Tech Reporting Should Be Better

double-facepalmMy RSS feed has a lot of technology reporting sites in it. I keep most of the feeds segmented into groups like Virtualization, Storage, etc. The interesting thing in doing it that way is that you get to see a lot of different sites headlines in rapid succession.

One thing  I’ve noticed over the last year or so, there are tech news/aggregation/blog sites that simply crib each other and call it reporting. But in reality,  Its simply a regurgitation of the same rote talking points with a different banner at the top.

Don’t believe me, look at the coverage of a company you’ve never heard of, Chill:


Yeah, thats 3 sites, publishing within in a few seconds of each other, essentially the same article. I’m not even sure I blame these guys for this kind of reporting, because the pay for click model is what drives it. Still it doesn’t mean that its a good thing, in fact, when I see stuff like this it leads me to simply gloss over content and ignore the site completely.  Perhaps the way I ingest content is not how others do and this is simply an issue for me.

Now lets take for instance the announcement of Juniper buying out virtually unheard of SDN “provider” Contrail for 176 Million in Cash and Stock (initially reported 5 days ago at StreetInsider)

Here is All Things D:  Juniper Spends $176 Million on Networking Start-Up Contrail and then there is GigaOm: Juniper to buy SDN startup Contrail in Deal worth $176M

Both of those articles are nearly identical, and neither go much farther than simply rewording a press release, and honestly I expect a certain level of actual reporting and or digging and getting to the actual meat of the issue when it comes to tech coverage. There seems to be a total lack of curiosity in a lot of this coverage. The critical analysis really isnt there. Perhaps I’m being nitpicky, perhaps I just like my tech reporting to have a little more snark and skepticism.

So who does it right? Well The Register actually manages to put two and two together:

It is also just as likely that Juniper wanted to get Kireeti Kompella, formerly CTO and Chief Architect at Juniper before he left to be CTO at Contrail, back on board.

Same with Enterprise Networking Planet who goes into far more depth than pretty much anyone else.

Contrail and Juniper aren’t entirely strangers in terms of staffing either. Kireeti Kompell CTO of Contrail was formerly the CTO and Chief Architect for Junos at Juniper. Junos is the core network operating system that underpins all of Juniper’s networking gear

I’m still waiting for TechCrunch and Pando Daily to put up their pieces about this. I’m guessing there was a holiday party that all the interns were invited to so maybe they are busy, but rest assured they will come out with something soon. Since crafting the bulk of this post last night not much has really changed, other than I noticed that a few more details were added to the articles above. For me thats part of the problem with the desire to be first with the headline, but last with the details.


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2 Responses to Tech Reporting Should Be Better

  1. I couldn’t agree more. In general, tech reporting is a complete disaster, and more of an exercise in SEO manipulation and re-worded press release obfuscation. GigaOM, in my opinion, is one of the worst.

  2. nate says:

    I remember when I first came across El Reg I think it was in the late 90s or something. I honestly thought it was some sort of parody site for a while because of all the jokes they cracked on folks.

    It’s obviously my main source of tech news, I’d be more than happy to pay for a subscription to show my support, they do great work over there.

    It’s just easy I guess to re-post press releases for some extra traffic. It would be nice if more sites did more investigative work though that isn’t cheap especially for ad-supported models.

    El reg has had it’s blunders as well. I remember they made a news article based off what they read on my blog (+blog of Xiotec CEO I think). Sure I was flattered but it wasn’t news 🙂

    I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what SDN is in plain english. I swear the more I read and hear the more foggy the whole thing is. It seems to me it’s just an excuse for the networking companies to try to hop on this “cloud” hype bandwagon since switching and routing generally hasn’t been as an innovative field as say storage and server+hypervisors. Unlike virtualized storage, or VMware – from what I gather anyways I really don’t see SDN playing a big role outside of the likes of service providers and massive companies – I just don’t see the need. I keep seeing folks here and there mention that SDN will turn networks into a commodity. Switches can already be considered a commodity I mean Google and Amazon have been building their own for years.
    Other folks like Extreme, Arista, and many others just OEM straight out of Broadcom (or perhaps Fulcrum which Intel bought maybe there are others too) and put some extra pieces on top (AFAIK Extreme hasn’t designed a full network ASIC since ~2001-2003 time frame).

    Back to El Reg they had a podcast a week or two back where a networking guy spoke a lot about SDN – while he certainly seemed to know a lot – I was still left with almost as many questions as answers. He mentioned one of the nice things about SDN would be being able to get a 48-port 10GbE switch for under $10k. This has been possible for some time now(even list price) without SDN, just don’t buy from the likes of Cisco.. From what I heard as of roughly 3 years ago Amazon was paying something like $5k for a 48-port 10gig switch – of course those are high volume, stripped down products built for what they do – rather than something more suitable for the general market.

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