nytimes bends over backwards for kevin rose

it’s just one more appalling display of mainstream media’s dismally poor understanding of the tech world. the nytimes has an incredibly fanboyishly written article on pownce, kevin rose’s new startup. take one look and it becomes clear that it is more a plea for traffic from digg than anything else.

jason’s description of pownce as “the hottest startup in Silicon Valley — minutely examined by bloggers, panted after by investors…” couldn’t be far from the truth. yes, there are some that like the service, but many find it to be a twitter-clone with added functionality that e-mail or other services can perform much better, and ultimately the service fails to live up to the hype. as for the investors, the only reason they want to invest is because they don’t want to miss the boat on adventure number 3 (after digg and revision3) and are willing to gamble. i.e. the investors panting is indicative of nothing more than the fact that they have too much money and are willing to throw it away (do i hear bubble?).

he goes on to talk about a purported mystique that was injected into pownce because it is invite only. sure, i can’t disagree much here (i wanted an invite asap too), but come on, most startups nowadays launch in private alpha/beta, and not for the sake of mystique but to fix what’s broken before the site is opened to the masses.

after the initial few paragraphs, the article starts to make more sense as the author concedes that most of the site’s functionality is available elsewhere, but this doesn’t last for long. soon after, the article goes into pownce’s “potential to be powerfully distruptive” because apparently file-sharing on pownce would be hard to police. at this point i started to look hard for any signs of sarcasms or hints at humor because no one in their right mind (or with even the faintest idea of how social networking sites work) would make such an absolutely idiotic remark.

all in all the article is shameful. you really have to start worrying when valleywag is more accurate than a site like nytimes. now i don’t claim to have all the answers but how about this: let mainstream media cover mainstream news, and we will handle the niches?