On Industry Press Releases

December 23, 2006

If you read a lot of computer industry trade magazines, you’ll see a lot of articles which read something like this:

Company X proudly unveiled their revolutionary Wozzle system, which promises to change the way everybody does their wizzling.

Customer Fred Jones of company/organization Y, who has been beta testing the Wozzle, had this to say: “The Wozzle is a revolutionary technology. It has allowed me to completely actualize the workflow monetization of my data center’s wizzle process, greatly increasing the operational efficiencies and letting me knock off early for lunch.”

What I would like to see, in any of these articles, is some kind of actual journalism. How about just asking Fred for a little bit of disclosure by asking him these questions:

  1. Have you actually paid for your Wozzle?
  2. Do you have any plans to pay for your Wozzle?
  3. Will you be actually purchasing any new Wozzles in the future?
  4. How many times have representatives of company X gone to dinner with you?
  5. How many times have you paid for your dinner?
  6. How long have company X engineers spent in your lab?
  7. How many company X engineers have been in your lab at one time?
  8. Has the Wozzle actually been used?
  9. Has the Wozzle actually been used if there were no company X engineers in your lab?
  10. How many times have company X representatives serviced you sexually?
  11. How many times have company X engineers serviced you sexually?
  12. How many times have company X representatives sent someone to service you sexually?
  13. How much of your wizzle really got Wozzled?

The questions are crude, but for each question, I know of cases where full disclosure would be embarrassing. And, you know, that’s the problem with trade “journalism”. It looks like news, it reads like news, but it ain’t news. There’s no incentive for actual investigation.

Actually, The Inquirer and The Register get it better than most. Sure, they’re gossip sites, with loud-mouthed, opinionated columnists. But at least they’re looking for the dirt that everybody else ignores. In this industry, dirt actually matters, since you are often making really expensive decisions. If the only information you can get is recycled press releases filled with rah-rah “Wozzle the wizzle” comments from bought-and-paid-for “customers”, then you have no reasonable basis for differentiating between reality and marketing.


One Response to “On Industry Press Releases”

  1. alejna said

    I’m afraid I don’t know much about wozzle wizzling. Can I learn more about it on the internet?

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