Tech Writers Give Apple An Easy Ride Because Apple Fans Do
The Next Web writer Mic Wright had a bit of a public blowout after a savaging by The Macalope and declared that he was quitting tech journalism. Instead of making good on his promise he carried on pumping out articles anyway, disappintingly (just kidding).
The original article which drew the response from the Macalope was a piece about the way the tech press fawns over Apple's announcements and build a whole industry based on the little glimpses that Apple gives of what's coming. This is how the hype builds.
The Macalope is right to respond to the original article - how dare the tech press cover upcoming technology events. Imagine if Wright had replaced Apple and the tech press with the FA Cup Final and the sports press.
There is an important and valid point that doesn't really get discussed though - how lightly Apple gets off on scrutiny of its mis-steps and mistakes. Yes there's a brief round of shock horror, how could they, closely followed by shock at the over reaction, and then it all fades into the background noise.
There are two reasons for this as I see it. One: tech sites are terrified of upsetting Apple. It's a great way to exclude yourself from early test device programmes and information from the company. Two: Apple users, who are prepared to put up with just about any indignity in the name of defending the company's good name.
I've had a couple of examples of this second thing in the last week or so. Two friends, one in the UK and one here in Auckland called me out on my complaints about the Apple Cloud issues. Both are deeply rooted Apple fans, both work in the technology industry. Both claimed that I was outrageously exaggerating the scale of the problem. "I don't know anyone who has had any problems" scoffed one, "it must be the way you use it". Sound familiar?
Anyway when I pointed out that there was plenty of evidence that I wasn't the only one having the problems and then described issues I'd personally had with iCloud and way that photo management works (or didn't work) for me both responded that they too had the same problems and found them really annoying.
So to my question: is it fair to castigate the tech press for towing the Apple party line when most people who buy the products are blind to problems even when they are experiencing them? Apple news sells, articles praising Apple sell and building hype ahead of Apple launches sells.
Is it any wonder that the tech press publishes, bloggers blog and tweeters tweet. Its what the world wants and getting frustrated isn't getting you anywhere.