Every time I see some legitimate press entity try to explain why the tech press feels so earnestly that Apple’s “lost its edge,” I start throwing air haymakers. The latest one I’ve seen is from Yoni Heisler at the otherwise-innocuous TUAW.
I’ve frothed about this phenomenon numerous times, but in case I haven’t been sufficiently succinct, I can sum the sentiment up in a single, simple concept:
Take a look at some of the absolutely brain-dead assessments made about the state Apple’s spirit of innovation (kudos to John Kirk for doing the heavy lifting on this depressing exercise). No person capable of speaking in complete sentences could possibly truly believe these things (notice that pundits like Thurrott and Enderle do not meet this requirement).
Why do people write things that sound like they came from their personal anti-Apple dream journals? Why do authors select solitary supporting data points when hundreds that run contrary to them are ignored? Why are scathing reviews of rumored products, rants about developer previews and premature pronouncements of the death of the most successful company in technology so abundant in the blogosphere?
Because it pays.
A smirking fraud like Henry Blodget jerks readers around for pageviews. The worst Apple analyst on the planet appears on CNBC to juice their ratings by providing a purely rhetorical counterpoint to common sense. It’s basically the same thing: where there is no contention, there is no attention. It doesn’t matter if it’s conjecture about hypothetical product categories, a reflection the author’s feelings or even 100% fabricated: there are people who have no right pecking at a keyboard – or appearing on television – that have made their careers by writing or speaking nonsense about Apple. They ply their trade by exploiting the troll dilemma. Human nature demands you correct those in error, but that very activity is the core of their business model. The only thing you can do is resist the temptation to correct and not visit the trolls where they live. Scrape their content and rip on it in your blogs (*ahem*), but don’t give them the satisfaction of a single page view.
The only way to purge these idiots from the tech beat is to starve them out.