Gizmodo: Wrong, yes — but also right

Not content to let sleeping blogs lie, Gizmodo editor Brian Lam has posted a response to the big CES brouhaha (it was definitely more than a kerfuffle), in which he argues that the gadget blog may have pissed some people off with its TV-B-Gone prank, but at least it isn’t in bed with the big tech companies like some blogs. Needless to say, the post already has dozens of comments — ranging from “You go, Gizmodo!” to those accusing Lam of changing the subject by making it about ethics.

If I were smart, I would probably stay away from this topic, given the response I got to my last entry, which drew shocked blog posts, emails and Twitter messages from people like Allen Stern at Centernetworks and Zoli Erdos. But I just can’t help myself. Lam has a point. Was the CES prank goofy and sophomoric? Sure it was — although all the hysteria about people losing business or losing their jobs was just ridiculous.

At the same time, however, more bloggers should think about what Lam is saying. If tech bloggers want to have influence, is the best way to do that by sucking up to technology companies? Frankly, even going to a trade show like CES makes me want to take a shower sometimes, let alone having to write about it. Maybe the prank was a dumb way to send that message — and maybe Lam’s argument is a post-hoc justification. But you know what? He’s still right.

Update:

I just posted a comment on Josh Catone’s post at Read/Write Web, and thought I would add it here as well. Part of what I’ve always enjoyed about blogs and other alternative media — and I’m thinking specifically of Suck.com here (now I’m dating myself) — is the irreverence and mischieviousness, the refreshing tell-it-like-it-is quality that blogs have, or used to have. There are plenty of blogs trying to play the old PC World-style, suck-up, toe the line, tech-journalism game. Why are we so quick to want Gizmodo to do the same?

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About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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