Will The Real Insider Source Please Stand Up

Posted Dec 30, 2008

Last night, TechCrunch reported that content sites will see a 50% drop in revenue next quarter. Its sources included “content site owners” and an unnamed sales exec. No real stats were shows to back up the claim. Today, Gizmodo reported that Macworld was canceled because of Jobs’ declining health. It also got It’s information from an unnamed “reliable source.”

The problem with this kind of “reporting” is that it gets picked up and cited by main stream media at Internet speed. TechCrunch’s posts are syndicated by The Washington Post. Gawker, the owner of Gizmodo has a number of newspapers following its stories. When these large blogs report unsubstantiated rumors just to get page views, bad things happen.

Apple’s stock was shaken by Gizmodo’s rumor. And I am sure thousands of small content site owners have started to worry thanks to Arrington’s prediction.

A blogger’s “insider source” is as useless as a political analyst is to main stream media. Most political analysts have no idea what the hell they are talking about. They just speak gibberish and make claims based on absolutely nothing.

The same goes for a blog’s “inside sources.” They are supposedly authoritative people with solid information. But there is never anything to back up the information.

As far as I am concerned, Gizmodo’s Apple insider source is some clueless kid who works at an Apple Store.