Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Why you should read blogs as well as newspapers

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The Fake Steve Jobs has an excellent post titled “Why the mainstream media are dying“. It begins:

Every once in a while you get to see a mainstream outlet cover a story right alongside a blog, so you can put them up against each other and see why one was so much better than the other. This week TechCrunch and the New York Times (photo) provided just such a lesson.

The issue was a company called Zynga, which makes online games, like FarmVille, that have become incredibly popular on Facebook among people who are missing parts of their brains. On Oct. 31 TechCrunch broke a big story called “Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell” about how Zynga was making money by selling scam ads — the kind that trick kids and other frigtards into signing up for useless subscriptions to stuff they don’t want.

Arrington packaged his story with a video of himself taking on Anu Shukla, CEO of one of the scam-ad distributors, at a conference. He also ran an “insider’s confession” piece by a former scammer explaining how these guys operate. He followed with a story about how Zynga CEO Mark Pincus had acknowledged the problem and said Zynga would stop running those ads, and another story about how Anu Shukla had been pushed out of her company, and another story about Shukla’s replacement admitting that the company had, indeed, been running scammy ads. On Friday Arrington capped it off with a coup: he dug up a video clip from earlier this year in which Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, told a laughing audience of scumbag developers about all the scumbaggy things he had done to generate revenue with his games.

After all this, we woke up Saturday to find a story in the New York Times, also about Zynga (and other Facebook game companies) with the headline, “Virtual Goods Start Bringing Real Paydays.” The Times put two reporters on the knob-polisher, and somehow they managed to interview Pincus, and to quote him — and yet they included not a single word about the scammy ads. Not. A. Fucking. Word. The piece could not have been nicer if it had been written by Zynga’s PR people themselves. Gist: Virtual goods, stupid idea, people play, some spend money, VCs love it, isn’t this great.


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Written by LeisureGuy

9 November 2009 at 11:56 am

Posted in Daily life, Media, NY Times

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