Shoddy Reporting, Invective, and Arrogance. Yeah, I Want Some of That

One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten.

As I was growing up, my mother instructed me that, when I got angry or frustrated, to count to ten before saying anything.  Quite honestly, I’ve counted to ten ten-times over.  I’ve bitten my tongue and clenched my teeth and I’ve really tried to let it go.

And now, I just can’t help myself any longer.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve read too many blog posts (notice how we don’t call them “stories” any more?) filled with invective, passed-along assumptions, and outright misinformation that I can’t help but to call into question the standard of “reporting” going on in the echo-chamber we call the blogosphere.

When in a twitter I bemoaned the lack of original reporting (only one reporter (cnet) and exactly zero bloggers writing this week about this silly DEMO v TechCrunch episode actually contacted me), the infamous blogger Robert Scoble suggested that if I’d blog my opinion, he’d link to it.  Does that mean that a perspective only exists or matters if it’s expressed in a blog post?  Or that Robert’s just moving too fast to do any investigation outside his narrow medium?

Scoble’s not the only guy living in the rarefied air of the echo-chamber.  Sarah Lacy, who works for the much-respected Businessweek.com, conducted a five-minute video interview with TC50′s Mike Arrington and Jason Calacanis, during which the two leveled the usual slander.  Did Lacy fire one tough question at the two?  Did this journalist call me or the DEMO organization to get a response to serious accusations?  Um, the answer to that would be “no.”

In fact, a few weeks ago, when Mike Arrington wrote an assumption-based and error-filled story that demanded an apology from the DEMO organization for a comment that was clearly not made by or on behalf of anyone at DEMO, Lacy picked up the story and wrote with righteous indignation that slander was the highest insult that could be leveled against a journalist.   Did she call me or DEMO before posting her story?  Again no.

Let me be clear: plagiarism is not the worst offense of a journalist; its root cause is:  Laziness, shoddy reporting, and arrogance.

In a post last week, Scoble tried to make a case for the “new school” as more hip, effective, and informative than the “old school.”  When misinformation is propagated out of laziness and inconsideration, that’s hardly informative.  It’s not “new school;” it’s No School.

Robert Scoble took the time – it must have taken at least 30 minutes to click through to each of the 72 sites – to visit the Web sites of DEMOfall’s demonstrating companies.  Here’s what he had to say:

I just visited every one of these companies. Boy do they almost all suck (at least their Web sites and if their sites suck, I can’t believe their products are going to do much better).

Now this is the same guy who, earlier in the same piece said that if I “really cared about the startups” I would have taken the time to put links in a post about them.  Okay, our bad, in the rush to publish the list of DEMOfall companies, we posted the URLs of the companies, but didn’t link them.  But seriously, if I cared about startups, I’d be sure there were links in my stories for the convenience of Robert and other bloggers?   This from the guy who cared enough about startups to spend maybe 30 seconds looking at a pre-release Web site before declaring that the company and its products “suck.”  Now there’s critical thinking and thoughtful review.

Listen, I’m not just picking on Scoble or Lacy.  This shoot-from-the-lip blogging has been going on far too long.  And maybe I can’t really blame guys like Scoble who now stoop to the lowest and simplest form of “criticism”  in an effort to attract legions of followers.  Those of us who care about civilized discourse and critical thinking carry the burden if we don’t stand up to the bully tactics. If we engage in invective as sport and don’t demand even the slightest semblance of balance, then maybe we get what we deserve: a pack of school yard bullies who believe theirs is the definitive voice in the “conversation.”

They’re better than that.  We’re all better than that. Let’s start acting like it.

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67 Comments »

  1. Nice post. FWIW, I still consider there to be a different standard between people who claim to be journalists and those who just post their thoughts/opinions. So, I’d expect Sarah Lacy to fact-check and provide balanced coverage, but I have no such expectation from Scoble.

  2. Brent S. said

    don’t worry about scoble. he’s just a loser and i think he knows it too. and don’t get me started on lacy. if tech had groupies…

  3. Rob Beddington said

    It’s called ego. People like Scoble and Calacanis and arrington, fundamentally think their shit doesn’t stink and they are above reproach. Have you seen Calacanis’ tweets? Everyone is a “hey look at me or maholo (that piece of shit) we are so cool.” Fuck em.

  4. jim Forbes said

    Excellent post Chris. I’m so tired of bloggers who think a computer and a blog or web site make them a “journalist.”
    Let’s see them slog through three or four years at the Podunk Herald trying to build a beat and then go through highly competitive news environment and score three, four or more front page stories.
    i douby any of the so-called citizen journalists, could survive the grind or the incredible demand for professional ethics, much less a real journalism environment.

    There is no excuse for lazy reporting and the resulting shoddy performance.

    best
    jim Forbes

  5. here is my revised post if you want to delete the first one:

    Hi Chris,
    I wish you would write in this more direct passionate style more often. By writing in a passive corporate way, you give credence to their arguments that Demo is old school and out of touch. Each post with that tone is a demonstration of what those reporters talking about Demo in those terms suggest. The post above refutes it.

    This is a great post and you are right on this one. Even though I’m not really a fan of Demo (I disagree with the business model and I think the way you have emphasized the role of the press to startups/PR isn’t always the best way to go about promoting a company) and will go to TC50, I was struck the past couple of weeks by the many unfounded things people were saying that they clearly had no basis to say in talking about DEMO and TC50.

    There are other more legit reasons to not like Demo, besides the things I’ve seen in the blogosphere, much of which was lazy and generalized, and therefore could also apply to TC50 if you thought about it. Some of these writers are haphazard often when reporting because of the blurred line between reporting journalism and blogging.

    Which leads to my point: I think the real argument you have is not whether journalists/bloggers are covering both sides (as in providing objective and balanced coverage where two sides are asked to comment). The issue is, are these people and their reports/opinions being fair to the story and do they know what they are talking about?

    Many of the bloggers I’ve read in the past few weeks have had no real knowledge to speak of, and I think, have just been reporting on a feeling around liking Mike and Jason, wanting to appeal to them (link love anyone?) and liking the newer model better. Traditionally, reporters have followed the code to ask both sides directly. The blogophere allows for covering one side, but the community standard is fairness not objectivity.

    I do think DEMO could be better even if you kept the biz model I’m not so fond of…. It’s not my taste but that doesn’t make it bad. One way would be to write sharp direct passionate prose like the above. I actually think better of your situation now than before.

    Bloggers need to be fair, not objective or unopinionated or follow the balance requirement, in their coverage and if they are not, you are right to call them out.

    Many of the reports I’ve seen lacked knowledge and fairness. And that’s not right.

    Mary

  6. Hi Chris –

    You’re spot on. I think that Robert (and others) who would criticize startups should walk a mile in their shoes. Robert’s view that their products must somehow “suck” because he doesn’t like their web sites is so disrespectful is hard to even fathom what was going thru his head.

    Scoble is a personable, interesting guy. However, to the best of my knowledge, he’s never built a tech company from scratch. The echo chamber he’s in (and helped build), sadly, now has real effects out in the real world because other people believe he knows something about technology and not that he’s simply an chatty observer who has gained a lot of access because he’s witty, personable, and plays to the egos of people in the tech community.

    What Robert (et al) don’t get because either they’ve never built a business from scratch, or if they have it has been with someone else’s money, is that doing a startup is really, really hard. 2nd or 3rd mortgage on your house kind of hard. I can attest to how many balls you have in the air.. esp if you’re pre-VC. I put close to $500K of MY OWN MONEY into one- DropZone Networks – which was at DEMOMobile 2004.

    I hope the echo chamber gets damped down a bit and people who have the chutzpah to try creating a startup start to get the respect they deserve.

  7. charles cooper said

    Bravo, Chris.

    Your only problem is a surfeit of integrity. Keep calling `em on the carpet and best of luck next week with Demo.

    Coop

  8. Mel Webster said

    Great post, Chris. As a former reporter/editor, I cringe at what I see on so many of these blogs. But, as an earlier comment noted, it’s all about posting the most outrageous statements to get attention. I too have tired of the “look at me, look at me”, “I know everything” legion of bloggers. Thankfully, as with a bad television show, I have the privelege of turning it off and watching/reading something else. The shame of it is that The Scoble’s of the world continue to get so much attention, when for the most part the main thing they are good at is being badly uninformed.

  9. [...] pathetic attempts at journalism, all I can say about Chris Shipley’s piece entitled “Shoddy Reporting, Invective and Arrogance. Yeah, I Want Some of That.” is [...]

  10. ojbyrne said

    It’s about time somebody (other than me) stood up to the crappy, integrity-less writing that passes for journalism in the valley. Sarah Lacy is an especially bad joke – I should know. I’m briefly mentioned in her book (I built digg.com) and she somehow managed to attribute actions and motivations to me entirely based on what other people told her, and made no attempt to contact me for verification. Calling her a journalist is unfair to 12 year olds aspiring to be journalists.

  11. Chris, I don’t blame you for your well articulated reply… but this whole thing reminds me of high school. Not in a good way.

  12. [...] eve of the dueling demo-fests, Demo impresario Chris Shipley confesses that she has had it with the shoddy reporting, invective and arrogance that has attended most of the commentary on the phony faceoff between her conference and [...]

  13. You know who is the worst offender? Silicon Alley Insider, they have really fallen into the pits. Sensationalist angry headlines. Sucks, I used to really like internetoutsider, Henry Blodget’s blog.

  14. Hopefully Scoble will do a similar round-up of critiques for Techcrunch50 companies.

  15. I generally agree with all the points Mary Hodder makes.

    6 years working with a mainstream media company and 4 years+ as a blogger has taught me first hand there is a magnitude of difference between journalism and blogging. And don’t get me wrong – both are great and both have their place.

    The issue for me is journalism is a profession, blogging isn’t. Blogging is simply a way to broadcast the same opinion you would discuss with your pals over drinks and dinner. I’m not familiar with Sarah’s (Lacy) piece, but as a journalist I would expert a level of professionalism from her that I simply don’t expect from Robert (and that’s no disrespect to Robert).

    I think the other side of this, Chris, is that Arrington and Calacanis have done a spectacular job at pwning you and DEMO in general. They’ve analyzed your weak points (from the business model, through the corporate tone you use to discuss your operations) and aimed squarely at them with the view to destableizing you and your following.

    I say all this from a neutral perspective – like Mary I have issues with your business model and likewise I also have issues with the aggressiveness and crassness of much of the TC event. And in both cases, I generally disagree with the mass dog-and-pony show these things appear to be — it’s not how I will ever launch my startups. But, I’m also mindful there appears to be no end of companies happy to participate in both events — so why leave money on the table.

    But the point is that I’m guessing Arrington and Calacanis’s pwnage of DEMO has also fired you up – and I hope that some of that can be channeled into sticking it back at them with an evolution to DEMO, rather than deflecting attention to the blogosphere storms-in-teacups that will be ever-present in our industry.

  16. Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive Scoble Sucks « said

    [...] Chris Shipley, who now runs the Demo Conference, wrote a very long post saying basically that I suck. I’ll answer that in a future [...]

  17. [...] isn’t about DEMO and Techcrunch50, its about the companies, its about entrepreneurs who had a dream, raised a few [...]

  18. Gail Bronson said

    Hi Chris,

    I second Charles Cooper’s “bravo” and Mel Webster’s comments. This dust-up brings into sharp focus (again) the growing difficulty of distinguishing facts from opinions online. As we know, blogs are written by both journalists (professionals paid by media companies for their reporting and wordsmithing) and bloggers, who are also sometimes paid, but not necessarily to do any reporting, and they generally express their personal opinion from the cheap seats. While many “civilians” do form opinions based on research, too many are simply spewing opinions and frequently presenting them as facts, not their personal perspective.

    While the World Wide Web has made possible the “blogsphere,” and in many quarters the endless cascade of “conversation” is cheered as some great leap forward or advancement in communications, I must respectfully disagree. Bottom line, most readers on the Internet, IMHO, don’t distinguish between the two types of blogs, and therein lies the problem. Readers don’t realize that even the most nicely designed web site and the clever blogging it contains doesn’t automatically constitute “news” or “fact-based commentary.”

    Would that there was a way to flag the difference for readers. (And before anyone gets upset, I’m not suggesting a “blog police” or anything like that.) Just that everyone else who is writing offer more of what you provide, Chris, integrity in their news reporting and writing of commentary, and a willingness to take the time to clearly distinguish between opinion and facts.

    See you in San Diego!

    Gail

  19. iBspoof said

    So you’re saying that Scoble sucks cause he says the websites suck (which they do)? Any company that is going to find themselves in whirled wind of press should have a website that shows their abilities and information about their product without it looking like a 10th grader made their site using Dreamweaver and a template.

    I guess spending $18,000 on their 5 minute presentation makes it so they can’t hire a decent web developer and graphics person to make a site to be the only face many of us online will ever see.

  20. Actually, Scoble clearly didn’t say that the companies and their products “suck”, as you state above, but that since their websites suck, their products probably aren’t going to be much better.

    Guess what? He’s right. Most of the websites he’s talking about DO suck. They’re full of meaningless copy, bad design, and technical jargon. They’re terrible examples of marketing, at least the ones I saw. It’s absolutely fair to say that if these companies don’t care enough to get their public face screwed on straight, they’re probably not building great products, because they’re probably not as focused on their customers as they should be.

  21. I am surprised your phone number does not appear in this post. The contact page of the Guidewire Group website lists 650-216-2328 as your Redwood City headquarters’ phone number.

  22. Todd said

    Uh, the sites Scoble listed do suck.

    Reel it in a bit.

  23. Although I agree that Robert could use tact in his criticisms, I believe his key point is that a website is a reflection of the company. And a website is often the first impression you get of a company these days. And if the sites suck, the automatic initial impression is that the company and their products may suck also.

    Sure, these sites may have been linked to prematurely, but they do exist, and the initial content was made live, and quite frankly, Robert makes a lot of valid points about their content.

    It may seem totally wrong, and it may be completely unfair, but it’s human nature to assume that what’s on the surface is a reflection of what’s underneath.

    Robert could be a lot more tactful, but I’d absolutely welcome his harsh criticism if he were talking about my startup’s site (don’t have one just yet), and if the site sucked.

  24. zato said

    Who are Arrington, Calcanis and Scoble really working for? Who wins and who loses. The “who” that wins has to be someone that could own these guys. What is TC50 promoting vs what is DEMO promoting?

  25. Google FanBoy said

    I posted on Scoble’s blog, but of course he didn’t allow my comment through. I am sure his years of product development and launches will benefit him….oh wait he has none! Kinda like that Obama guy…but I digress.

  26. Scobleizer — Tech geek blogger » Blog Archive The Superbowl of Startups « said

    [...] Pointing out that these sights suck has gotten me quite a few harsh words in the past few hours. None harsher than Chris Shipley’s post in reply. [...]

  27. Hi,

    I tend to agree with Robert, their sites sucked so bad. Some where complex, didn’t get their intent across.

    I am just a normal punter, I have a couple of sites and I think they probably suck just as bad and I think to some extent Robert did a punter style test, try and see what the site is about, if I can’t work it out in 30 seconds or so then I am not going to bother.

    Paul Kinlan
    http://www.kinlan.co.uk/blog

  28. steven colbert said

    someone reminds me where TechCrunch actually describes what they do on their homepage? lame logo, lame website.

  29. [...] of the press gets this, and DEMO organizer Chris Shipley sounds like she’s about to blow a fuse over the fact that their business model is finally being [...]

  30. d said

    Don’t worry about Robert, he’s a good guy and when any of the Demo companies does have a good product, he will let everyone know and promote the heck out of it.
    That’s just who he is and what he does.
    As for Sarah Lacy. I wouldn’t want to associate myself with her in an interview.
    Now, about the real issue.
    I like what you’re doing but it’s time to change your business model.
    And take it one step further!

  31. [...] of the press gets this, even though DEMO organizer Chris Shipley sounds like she’s about to blow a fuse over the fact that their business model is finally [...]

  32. [...] PR, Web Start-up conferences and the pain of PR, being scobleized in particular: TechCrunch50 vs. Demo; http://is.gd/2jtZ [...]

  33. [...] Tags: web Wow. The blogosphere needs an enema. A good, long, cleansing, bullshit reducing enema. DEMO vs. TechCrunch 50 is one meaningless debate guys. Spending months on a 6 minute demo sounds like madness to me. [...]

  34. So you contacted Scoble of course… as you are so vocal for him not contacting you before posting?

    And linking isn’t about convenience – it’s *basic* when writing ‘articles’ about web based companies.

    And what exactly about his article do you *disagree* with? ( You kinda forgot to mention that amongst your invective…)

  35. [...] eve of the dueling demo-fests, Demo impresario Chris Shipley confesses that she has had it with the shoddy reporting, invective and arrogance that has attended most of the commentary on the phony faceoff between her conference and [...]

  36. [...] eve of the dueling demo-fests, Demo impresario Chris Shipley confesses that she has had it with the shoddy reporting, invective and arrogance that has attended most of the commentary on the phony faceoff between her conference and [...]

  37. michael lamb said

    I hate to tell you, but Sarah Lacy IS that bad. Why on earth this girl gets to be the voice of Silicon Valley people is very upsetting and disappointing. She’s tepid, she’s annoying, she’s boring, she’s an elitist name-dropper (like, hi, did you know that I’m like friends with Randi Zuckerberg? She’s like *really* rich) – all a very bad combination that is not pulled together by the fact that someone *upstairs* believes her to be cutting edge.

    Sarah Lacy sucks. And I’m hardly alone in my opinion, yet she’s running all over silicon valley like she’s Deep Throat.

    on that note, I still think that $18k is way too much for a start-up to pay now that the environment has changed. I can name several companies to whom have showcased and since failed (and not failed b/c they showcased at Demo, but rather that they didn’t need to spend the $18k)

  38. Adam Metz said

    Chris,

    Like Mike, you’re in the conference business, and you too have something to sell. While you may be “right” blaming writers like Scoble and Lacy for their “B-” coverage and fact checking, it’s not their fault that DEMO’s outreach and positioning didn’t land on them. Even if it IS their fault, it’s still your problem.

    Maybe it’s time to consider shifting the event’s date and focus for ’09?

    -Adam

  39. Grandpa Scheme said

    Agreed, I think the original business model could prove to be the most beneficial… sometimes you just have to suck it up…

    Check out: http://getyoursorgohome.wordpress.com/

  40. eloriane said

    Just wanted to say, this sounds like it has a lot to do with being a professional versus an amateur. As in, people want to be respected like professionals only when they do their best work, and they’ll suddenly choose to be amateurs if they screw up. That way, if they do well, they get real praise, but when they do lazy, arrogant, shoddy reporting, they can deflect criticism by going, “Hey, wait a second! We’re just amateurs here!”

    There’s a great speech on the topic here. (It’s a transcript; no video or audio, sorry.)

  41. Jason said

    I posted on my blog today about a similar kind of situation. It comes down to whether or not someone wants to be considered a credible voice in the discussions being held. If someone can easily be shown to be a bomb-thrower then it’s going to be very hard for anyone with intelligence to take them seriously.

    Basically, the decision on how credible you will be is up to you.

  42. Michael Arrington has something to say too:
    http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/07/everyone-needs-to-calm-down/

  43. nemrut said

    …not sure what other posters are smoking but your post comes across about as juvenile as those you decry. Get over it. This tit-for-tat whining veiled as journalistic integrity reminds me of Hilary Clinton’s claim to rising above it all while poorly managing her staff and disastrous presidential campaign.

    You dont like what you hear, the criticisms, invective,etc then do somehting about it. Use your journalistic skills to demonstrate to others how your organization will move forward to prove the naysayers wrong. But this he/she said nonsense does nothing to improve your image or integrity.

  44. KF Louis said

    Chris, thanks for standing up and stating your case. I am appalled by the lynch mob reporting on this issue, which has been unfair to DEMO. And many of these lynchers are reporters and Valley denizens who used to have high ethical standing in my eyes. (And I’ve demoted Arrington to the pariah class of quasi blogger-journalism.)

    But I must also say this, as a marketing professional in the Valley: Your brand leadership and exploitation of startups has created your situation in part. I believe you let too many companies into DEMO, and as such, most of them do not get adequate value from the event.

    The bottom line is this: unless the company’s product or story is lights-out compelling for the DEMO audience, and it’s part of a hot category that is ripe for press coverage and VC investment, I don’t think a company should spend the money to be at DEMO. That same chunk of money is better spent in other venues.

    Here are my statistics to back it up:

    In the past 10 years, I can think of about 20 clients and colleagues asked me if they should apply for DEMO. I said yes to eight, and wrote the applications for all.

    Of the 6 of 8 that actually attended, only one derived amazing value in my opinion. That company had the right product/story at the right time and it demoed well.

    The one company got an adequate ROI — it happened because it won DEMO God, and received a ton of collateral attention. The other four had a dismal experience — you cannot trace more than a handfull of basic benefits that could never justify their expense. And I am talking about four companies that had 6x-100x plus exits — they just weren’t the perfect fit for DEMO.

    That said, good for you that your organization is raking in the cash that you deserve for being a first mover, and have managed your evolution well. But I highly recommend you take some of the financial burden off of the startups that attend and spread it out even further than you do. And work harder to provide these startups with more and more value. Then and only then will I be a revitalized supporter of DEMO.

    kfl

  45. Max said

    Chris,

    If you can’t stand the heat…

    Here’s the thing — you have had a good run, Hell, a great run. And I feel for you, I really do. But, you know, you just have to deal with the facts of the situation and realize that an upstart has stole a little bit of your thunder and the press likes them better than you.

    Let’s face it DEMO is easy to hate. I owned a successful events company a long while back (sold it at the peak, glad I did) and I’m also a tech entrepreneur. I was courted to launch at DEMO and really thought about it — and then realized it’s just an overpriced conference that charges the speakers. I used to do the same thing — I’d let the big names and industry leaders in for free or at a big discount, and charge the consultants and vendors big bucks to show up — you do the same — you charge the guys looking for the cash. It’s not a sin — but someone outed you and you hate that.

    Competition is good — both conferences will get better for it — Arrrington wasn’t brilliant he just pulled the trigger (anyone that ever looked at DEMO thought of the same idea — let’s rip them off and NOT charge — but who has the time — Mike, turns out!).

    Get off your high horse — you’re a conference producer not a tech genius, not a thought leader. Come up with some more events and relax.

  46. Adam said

    What a huge disappointment. What start ups need to realize is that many insiders no longer respect or want to associate with this – as well as those who associate with it. The entire behavior has been ridiculous and is an embarassment to the industry. Start ups need to realize that if you associate and align with these people, many, many people disassociate with you. It’s fact.

  47. [...] Shoddy Reporting, Invective, and Arrogance. Yeah, I Want Some of That One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. Ten. As I was growing up, my mother instructed me that, when I [...] [...]

  48. Adam said

    @Max, you’re a complete amateur if you don’t think Arrington is making a fortune on TC50. He may not charge his picks but rakes in the money off those in the Demo Pit, who were widely ignored – and complained extensively – last year.

  49. Sarah P said

    oh great! let’s have some of that with this…
    http://faqnews.wordpress.com/

  50. [...] is a crappy debate. I find Robert Scoble’s post about the crappy websites of the DEMO companies particularly [...]

  51. [...] Demo vs. TechCrunch? Who cares! The biggest real news this week is likely to come from the CTIA’s Wireless I.T. & Entertainment show in San Francisco, where WiMax services in the U.S. are likely to get a big boost if the keynote speakers come through with some real meat. [...]

  52. [...] 大方のプレスはこれを理解しているが、DEMOの主催者であるChris Shipleyは、自分たちのビジネスモデルがついに疑問視され始めたことについて、キレそうになったらしい。 [...]

  53. Jason said

    It’s about time more people start to call BS on Arrington, Scoble, and Lacy. Calling themselves “journalists” is a joke. I’m not saying that mainstream media is leaps and bounds better, but you are so justified in saying that these three, among others, report on rumor, opinion, and gossip just to fatten their own wallets. Then, when they get called on it, they hide behind the “journalist” shield.

    - Arrington et. al. thrive on rumor mongering (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/01/04/more-defections-at-google/)
    - Scoble’s interview style is to interrupt his subjects and talk over them (see his interview of Marc Benioff)
    - Lacy thinks that her friendship with Zuckerberg will carry her career (um, see ANY interview she’s done…)

    More people need to point out their lack of integrity, professionalism, and accomplishments. It’s about time someone called them on it. They aren’t journalists, they just write diary entries.

  54. [...] Here’s Chris Shipley’s Response [...]

  55. Rivalry & Zero Understanding of What Startups Need…

    If you’re a start-up, here’s the names of two people you should consider ignoring: Mike Arrington and Chris Shipley. Avoid their blogs unless you appreciate what they are there to do. Do not attend their events unless you understand how nobody cares …

  56. [...] of the press gets this, even though DEMO organizer Chris Shipley sounds like she’s about to blow a fuse over the fact that their business model is finally being [...]

  57. Jeff said

    I concur. First off let me say I am a journalist and not a blogger. Over the past year I have found bloggers, especially the anonymous ones I come across, to write error filled stories, rely on one source to make highly critical statements without obtaining the other side’s response to accusations. Maybe it is a David v. Goliath thing. These bloggers I come across feel they are taking on the establishment and therefore have no need to verify if the allegations raised are truths or half-truths. There are plenty of bloggers I read who make it clear they are writing their viewpoints, based on the best available information (often taken from the print media). These folks tend to have a good insight and often raise important questions that often we in the print media overlook. But the bloogers I read who pass themselves off as “journalists” only to use their blogs to vent, attack, or publish questionable material…they are no different than the…stuff we can watch on many of the 24-hour cable “news” shows–lacking substance,balance and any critical analysis.

  58. jeff jennings said

    Lazy and shoddy reporting is not limited to blog “journalists” who are more known for linking than actually creating. The death of Tim Russert shows how few competent journalists are. Watch Meet the Press now and you will not see any hard-hitting follow-up questions to the hosts first question. This is not due to “bias” but rather lack of preparation. Tim would spend the week researching the guests and preparing follow-up questions to every conceivable answer he thought the guest may have. Meet the Press (now just-another-sunday-talk-show) is only one example of this.
    But yes, in the blogosphere you have this trait AND the whole linking to links form of “reporting”, and *course* you will encounter the example you talk about above.

  59. Nate Nead said

    I know it may not help to say, “I know how you feel,” but I will say it. About three months ago, we purchased the domain http://www.digitalsignage.com and immediately we placed a joomla template on the site and started blogging and doing inbound linking while we built the actual site. Consequently we are still building the site and targeting the key words, “digital signage.” We’ve a lot of plans for the site as we move forward, but right now we’ve just placed a news feed on it as well as a blog. That is all that is there currently and I had some industry “experts” jump all over that.

    In fact, when I started even indicating I would do some type of digital signage directory, I got this response as an email which I decided to post:
    http://natenead.com/youll-shove-the-lawyer-where/

    Shortly after I threw up the template, daily digital out of home posted this:
    http://www.dailydooh.com/archives/2273

    Interestingly I believe there are several reasons people write such inflammatory responses. The first one is: it gets them attention. I think this is the most important. By saying something mean, everyone will read it and it’ll get a lot of attention and drive traffic. Often it’s just a simple SEO tactic. Plus, it’s much easier to say something mean-spirited behind closed doors where there’s really no human interaction than it is to say it to your face. Second, I think you’ve done a descent amount of work already and you got someone’s attention who has a bit of influence. They’re probably a bit miffed at the competition. I know that’s the case in our situation. They’re afraid of you.

    Sometimes it’s just better to take the high road. After painstaking effort, I decided not to respond to Adrian Cotterill of daily dooh. Either way, I’ll keep up with your blog as I’m interested in the things ya’ll are doing. Keep up the work.

    I intend to “speak softly and carry a big stick.”

    Nate Nead
    http://digitalsignage.com

  60. Julie said

    Shirley would be proud.

  61. [...] companies presenting at Demo, not about the Demo conference. And the team never wavered from this. Chris Shipley’s post from a few days before the Demo Conference began put this into perspective. And we really were [...]

  62. [...] The blogosphere has erupted into a near riot after Robert Scoble’s “companies launching at DEMO suck” series of blog [...]

  63. [...] Pointing out that these sights suck has gotten me quite a few harsh words in the past few hours. None harsher than Chris Shipley’s post in reply. [...]

  64. [...] Chris Shipley, who now runs the Demo Conference, wrote a very long post saying basically that I suck. I’ll answer that in a future [...]

  65. [...] of the press gets this, even though DEMO organizer Chris Shipley sounds like she’s about to blow a fuse over the fact that their business model is finally being [...]

  66. [...] bien todo esto, aunque Chris Shipley, la organizadora de DEMO, habla como si estuviera a punto de disparar contra aquellos que finalmente cuestionan su modelo de [...]

  67. [...] Here is one from Chris Shipley who says she has had it with the shoddy reporting, invective and arrogance that has attended most of the commentary.  The following are some quotes from her post at: http://guidewiregroup.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/shoddy-reporting-invective-and-arrogance-yeah-i-want-… [...]

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