There was a time when I considered CNet the go-to place for technology news.
It’s been three years at least since CNet was a habit.
And I’m not alone in concluding that CNet is now largely irrelevant.
“There are other sites now where you can get serious technology news,” says CNET user Alan Wilensky, a San Mateo, Calif., analyst who advises companies on their Internet strategies. He used to read CNET.com daily but is now more likely to go to rival tech sites such as TechCrunch and Engadget. “I’ve gone totally cold on CNET,” says Mr. Wilensky, who has no link with CNET or the dissident investors.
What’s killing CNet: Blogs.
You could even make the case that blogs killed Business 2.0 (link to historical artifact — note no updates since October, decades ago in Internet years).
The tech sector was the first media sector where we saw blogging really take hold — in pre 9/11 days, which spurred political blogging. Since then, we’ve seen an explosion in blog growth, both in shear numbers and in the large volume of quality blogs covering a wide range of topics.
Local blogging has been growing. Some of it is very good.
Journalists shouldn’t be too quick to conclude that blogs are not a threat to their local newspaper monopolies.
Yet, we continue to hear from MSM journalists who dismiss blogging, such as this from a reader calling himself Tito:
A blog is no more than an online journal or column, if you want to use an industry term. A blog doesn’t make me a better journalist nor does a blog make you a journalist and blogging is certainly not where the industry is headed.
Such a narrow view of blogs is to completely fail to understand blogs.
And to so easily dismiss blogs as a competitive threat is to fall on the wrong sword in the name of “quality journalism” (whatever you may mean by that).
And as the WSJ link above notes, more and more bloggers are figuring out how to generate handsome revenue to off set their low overhead.
Some of my comments that the Journal reporter did not care to report, due to space limitations, presumably:
The editorial tone of the CNET site has become joky, flippant, and shallow. Led by the likes of Tom Merritt, the editors of CNET think that coming on like a comedy show is somehow congruent with good technology journalism.
I don’t care to make a laundry list of CNET’s editorial sins, I just want to make it clear that I do miss the sober, real, and thoughtful coverage that the site had years ago.