Cross-posted from PROpenMic.
Ben Parr at Mashable has, it seems, been sipping the Koolaid.
Parr writes, “The Social Analyst … a weekly column … where he digs into social media trends and how they are affecting companies in the space.”
Mashable has become a sort of cause celebre of the new social media/network journalism. This stems from CNN’s adoption of Pete Cashmore as a columnist. “Pete Cashmore is founder and CEO of Mashable, a popular blog about social media. He is writing a weekly column about social networking and tech for CNN.com.” (Source)
I often wonder whether the sometimes cheerleader-esque nature of many Mashable (and TechCrunch, for example) posts really equal the journalistic integrity we expect from more established journalism sites. Could it be that they, unlike say … the New York Times or even Wired, for crying out loud … seek to write those screamin’ headlines that draw in readers (sans rational consideration of all sides of an issue).
The post from Ben Parr makes me question that ability to avoid the koolaid and put down the pom-pons.
Here’s my reaction to Ben Parr’s post … read it first, of course, then my critique.
Parr writes, “over 160,000 Google Buzz posts and comments per hour” are flowing through the new Google Buzz (in GMail). My question? How many of those are feeds from other sites that people are already using with dedication & devotion? We don’t know, but one guesses what you’re counting is actually RSS fed activity from other tools.
Is Google really going to get them to dig up roots and move to GMail? Seriously. Will everyone move from Twitter and Facebook into Google Buzz? I kinda doubt it (at least not without many more adaptations to the Buzz).
With regard to security / privacy issues, Parr writes, “Google is responding with lightning speed.” Um, no.
They are reacting with Facebook-like speed. Further, why would they make the tool opt-out by default. They certainly have watched all that has happened with Facebook. This was a foolish bad practice that they could have avoided altogether. Put down the Koolaid.
Yes, I and many others, have been able to fold all our email accounts into one GMail account. But, what are the numbers on that? I don’t know. Do you? Is the US adoption greater than the rest of the world per capita? I’m betting the answer is yes.
Yes, Google has an enormous user base that, if they can produce the right tool(s), Google can use to usurp and replace other sites/networks … or at least equal. However, Google Buzz seems to be more of a new version of an aggregator (much like Google Reader) than a replacement for Twitter and/or Facebook.
There is much, much work to do on interface, add-ons, and so many other areas … it is too soon to proclaim it as a world changer. Could it be? Sure (with work). Twitter took years to catch on. Google has an advantage in user base, but can they convert? Many of their labs projects seem to fizzle after only months.
I’m not a big fan of Google Buzz right now. I’m also not ready to pan it completely. I was also not a fan of Twitter at its inception. Now, I use Twitter probably more than any other site (except niche Ning communities). Let’s see what happens with new apps for Buzz. That is, in large part, what boosts the appeal and use of most (if not all) social network sites.
Sometimes, I’m not kidding, these sites (Mashable/TechCrunch, et.al.) are doing what they decry and hammer PR people for doing. You know, their skewed perception that all we do is promote … sans fair presentation of facts? Oh, they won’t like that characterization … will they?
How about all things in moderation, Mr. Parr and Mashable. Step away from the lil’ koolaid pitcher.
|Update: Meet another somewhat exuberant cheerleader: The Business Insider (TBI) Nicholas Carlson: How Google Went Into “Code Red” And Saved Google Buzz.
Please, people. You’re spinning. Look at it with a realistic knowledge of what should have been done: learn from mistakes and never launch as opt-out. Why everyone is forgiving Google for such an obvious foolish mistake is beyond me. Five days? It took took them five days? Please step away from the koolaid. You’re giving them way too much credit.
Why do I say Carlson is a cheerleader? Here’s an example. In a story about Google, Carlson writes: “Still, it’s always shocking to hear that a company so successful and so famously pleasant to work for…” (HuffPo)
That’s not journalism, folks. If someone else says “shocking” and “famously pleasant” — it is reporting. If the author writes it … it’s commentary, at best.
What is Silicon Valley Insider? “Business Insider (TBI) is dedicated to aggregating, reporting, and analyzing the top news stories across the web and delivering them to you at rapid-fire pace.” You really like that “rapid-fire” phrase, don’t you. The TBI site does not clearly label whether posts are news or commentary. This is a problem.
Boosterism. Consider the TBI post: “have done a rousing job” … “proverbial alarm bells ringing” … “rapid-fire updates” — No, those are not quotes from people Carlson interviewed. They are Carlson’s opinions. He wrote them. This is not journalism … it is not reporting.
Carlson has a record of writing about Google with more of a commentary slant than news approach.
Example? Here’s an example. In a story about Google, Carlson writes: “Still, it’s always shocking to hear that a company so successful and so famously pleasant to work for…” (HuffPo)
That’s not journalism, folks. If someone else says “shocking” and “famously pleasant”– and you quote them — it is reporting. If the author writes it … it’s commentary, at best.
You’re giving them credit for fixing something that shouldn’t have happened in the first place.