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Stuff Tech Blogs Do That Bother Me

[cross posted from Riparian Data]

Credit: Business InsiderSome people thought Gourmet’s demise was a nail in good journalism’s coffin. Others said no, it’s just another sign that the web is the future of journalism, good and bad. Today, the consensus seems to be that the latter group was right. And, happily, there is quite a bit of good journalism on the web. Short form, long form, data-based, image-based, crowd-sourced… all can be found, relished, and easily shared.

Unhappily, there is also quite a bit of drecky journalism on the web. I can’t tell you if technology really does take up a lion’s share of drecky journalism in general, or just a lion’s share of the drecky journalism I read. Regardless, there’s an awful lot of it, fueled by both the traffic-winner-takes-all maxim and tech companies’ willingness to stroke the egos of tech reporters in exchange for headlines. The following 12 tics are the icing on my insufferable cake. If you have any of your own, or just want to tell me to shove it and stop reading these sites if I despise them so much, feel free to let me know in the comments!

1. Slideshows. Especially slideshows that are one image/page. If gddamn Buzzfeed doesn’t use them, you don’t have to.

2. Attributions listed below the post. This is shady and shoddy journalism, for it at best de-emphasizes and worse obfuscates the source. (1)

3. Headlines that are two sentences of keywords, strung together with a minimum of prepositions.

4. Headlines that follow this formula: [adjective] data startup [startup name] lands/gets $[number] Million in Series A/B/C to disrupt [noble cause like social network for cats] market.

5. Headlines that follow this formula: “I’m quitting/Why I quit [currently cusping or widely-used technology]”

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