UPDATE: Sorry, for those of you who haven’t already seen the post that set this all off, here is the link.
Before you start, don’t even think this is going to be about me white knighting Google. I’m by no means a Google fanboy. Yes, I use most of their products, but I’m a realist and have no illusions about the price I’m paying to use them. It’s a price most people don’t think about when they skip past reading privacy policies at every web based service out there. If you didn’t hand over a credit card number, you’re paying with your person. But that’s not what I’m writing this post about.
I’m not a Gizmodo reader, and for good reason. If you think Gizmodo is the best tech news the web can offer, think about the name of their parent company. Gawker, it says it all. When you picture someone you would call a “gawker” who do you imagine? I’d bet it’s not the most intelligent person you know. Mouth gaped, empty eyes locked on the subject matter. It’s almost as if they are directly insulting their readers. To gawk, literally means “to gape or stare stupidly.” The noun definition of gawk, is “a clumsy stupid person.”
Well, today, you can use the word “gawk” to describe the staff over at Gizmodo. It’s not the sensationalist Yellow Press tactics that have me writing this. No, that’s Gizmodo’s shtick, their style, that’s who they are. I don’t read Gizmodo because I expect to see a headline like “It’s Official, Google is Evil.” That’s how the entire family of Gawker sites gets ad impressions. Their form of “journalism” is what draws fans in. Much like Fox News, and parent company Newscorp.
You can’t blame bloggers for getting enraged at comments from readers from time to time. Sites like Hack-A-Day and Engadget regularly have to remind their readership to behave like adults. And Gizmodo’s crowd definitely can’t be any better. But what separates professionals from hacks, is behaving like a professional. And last time I checked, it’s quite unprofessional to use words like “retard” and “asshole” to respond to your readers in the comments section of your own website. Doubly unprofessional because these weren’t writers, they were editors. Lead by example right? The professional route, is to ignore personal attacks and trolls. Aggravate is not a synonym of Moderate boys.
So, if I don’t read Gizmodo, what is the point of this rant you ask? The point is, this is the day that I start looking for replacements for the Gawker sites I DO read. It’s going to be tough to find supplements for Lifehacker and io9. And honestly, it’s really not fair to the hardworking staff at those sister sites, most of which seem to be capable of acting like professionals, even if Gawker doesn’t breed that mentality. If Gawker want’s to run it’s media empire like Newscorp, then I will treat Gawker’s media empire like Newscorp. If I can stop reading National Geographic out of principle, Gawker’s rags don’t stand a chance.