Ed: thanks, didn’t know they were online only. I only read news online anymore so I guess there’s no real difference. At least they pretend to be a professional news organization.

    Figuring out what’s truth and what’s fiction in reporting is quite a challenge. No matter where it’s done.

    I remember my first interview in college with Steve Wozniak. He told me “don’t believe a thing you read about me in the local newspapers.”

    So this isn’t a new problem, it’s one we all need to work on. At least we have a defense mechanism now.

  19. PS: Robert, on your update, you mention the “professional news outlet” that got the Dow Jones story wrong. They’re an online news magazine, about as far from professional as it gets. If you follow the links in my post you’ll see I actually used this same publication for one of the examples I used to prove my point. This same outfit is the one that claimed Microsoft was getting ready to release a “one-play DVD” in late 2005/early 2006. Their tech editor even went so far as to do a follow-up story quoting me by name and saying I had the story wrong.

    “One blogger going by the unlikely name of Ed Bott claimed to have carried out a piece of investigative journalism of his own to prove the story was a ‘hoax’. Though dismissed by other online commentators, Bott’s blog found favour with a hard core of dissenters on the internet.

    “The Business has bad news for Bott and his followers: Microsoft has confirmed the story.”

    Microsoft finally had to issue a formal statement saying the story was in error and the reporter was full of crap. They never corrected either the original story or the snotty follow-up.

    Oh, and Robert, glad to hear you’ve changed your style. Back in 2005, you said: “I bias toward getting the story first rather than getting it right, too.” Ironically, that was in response to something I wrote on this very subject:

    http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2005/07/09.html#a10579

  20. PS: Robert, on your update, you mention the “professional news outlet” that got the Dow Jones story wrong. They’re an online news magazine, about as far from professional as it gets. If you follow the links in my post you’ll see I actually used this same publication for one of the examples I used to prove my point. This same outfit is the one that claimed Microsoft was getting ready to release a “one-play DVD” in late 2005/early 2006. Their tech editor even went so far as to do a follow-up story quoting me by name and saying I had the story wrong.

    “One blogger going by the unlikely name of Ed Bott claimed to have carried out a piece of investigative journalism of his own to prove the story was a ‘hoax’. Though dismissed by other online commentators, Bott’s blog found favour with a hard core of dissenters on the internet.

    “The Business has bad news for Bott and his followers: Microsoft has confirmed the story.”

    Microsoft finally had to issue a formal statement saying the story was in error and the reporter was full of crap. They never corrected either the original story or the snotty follow-up.

    Oh, and Robert, glad to hear you’ve changed your style. Back in 2005, you said: “I bias toward getting the story first rather than getting it right, too.” Ironically, that was in response to something I wrote on this very subject:

    http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/2005/07/09.html#a10579

  21. Don, you got the story right. So did Sean Alexander and a few other people. But go see the update I did on my original post, and you’ll see what the problem is. I just checked, and I haven’t seen any corrections. Ars Technica still has the story completely wrong in its opening graf and added a one-sentence update at the end. Unless you scroll down and read the whole story, you won’t realize it was completely wrong.

  22. Don, you got the story right. So did Sean Alexander and a few other people. But go see the update I did on my original post, and you’ll see what the problem is. I just checked, and I haven’t seen any corrections. Ars Technica still has the story completely wrong in its opening graf and added a one-sentence update at the end. Unless you scroll down and read the whole story, you won’t realize it was completely wrong.

  23. I don’t know what Ed Bott is ranting about. Yes, some bloggers ran a headline saying it was Microsoft’s LiveStation. They were wrong.

    I got the story right, as did Paul at dotnetjunkies. I did check with Skinkers and Microsoft’s Cambridge Research Lab to get deeper details than most of the other bloggers.

    I even took the time to register for the beta, download the software, and use it before I wrote about it. What a concept!

    The Skinkers PR people were out in force to correct the few bloggers who got it wrong. Overall I think most bloggers got it right, or corrected it once they discovered it was wrong.

    If anyone is interested in the details see my blog. http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2007/07/livestation-and.html

    Details aside…LiveStation is pretty cool. The P2P technology under the covers came from Microsoft’s Research Lab. Awesome stuff.

  24. I don’t know what Ed Bott is ranting about. Yes, some bloggers ran a headline saying it was Microsoft’s LiveStation. They were wrong.

    I got the story right, as did Paul at dotnetjunkies. I did check with Skinkers and Microsoft’s Cambridge Research Lab to get deeper details than most of the other bloggers.

    I even took the time to register for the beta, download the software, and use it before I wrote about it. What a concept!

    The Skinkers PR people were out in force to correct the few bloggers who got it wrong. Overall I think most bloggers got it right, or corrected it once they discovered it was wrong.

    If anyone is interested in the details see my blog. http://dondodge.typepad.com/the_next_big_thing/2007/07/livestation-and.html

    Details aside…LiveStation is pretty cool. The P2P technology under the covers came from Microsoft’s Research Lab. Awesome stuff.

  25. I see that Paczkowski (WSJ) takes the new post method for corrections/updates and then links back to the original and then also puts an update notice right at the top of the original with a link to the new. A much better method. I guess the MSM is leading the bloggers here.

  26. I see that Paczkowski (WSJ) takes the new post method for corrections/updates and then links back to the original and then also puts an update notice right at the top of the original with a link to the new. A much better method. I guess the MSM is leading the bloggers here.

  27. Ed…”because A-list bloggers have the attention span of a hyperactive fruit fly and no penalty for getting things wrong”
    That’s a great line.
    —–
    Glad you “partially” fell of the bus Robert. The problem I’ve always seen is that even when correcting, it’s usually through editing the original post with an update like you’ve added to your post here. If I hit your post as it comes through my feed, I won’t see that and when you update it doesn’t trigger a new post notice in my reader. I’ll never see that update, it might as well not exist. It’s nice to see that you have a comment RSS subscription, most don’t, so I may see it if I subscribe but unless I’ve commented and want to keep up with others, I won’t. About the only way that works is to do a new apology, I fucked up, post.

  28. Ed…”because A-list bloggers have the attention span of a hyperactive fruit fly and no penalty for getting things wrong”
    That’s a great line.
    —–
    Glad you “partially” fell of the bus Robert. The problem I’ve always seen is that even when correcting, it’s usually through editing the original post with an update like you’ve added to your post here. If I hit your post as it comes through my feed, I won’t see that and when you update it doesn’t trigger a new post notice in my reader. I’ll never see that update, it might as well not exist. It’s nice to see that you have a comment RSS subscription, most don’t, so I may see it if I subscribe but unless I’ve commented and want to keep up with others, I won’t. About the only way that works is to do a new apology, I fucked up, post.

  29. http://developer.apple.com/iphone/designingcontent.html

    I’m still doubting the flash on the iPhone thing. Click on the “Know what Safari supports on iPhone” link on that page.
    If there was really an executive deal to recompile flash for the platform, Apple Inc would have updated their page by now.
    It still says:
    “Unsupported Technologies

    You’ll want to avoid using Flash and Java for iPhone content. You’ll also want to avoid encouraging users to download the latest Flash on their iPhone, because neither Flash nor downloads are supported by Safari on iPhone.”

  30. http://developer.apple.com/iphone/designingcontent.html

    I’m still doubting the flash on the iPhone thing. Click on the “Know what Safari supports on iPhone” link on that page.
    If there was really an executive deal to recompile flash for the platform, Apple Inc would have updated their page by now.
    It still says:
    “Unsupported Technologies

    You’ll want to avoid using Flash and Java for iPhone content. You’ll also want to avoid encouraging users to download the latest Flash on their iPhone, because neither Flash nor downloads are supported by Safari on iPhone.”

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