Joel talks sense


Consumer electronics are a joke. It’s everyone’s fault but mine. You assholes.

These guys want me to write a weekly column, but I hate consumer electronics, I hate marketing, and I hate you people, because you’re all so dumb. If you’re lucky and I need the money, I will.

I gave up two years of my life writing about gadgets for this site. Waking up every morning at 5 AM, chewing up press releases to find the rare morsel of legitimate information, chasing down “hot tips” that ended up being photochops of iPods with reflections of genitals in the touchscreens. Oh, and the worst: fielding emails from PR parasites eager to suck away precious time in a half-hour phone meeting while the Senior Vice-President of Smoke Blowing tells me about how his company’s software—based on an idea cribbed from Google—is going to change the way I look at something I didn’t care about in the first place. (Inevitably, “forever.”) …

But but but! Everyone just gots to have the latest $500 video card that doesn’t work right in the latest OS bug-fest! WTF?

Wow, a rant. On the internet even.

I agree with all the obvious statements and disagree with what little is left.

“Wait a year”
That’s the advice my mon used to give. “Wait a year and it will be much cheaper”. “Wait a year and the initial faults will be fixed”… sure that advice works for gaming as well.
Play the latest and coolest game now or wait till it’s in the bargain bin with three patches under it’s belt… it might be sound advice for people wearing suspenders and a belt while driving their wood pannelling station wagon.

It might be sound advice for smart people too… but smart people don’t drive the economy!

Wow, a sarcastic statement. On the internet even.

It’s obviously a rant, so what’s wrong with letting people blow some steam?

It’s wrong to praise ranters for making obvious points that everyone is aware of. Early adopters aren’t going to care and people already doing what he says get to nod sagely and tilt their noses up another degree or two.

It’s like would-be game designers who startle you with their keen observation that it’s “all about the gameplay!”

I just think it’s mean of Chet to hack Gizmodo and link to an internal memo critiquing how the writers do their job. I’d be pissed if somebody reprinted what I told my colleagues at our last editorial meeting for our readers to see.

One thing that sets the rant apart is that it appeared on a pro blog run by a company (Gawker Media).

And I agree with the rant; the team that took over Gizmodo has worked from press releases, turning the place into a rah-rah-for-gadgets bore, and their jokes suck. I stopped reading it for those very reasons.

Way to establish edgy cred.

“Need more traffic, stat!”

This rant is clever. I’m willing to bet money that more than half the Gizmodo regulars who read this are nodding with superior smiles, completely convinced that Joel isn’t talking about them, no, he couldn’t be. He’s talking about those other people, the ones with no standards. You can tell from all the smug comments on the article page. He can insult these people and they’re happy about it because they don’t think it applies to them.

Engadget is so much better than Gizmodo, though. The writing at Endgadget is superlative.

I don’t visit any of those sites these days. Not because the writing sucks (though it does), but just because I generally don’t give a shit about gadgets anymore. I’m happy with my 30 gb iPod, my circa 2004 cellphone and my 5mp digital camera. Once the content people started bending the tech people over and giving it to them from behind (making could-be useful new features like the wireless sharing of the Zune totally useless), gadgets got totally uninteresting. See also: cell phone carriers crippling all the cool features of most phones so as to sell content through their networks only.

Yeah, but Gizmodo unleashes the geektastic.

Well, I respect Joel greatly and will always remember Gizmodo fondly.

Because Giz under Joel was the only blog site ever to pay me cold, hard cash. :)

I have nothing against Joel. I still owe the guy a drink… just didn’t care much for his rant, but that’s all part of being a professional writer. Especially if you publish rants instead of bland copy where nobody notices the byline.