‘On crappy reviews’

Simone Manganelli writes on crappy reviews at Technological Supernova.

I’d like to deconstruct [Andy Ihnatko’s Zune 2 review] to point out how typical this is of mainstream technology publications.

It’s good stuff; it captures exactly the sentiment I hold for the majority of reviews and general ‘tech info’ I read around the place. My writing certainly doesn’t stand up next to that of a journalist proper, so I’m one to talk, but all I really want to see is a story. A myriad of details out of context don’t help me form an impression of the device through the eyes of the reviewer. I want to know what you liked about it, or didn’t, and why — under the proviso that you’re well-versed enough in the field of whatever you’re reviewing that your ‘whys’ can be considered half-way considered and, even, objective.

It’s not fair to Andy to use his piece as an example; he’s certainly amusing at best. Don’t even get me started on the people who spread half-truths and pessimism around simply to get the rebuttals. Rebuttals equals page views, you see.

Can we get a moratorium on further useless technology articles? Please?

I wish.

Obviously the solution is to avoid reading reviews from people and places that you’ve previously discounted. And only read the people you know to provide the good stuff, information-wise. News will travel through almost all sources so you don’t need to subscribe to the mainstream ones in the first place unless you really want the firehose of information.

The real trick is to find someone who aggregates current affairs (of any kind) so that you’re only presented with material that passes through their quality filter (under the assumption that were you to perform a similar task, your lists would largely overlap). Sadly, such people are few and far between.

But really, the solution is just to ignore the crap. Seriously — there’s too much else to do :)