Gizmodogate

I totally missed Gizmodogate (where a journalist from Gizmodo, a gadget blog, ran around with a device turning off TV’s at CES while being videoed) while I was curled up in a ball wimpering like a sad dog. That probably was a good thing.

Yeah, Ben Spark, I did warn people that someone would try this stunt. I didn’t know that it would be a journalist, though (Gizmodo was registered with a journalism badge, not a blogger one, at CES).

Expect more stunts like this because Nick Denton, who owns Gawker Media, wants his staff to do anything they can to generate page views.

I too have removed all Gawker Media feeds from my link blog, I found that Engadget and Gear Live totally kicked Gizmodo’s behind anyway. Maybe because they were doing reporting rather than running around turning off TVs.

Nick Denton is pretty happy at this turn of events. The lower he takes his network, the higher his pageviews go, which means profits are gonna go up, right?

I just wonder how decent journalists and bloggers like Gina at LifeHacker can put up with this stuff. Might explain why Denton has such a tough time holding onto his stars.

Comments

  1. Well, Lifehacker is doing things a little different than most the Gawker sites. It’s consistantly great, though… honestly, I find most of them quite good (and subscribe to both Gizmodo and Engadget).

    People do stupid things. So do publishers. If the sites start going down hill because Denton wants to be the next Rupert Murdoch – I’ll reconsider, but as of now it is all still quite good. And there’s not much you could do to make me unsubscribe from Lifehacker. Best site on the net, hand’s down.

  2. Well, Lifehacker is doing things a little different than most the Gawker sites. It’s consistantly great, though… honestly, I find most of them quite good (and subscribe to both Gizmodo and Engadget).

    People do stupid things. So do publishers. If the sites start going down hill because Denton wants to be the next Rupert Murdoch – I’ll reconsider, but as of now it is all still quite good. And there’s not much you could do to make me unsubscribe from Lifehacker. Best site on the net, hand’s down.

  3. Yeah, I dropped “the Giz” from my feed reader ever since their Halo 3 drama. I don’t even own an xbox 360, but this post (http://gizmodo.com/303223/) just put me over the tipping point. Gizmodo was going downhill for a while. Honestly, they just need to grow up.

  4. Yeah, I dropped “the Giz” from my feed reader ever since their Halo 3 drama. I don’t even own an xbox 360, but this post (http://gizmodo.com/303223/) just put me over the tipping point. Gizmodo was going downhill for a while. Honestly, they just need to grow up.

  5. Gideon: I’m done with the whole Denton thing. Google Reader’s friends will bring me anything important anyway that these folks do. I just don’t need to spend my time wading through the stunts anymore to find the meat.

  6. Gideon: I’m done with the whole Denton thing. Google Reader’s friends will bring me anything important anyway that these folks do. I just don’t need to spend my time wading through the stunts anymore to find the meat.

  7. I’m joining in deleting Gizmodo. Not only did the “prank” set bloggers back 5 years, their reaction to the backlash made it even worse.

    Check out Brian Lam’s comments on Valleywag and the rest of Gizmodo’s staff on other sites. Not only is there a lack of remorse, they pretty much are stuck on the “it’s a joke, assholes” attitude since they scored a Bill Gates interview.

    “Relax. It was a joke. Just because we don’t do things the way you do, I don’t see why that is stupid.”

    “Why is this so emotionally disturbing to you both? Motorola, well that was a mistake, as my explicit orders to my video person were to not interrupt press conferences.” ~Brian Lam

    They should consider showing off their comedic skills at Macworld. A blowhorn during Steve Jobs speech is sure to get tons of laughs since pranks are the reason people go to technology shows.

    http://valleywag.com/343531/cnet-editor-proves-theres-no-difference-between-press-and-blogger

  8. I’m joining in deleting Gizmodo. Not only did the “prank” set bloggers back 5 years, their reaction to the backlash made it even worse.

    Check out Brian Lam’s comments on Valleywag and the rest of Gizmodo’s staff on other sites. Not only is there a lack of remorse, they pretty much are stuck on the “it’s a joke, assholes” attitude since they scored a Bill Gates interview.

    “Relax. It was a joke. Just because we don’t do things the way you do, I don’t see why that is stupid.”

    “Why is this so emotionally disturbing to you both? Motorola, well that was a mistake, as my explicit orders to my video person were to not interrupt press conferences.” ~Brian Lam

    They should consider showing off their comedic skills at Macworld. A blowhorn during Steve Jobs speech is sure to get tons of laughs since pranks are the reason people go to technology shows.

    http://valleywag.com/343531/cnet-editor-proves-theres-no-difference-between-press-and-blogger

  9. And we all know Scoble never does or says anything “outrageous” just to try to get pageviews or links…

  10. And we all know Scoble never does or says anything “outrageous” just to try to get pageviews or links…

  11. Rather than being some frat frolic, this is a slimy and illegal activity that affects people’s livelihoods by interrupting, covertly, a companies ability to show their products, sell, and communicate with customers.

    Given that Vegas has strict laws against interfering with a company’s ability to do business by using covert electronic means to render electronic devices inoperable (Vegas has been busting people for years who try to interfere with electronic slot machines this way)I think the companies impacted might want to talk to law enforcement.

    Like so many stupid criminals, fortunately these tools made a video of their crimes. Law enforcement will be able to use their own video to put them behind bars.

    Hopefully, the affected companies will go after the deep pockets and bring legal action against Gawker Media.

  12. Rather than being some frat frolic, this is a slimy and illegal activity that affects people’s livelihoods by interrupting, covertly, a companies ability to show their products, sell, and communicate with customers.

    Given that Vegas has strict laws against interfering with a company’s ability to do business by using covert electronic means to render electronic devices inoperable (Vegas has been busting people for years who try to interfere with electronic slot machines this way)I think the companies impacted might want to talk to law enforcement.

    Like so many stupid criminals, fortunately these tools made a video of their crimes. Law enforcement will be able to use their own video to put them behind bars.

    Hopefully, the affected companies will go after the deep pockets and bring legal action against Gawker Media.

  13. I agree with Gideon that Lifehacker does not seem to be impacted by any direction change from above. If the pressures get too great for Gina and Adam, I hope they land in a good place.

    A lot of sites seem to go the controversy route to get page views. It’s sad to see it when a small blog does it trying to find some way to grow, and it is even more sad to see it when an organization has so much talent that they do not need to play the controversy approach.

  14. I agree with Gideon that Lifehacker does not seem to be impacted by any direction change from above. If the pressures get too great for Gina and Adam, I hope they land in a good place.

    A lot of sites seem to go the controversy route to get page views. It’s sad to see it when a small blog does it trying to find some way to grow, and it is even more sad to see it when an organization has so much talent that they do not need to play the controversy approach.

  15. I stopped reading Gizmodo since their infamous iPhone “scoop” (which turned out to be about Cisco’s iPhone).

    I still subscribe to Consumerist and Lifehacker since I find those blogs to be a lot more professional and informative.

  16. I stopped reading Gizmodo since their infamous iPhone “scoop” (which turned out to be about Cisco’s iPhone).

    I still subscribe to Consumerist and Lifehacker since I find those blogs to be a lot more professional and informative.

  17. I’m pretty sure screen scraping 5,000 friends on Facebook hurts Facebook’s ability to do their work, just because they have enough servers to handle the extra load doesn’t mean you didn’t cost them money by automating a script, but you know, whatever justification gets you through the day.

  18. I’m pretty sure screen scraping 5,000 friends on Facebook hurts Facebook’s ability to do their work, just because they have enough servers to handle the extra load doesn’t mean you didn’t cost them money by automating a script, but you know, whatever justification gets you through the day.

  19. Shaudius: that’s absolutely not true, if you know ANYTHING about how that script works.

    By the way, if that’s true, did you know that Facebook does EXACTLY THE SAME THING I DID TO FACEBOOK TO GMAIL? Why aren’t you complaining about “Facebook’s harm to Gmail’s servers?” Hmmm?

    Do your homework first before making outrageous claims.

  20. Shaudius: that’s absolutely not true, if you know ANYTHING about how that script works.

    By the way, if that’s true, did you know that Facebook does EXACTLY THE SAME THING I DID TO FACEBOOK TO GMAIL? Why aren’t you complaining about “Facebook’s harm to Gmail’s servers?” Hmmm?

    Do your homework first before making outrageous claims.

  21. I agree, Gear Live did a great job! This was the third year I met them at CES.

    Panasonic should be reimbursed by Denton for their expenses in setting-up at CES.

    The Bloghaus rocked!

  22. I agree, Gear Live did a great job! This was the third year I met them at CES.

    Panasonic should be reimbursed by Denton for their expenses in setting-up at CES.

    The Bloghaus rocked!

  23. Okay then, how does the script get contact information from every profile without hitting every single profile? All Facebook does is look at your contact list and take the data. I don’t know anyway to do that on Facebook without accessing every single page, if you could do it all from just one page you wouldn’t need the script at all, but maybe I’m wrong, did it just do one query or 5,000? Because I doubt the gmail query is more than 1 query.

    I also didn’t say what Facebook does is justified, I just said that what you did is not okay, and no better than Gizmodo’s prank. Just call them like I see them.

  24. Okay then, how does the script get contact information from every profile without hitting every single profile? All Facebook does is look at your contact list and take the data. I don’t know anyway to do that on Facebook without accessing every single page, if you could do it all from just one page you wouldn’t need the script at all, but maybe I’m wrong, did it just do one query or 5,000? Because I doubt the gmail query is more than 1 query.

    I also didn’t say what Facebook does is justified, I just said that what you did is not okay, and no better than Gizmodo’s prank. Just call them like I see them.

  25. Shaudius: first of all, my script didn’t hit them any faster than if you paged through the HTML page-by-page. Second of all, that’s all my script did: look at my contact list and take data — what exactly do you think is different from screen scraping or using an API anyway? Sounds like you fundamentally don’t understand how these things work. Third of all, if that did harm to Facebook’s servers than they’d have a far bigger problem on their hand. They are signing up 200,000 new users every day. One script hitting their servers isn’t going to greatly do harm to their servers. Especially when THEIR SCRIPT DOES EXACTLY THE SAME THING TO GMAIL!!!

  26. Shaudius: first of all, my script didn’t hit them any faster than if you paged through the HTML page-by-page. Second of all, that’s all my script did: look at my contact list and take data — what exactly do you think is different from screen scraping or using an API anyway? Sounds like you fundamentally don’t understand how these things work. Third of all, if that did harm to Facebook’s servers than they’d have a far bigger problem on their hand. They are signing up 200,000 new users every day. One script hitting their servers isn’t going to greatly do harm to their servers. Especially when THEIR SCRIPT DOES EXACTLY THE SAME THING TO GMAIL!!!

  27. How does it do exactly the same thing to gmail? I can get a complete list of all my contacts in 1, maybe 2 page hits, or do you think it opens up every single contact to get the information from gmail?

    But again, you are creating an argument I’m not making, I didn’t say what Facebook does is good, I said what you did is bad, and fundamentally just as bad as what Gizmodo did.

    There’s no way in Facebook to get the data you gathered by simply looking at your contact list, unless you know of some page that I don’t.

    “my script didn’t hit them any faster than if you paged through the HTML page-by-page.”

    Yep, except yours was automated, which is a world of difference, any faster? Can you collect data as fast as a computer? Or are you suggesting someone clicking through all 5,000 of your contacts?

    Also what part of “just because they have enough servers to handle the extra load doesn’t mean you didn’t cost them money by automating a script”

    Is it okay to cost a company money as long as they can afford it? Then I guess what the Gizmodo guys did is okay because I’m sure all the consumer electronics companies at CES can afford whatever sales hit they caused by their prank.

    But thats not the issue is it? You think what you did was just and what Gizmodo did was unjust? Why not just admit that you made a mistake, instead of attempting to justify your obviously bad act.

    You’d rather be a martyr and vilify Gizmodo of course, but you’re both in the wrong.

  28. How does it do exactly the same thing to gmail? I can get a complete list of all my contacts in 1, maybe 2 page hits, or do you think it opens up every single contact to get the information from gmail?

    But again, you are creating an argument I’m not making, I didn’t say what Facebook does is good, I said what you did is bad, and fundamentally just as bad as what Gizmodo did.

    There’s no way in Facebook to get the data you gathered by simply looking at your contact list, unless you know of some page that I don’t.

    “my script didn’t hit them any faster than if you paged through the HTML page-by-page.”

    Yep, except yours was automated, which is a world of difference, any faster? Can you collect data as fast as a computer? Or are you suggesting someone clicking through all 5,000 of your contacts?

    Also what part of “just because they have enough servers to handle the extra load doesn’t mean you didn’t cost them money by automating a script”

    Is it okay to cost a company money as long as they can afford it? Then I guess what the Gizmodo guys did is okay because I’m sure all the consumer electronics companies at CES can afford whatever sales hit they caused by their prank.

    But thats not the issue is it? You think what you did was just and what Gizmodo did was unjust? Why not just admit that you made a mistake, instead of attempting to justify your obviously bad act.

    You’d rather be a martyr and vilify Gizmodo of course, but you’re both in the wrong.

  29. The first thing that comes to my mind after reading your post, Scoble, is “AMEN!”

    They were so dump, and I’d really love to see more people unsubscribe from them. I want what they did to really hurt their bottom line so that they never do it again. I don’t care if they had press or blogger credentials, they run a blog, and they messed up big time.

    I am very unimpressed with what they did.

    Boo @ Gizmodo!

  30. The first thing that comes to my mind after reading your post, Scoble, is “AMEN!”

    They were so dump, and I’d really love to see more people unsubscribe from them. I want what they did to really hurt their bottom line so that they never do it again. I don’t care if they had press or blogger credentials, they run a blog, and they messed up big time.

    I am very unimpressed with what they did.

    Boo @ Gizmodo!

  31. I disagree with you on this one, Scoble. While I’ve normally agreed with you in the past, I think you (and CNet) are taking this one way too serious. All they did was turn off some TVs, and it honestly didn’t really affect anything other than the Motorola event (which they’ve apologized for, and said was a mistake). In the future, the booths will just keep their IR ports covered, no big deal. Gizmodo is great because it reports on relevant tech news, while at the same time having fun. You have no idea how many times I’ve started laughing while reading through their feed. It’s a great combination of both entertainment and news (Jon Stewart and Colbert Report also do a great job with this).

    I’ll continue to subscribe to and read both Gizmodo and Sobleizer everyday, thank you very much.

  32. I disagree with you on this one, Scoble. While I’ve normally agreed with you in the past, I think you (and CNet) are taking this one way too serious. All they did was turn off some TVs, and it honestly didn’t really affect anything other than the Motorola event (which they’ve apologized for, and said was a mistake). In the future, the booths will just keep their IR ports covered, no big deal. Gizmodo is great because it reports on relevant tech news, while at the same time having fun. You have no idea how many times I’ve started laughing while reading through their feed. It’s a great combination of both entertainment and news (Jon Stewart and Colbert Report also do a great job with this).

    I’ll continue to subscribe to and read both Gizmodo and Sobleizer everyday, thank you very much.

  33. Oh yeah and Chris G. (#10), I think you’ve been drinking a little too much of the Apple Kool-Aid. Gizmodo was given a tip, they wanted to report it. I’m sorry that you couldn’t take a joke. I can see how the iPhone being announced (this was December 06) would finally add some meaning to your life. Too bad for Gizmodo, huh? Ruining all your hopes and dreams like that.

    And then in January (07) you learned that it really was going to come out!!!!@1!!11!!yay!11!

    So why are you still complaining?

  34. Oh yeah and Chris G. (#10), I think you’ve been drinking a little too much of the Apple Kool-Aid. Gizmodo was given a tip, they wanted to report it. I’m sorry that you couldn’t take a joke. I can see how the iPhone being announced (this was December 06) would finally add some meaning to your life. Too bad for Gizmodo, huh? Ruining all your hopes and dreams like that.

    And then in January (07) you learned that it really was going to come out!!!!@1!!11!!yay!11!

    So why are you still complaining?

  35. “Yeah, Ben Spark, I did warn people that someone would try this stunt. I didn’t know that it would be a journalist, though (Gizmodo was registered with a journalism badge, not a blogger one, at CES).”

    What you’re saying is that CES give press passes to any idiot? Or that any idiot can pass themselves off as press?

  36. “Yeah, Ben Spark, I did warn people that someone would try this stunt. I didn’t know that it would be a journalist, though (Gizmodo was registered with a journalism badge, not a blogger one, at CES).”

    What you’re saying is that CES give press passes to any idiot? Or that any idiot can pass themselves off as press?

  37. I too have removed all Gawker Media feeds from my link blog, I found that Engadget and Gear Live totally kicked Gizmodo’s behind anyway. Maybe because they were doing reporting rather than running around turning off TVs.

    It is not practical to remove their links from the blog. Why should all the good, valuable, versatile information they continually provide take a back seat to the controversial actions by a few.

    Gizmodo did shine in it’s engaging 20 minutes swansong video interview with Bill Gates – a future classic. :-D

    When your REALLY, REALLY think of it,
    sometimes a little mischievousness in our uptight, morally obsessed world sort of reminds us that we still have that frustrated child in all of us, no matter how far we have gotten along in our conscientious adulthoods. :-p

  38. I too have removed all Gawker Media feeds from my link blog, I found that Engadget and Gear Live totally kicked Gizmodo’s behind anyway. Maybe because they were doing reporting rather than running around turning off TVs.

    It is not practical to remove their links from the blog. Why should all the good, valuable, versatile information they continually provide take a back seat to the controversial actions by a few.

    Gizmodo did shine in it’s engaging 20 minutes swansong video interview with Bill Gates – a future classic. :-D

    When your REALLY, REALLY think of it,
    sometimes a little mischievousness in our uptight, morally obsessed world sort of reminds us that we still have that frustrated child in all of us, no matter how far we have gotten along in our conscientious adulthoods. :-p

  39. @20: as someone who has spent 6 of the past 8 CES’s planning, staffing, and more at booths, I don’t see the humor either. it’s funny to you because you’ve never been on the other side of the fence. it’s *kinda* funny to do to someone one-on-one during a demo. it’s NOT funny during a press conference or during other peoples’ demos.

  40. @20: as someone who has spent 6 of the past 8 CES’s planning, staffing, and more at booths, I don’t see the humor either. it’s funny to you because you’ve never been on the other side of the fence. it’s *kinda* funny to do to someone one-on-one during a demo. it’s NOT funny during a press conference or during other peoples’ demos.

  41. Bloody stupid idea to do this for a number of reasons. Doubt that Gizmodo’s advertizers are to chuffed with that little stunt.

    Interesting that they did it on a journalists pass a real professional muckraking tab journo would use his dodgy ex copper/ dogy PI mate to do the naugty stuff. VMB ing into the royal familiys Voicemail is a recent example.

  42. Bloody stupid idea to do this for a number of reasons. Doubt that Gizmodo’s advertizers are to chuffed with that little stunt.

    Interesting that they did it on a journalists pass a real professional muckraking tab journo would use his dodgy ex copper/ dogy PI mate to do the naugty stuff. VMB ing into the royal familiys Voicemail is a recent example.

  43. Hey Robert,
    Thanks for the shout to my blog post. It really was stupid what the Gizmodo guys did. It nothing to help legitimize blogging, it made us all look like asses.

  44. Hey Robert,
    Thanks for the shout to my blog post. It really was stupid what the Gizmodo guys did. It nothing to help legitimize blogging, it made us all look like asses.

  45. Gizmodogate

    Robert Scoble gaat een stap verder. Hij heeft alle berichten van zijn linkblog die naar een Gawker Media blog verwezen verwijderd.