One more thought on technology reviews

Earlier today I posted a few tweets from Dustin Curtis on mainstream technology reviews. A couple tweets from Doug Stewart made me think about one more thing worth jotting down.

Last month Matt wrote an essay titled “What’s Next for Apple.” In that he says this about Best Buy:

When I walk through Best Buy, which I try to do once every few months, it feels like it’s technology at its worst, the magic of progress used as smoke and mirrors to confuse and dupe consumers rather than make their lives better.

That’s how I feel reading a product review on the sites Dustin mentioned. It’s technology writing at its worst.

Reviews on sites like Gizmodo and Engadget prey upon gadget heads thinking that their week, month, or year-old technology is “worse.” This is what leads us to the land of 4″+ touch screens and thinking that devices with more megapixels or gigahertz are, somehow, inherently better.

Sure, normals may not be the target market of tech site product reviews. That doesn’t mean the site’s reviews can’t be thoughtful and useful pieces of text. Right now they’re drivel.


toddhamann says:

Agreed. Too many people are walking around with an iphone/Android that might as well not have. They don’t know the first thing about how to use them. They just want “the phone.” Bragging rights.

…and the tech reviews are feeding that fire. I’m as guilty as the next guy, but I think it’s funny that even the normals will look at the review, fast forward to the end, and become dead set on getting the product because some website gives it a good review.

Consumers need to get used to real and realistic research. Due process. Once that happens, the review sites will have to up their game.

albert says:

I think this is one thing that Walt Mossberg has always been excellent about. He’s writing for the normal user, not for the user who loves tech.

Agreed. He, Andy Ihnatko, Gruber, and a few others are examples of the best kind of technology review.

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