Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tech sites race to get information and pictures on the new Apple products, even resorting to creating their own

We are only weeks away from Apple launching its newest version of the the iPhone and possibly even a few months away from a new iPad, though that is less certain. So what does that mean for the tech press? A lot of speculating, rumors and mostly retractions. MacRumors, which banned me months ago for actually including links in my posts, is even creating their own mock-ups (no link since turnaround is fair play).

I'm, frankly, more than a little bored with it all. Do I really care if my next cell phone has a tapered back, a very slightly larger screen, or if it also works as a can opener? Well, actually, if it could improve on the can opener I might be interested.

Of course, all this is simply link bait, so I suppose it is to be expected. But I fear that if the strategy works we will start to see the more mainstream media start to copy the behavior.

But, maybe, that isn't such a dumb idea. After all, I have advocated for the inclusion of third party blogs in the content offerings of newspaper websites – why not tech blogs serving the same purpose.

Here is an example of what I mean: the blog McCoveyChronicles currently has its story up about last night's Giants win, rare as that is now-a-days. Even though it is 7 in the morning on the left coast, there are already over 200 comments on the post. Yesterday's post on Carlos Beltran drew over 1200 comments yesterday.

Now compare that with the San Francisco Chronicle's main story of last night's game: 43 comments so far. 43! That is a lot of web traffic that is going elsewhere because the Hearst Corporation is still a decade behind the rest of the new media world in how to attract and maintain an Internet community. McCoveyChronicles is not some crazy website, its part of a network that has investors such as Comcast Ventures. It is, in a word, a competitor for web advertising.

Yet there is no barrier to entry for the Chronicle and nothing that prevents them from doing what the NYT did with Nate Silver when they incorporated his Five Thirty Eight blog into the NYT's offerings.

But back to rumors for a moment: I don't think there is anything particularly wrong with spreading them or speculating on them if you don't mind losing reader credibility occasionally.
That is why I have consulted with my sources deep within Apple and have learned that Steve Jobs has decided to go with a more retro look for the upcoming new iPhone – something that reflects the times, that says "austerity" when you use it.

So here is my rendering of the new iPhone 5. Remember it is only a rumor, but I trust my sources, which just happen to be me.