The New York Observer has launched a new tech blog called BetaBeat, about the city’s technology scene. It’s got an honourable mission statement that essentially boils down to “we don’t want to be like all those other shitty blogs repeating the same piece of crap funding news, we want to bring you stories about the people who make the scene move”.
I like it so far (and it’s early days). But I’m also concerned, even from all the way across the Atlantic. It’s very true that there are too many shitty blogs out there. But there’s also an innate problem in dedicating so much journalism to a niche like this: focusing on the characters who are part of a scene makes for great stories, but without very careful analysis it is one of the things that can help inflate a bubble fastest.
Witness this story on Broadcastr, billed as “Foursquare for audio”. Yes, it’s a genuinely lovely sounding location-based audio app. But Foursquare’s not exactly a slam-dunk right now, let alone this hipsterish hack that feels more like a side project than a business. I’d like to hear their story, it’s interesting. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the numbers. Otherwise we’re all just spinning tales about shell companies that somebody, somewhere, someday will get sucked into spending their money on. The bottom line? Writing stories about interesting people and holding their ideas to account aren’t mutually exclusive concepts.
- bojo posted this