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Idiot post of the day – The Roundup

I’ll keep updating this one as and when they come in. And boy, are they coming in. With the honourable exception of David Pogue, everyone seems to have lost all their critical faculties, journalistic skills, and in some cases basic ability to write English sentences which parse.

First up, Max Tatton-Brown, in his post entitled “Why the Nexus One is not ‘just another Android phone’“, which he begins with:

“Okay, let’s make this clear: The Nexus is just another Android phone.”

It isn’t just another Android phone. But then it is! OK. But it’s from Google, and they play a canny, long-term game which leads to success:

“Furthermore, Google are notorious long-game thinkers. They gradually manoeuvre their way around the industry, insidiously implanting the importance of their products into your everyday lifestyle. It’s viral. For example, Wave. I’m not writing this on Wave, therefore many will be eyeing it up as a bit of a flop. Nonsense, look at the next few years and then we’ll talk.”

Yeah, they’re great at the longterm. I mean look at the success of Lively. Or how they’ve defeated Twitter with Jaiku. And how Orkut has beaten off on the threat of Facebook. Google Video was so successful that who remembers YouTube? Google Notebook is now where everyone stores their notes.

And I’m still playing Dodgeball.

Meanwhile, even the BBC is getting caught up. Maggie Shiels begins her post with:

“Google has said it is defending its online advertising empire with the launch of its own brand mobile phone.”

She then goes on to quote not one but SIX people to confirm this.

Only one problem: None of them work for Google. I haven’t read a single quote from anyone at Google saying it is selling the Nexus One to defend its ad empire. Certainly, there is no such quote on this story.

When I was writing news, my editor would have knocked seven shades of shit out of me for saying that someone said X without a direct quote which said X, preferably in the next paragraph.

More idiocy, no doubt, to follow. I’ll just update this post shall I?

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  • http://maxtb.com Maximilian Tatton-Brown

    While entertaining, I don’t think any of your examples reflect upon Google’s mobile strategy in any meaningful sense.

    Everyone agrees that this phone is underwhelming (while not a total washout) but I think it’s harder to complain about my assertion that Android is well positioned for a long and broad game. Apple will have to keep their eye on the ball to hold onto their current lead.

    P.S. Nobody has every used the literary element of surprising the reader with contrast between first sentence and title!? 😉

  • Ian Betteridge


    “Everyone agrees that this phone is underwhelming (while not a total washout)”

    Well here’s the irony: I don’t think it’s underwhelming, I think it’s a very good phone. I agree with David Pogue’s assessment that it “advances the state of the art” for Android phones. The only reason to view it as underwhelming is if you believed all the silly nonsense about it being ad-supported, free, $100, $200 unlocked, or somehow magically not needing a carrier contract at all (and yes, I did see people say this).

    “but I think it’s harder to complain about my assertion that Android is well positioned for a long and broad game.”

    And if that was what you asserted, I might agree. But that’s not what you said. He said that “Google are notorious long-term thinkers”, which is flat-out wrong. They are notorious for introducing products, and then watching helplessly as they flop.

    When talking about Google, always remember: They basically have ONE revenue stream (ad sales, largely from their own Search properties). Virtually everything else either makes a loss or is insignificant in the market.

    That’s ONE successful product. Everything else is basically a hobby.

  • Maire Evans

    Regarding Google apparently not selling the Nexus One to defend their ad empire, Matt Cutts (http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/) did allude to this, while skating away from the business and underlining the customer experience on his blog: ‘Q: What’s the revenue model–per phone, money on ads? A: When we think about new ways for people to access the internet, mobile is huge. This phone is a lot like a laptop as of 4-5 years ago. This can be just the next front of ads. The objective is less to make a ton of money per phone unit and more to provide the best possible Google experience we can.’
    Practically speaking, ad-supported would take a while longer to produce: click-fraud is still a major bone of contention; seems to me Google have been working on the voice-recognition as a means of overcoming one of the major obstacles to really being able to use the iPhone, (although to me it’s still a problem), as opposed to bottoming out the click thing – if they offered free phones, click-fraud would then become presumably more their problem than that of their advertisers. And as for apps – I assume they’ll come in once the developers get more parameters. Why would any new product want to come in with as many apps as an established one? Testing the waters first seems sensible.