Every now and then the geek in me revolts…
Since the dawn of the “Internet Economy” [yeah, I squirm when I say that, too] I’ve noticed an alarming tendency of mainstream news media and technology industry media alike to eschew reporting on actual products and technologies. Instead, these outlets report the “business of technology,” which has too often meant they parrot what some Wall Street [or similarly off-world] analysts have said about the forecast for company a’s stock price, the makeup of company b’s management team, etc. “Technology News” has been neither particularly newsworthy [unless you’re another analyst], nor news about technology for some time.
It’s not entirely their fault. The few publications that maintained rigorous standards for technology reporting–Byte and Dr. Dobbs leap immediately to mind, also InfoWorld and PC Magazine–are but shells of their former selves. They’ve been bought, sold, reshaped and retooled to serve an audience that *wanted* more business information.
One can only hope that our trade media, burned time and again by inaccurate, misleading and otherwise wrongheaded analysts’ opinions, will return to their roots and choose to once again get their hands dirty. Test the products. Quiz the developers. Talk to the users. And above all else, form your own opinions, don’t borrow somebody else’s… it’s very probably wrong.