Bias
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Bias is Unavoidable

Overnight, AppleInsider posted Daniel Eran Dilger editorial “After Apple Inc. dodged the iPhone 6 Plus BendGate bullet, detractors wounded by ricochet“. As is typical of his stories, the tone is conspiratorial and heavily biased in Apple’s favor. That’s okay. He practices what I explained in February is “advocacy journalism“.

In my book, Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, I identify five types of journalism relevant today, and each gets a whole section: advocacy, conversational, contextual, mob, and process. Two other journalisms—data and immersive—receive cursory treatment but will be expanded whenever I next update the book. Where I deviate from traditional views about news reporting—what’s taught in J schools—is my glowing endorsement for these different reporting practices, with advocacy journalism being perhaps most controversial. [Read more]

Stop
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The Real Reason I Stopped Boycotting Apple

In a dramatic July 4th post, I declared independence from Apple in 2012. This followed up and emphasized a formal boycott announced two months earlier. The whole thing started from my anger at Apple’s patent bullying and intimidation tactics. But in January 2013, I abruptly ended the whole thing.

My explanation then: “I just don’t feel right kicking fruit as it falls down, so as a gesture of goodwill my boycott ends today”. Apple Maps problems, falling stock price, and other negative brand perceptions dogged the company. There also were signs that the bullying would end. “I’m off the boycott bandwagon, as you should be”. [Read more]

iPhone 6 Plus Bends
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What Apple BendGate reveals About News Reporting

There are days I want to walk away and never write another news story. Apple’s newest product design scandal—”BendGate” or “BentGate”—is here, and how funny there is no consensus which of two names to call it. The so-called scandal is not a big a deal; the majority of reports mislead. Brace for it: Another of my diatribes about the evils of the Google free economy, where the quest for ad revenues drives pageviews and stories meant to generate them. The metric is terribly outdated. As I explain in my book Responsible Reporting: Field Guide for Bloggers, Journalists, and Other Online News Gatherers, audience matters more and should be the only measure for advertising.

I’m guilty of posting: “If iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it’s YOUR fault“, which is a prearranged rebuttal to colleague Mihaita Bamburic’s analysis “If your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus bends, it’s Apple’s fault“; and “8 reasons why Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ‘bendgate’ is a good thing“, simply because I felt like writing something fun. The first story purposely stands against the rash of posts claiming design flaw, while the second shows just how ludicrous this all is. [Read more]

Trolls
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Who’s the Troll Here — This Dude or Me?

Honestly, I sometimes try too hard to engage commenters, when I really should know better. So I adopt a new rule today: Respond to those people who are identified — meaning I know or can know who they are. That’s one reason most of my comment engagement takes place at Google+. But recently, after abandoning BetaNews story comments for years, I changed tacts. Problem: Trolls, or people who sure seem like them to me.

The critics largely write alike, for example accusing of linkbaiting or demeaning me while rarely responding to the story’s substance. Those people defending Apple are the most alike and their tone is similar to that I wrote about earlier this month: “Apple Apologists are Dinosaurs” and “Apple Apologists Sometimes Mean Well, But…” [Read more]

Chemistry
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Apple’s Magic Formula is Secrecy and Rumors

Apple’s longstanding perchant for secrecy is legendary. It’s also a myth. Granted, the company has a strict no-comment policy about future products, which isn’t so much about keeping information from seeping out but controlling who disseminates it. Something else: Secrets are impossible to keep when a company produces physical products overseas and depends on so many third-party suppliers. Controlled leaks, or strictly managing those that aren’t, lets Apple maximize marketing advantage.

The value cannot be understated, because Apple’s business model in 2014 isn’t much different from 2001 or 1995: Reselling to the same core group of loyal customers. The Mac faithful mattered when the company struggled to survive against the Intel-Microsoft duopoly and made the majority of profits from selling computers. Cofounder Steve Jobs wisely chose to expand into new product categories—iPod (2001), iTunes Music Store (2004), iPhone (2007), iPad (2010)—that freed Apple from monopoly bondage. But the core philosophy of selling to loyal customers, even while trying to grow their numbers, remains the same. [Read more]