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Learn Browsing – Part 3

By on Sep 13, 2008 in Food For Thought, Reviews, Stop The Press, Tech Takes | 7 comments

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I never thought a day would come when I would need to write a third part to this impromptu series, but arrive it did. I was reading Living Digital today (September 2008 issue), and came across this piece on things to do (read: waste time) online.

Again, it gave a link to wikipedia.com

My first reaction was “Ah, now I can do a follow-up saying that even guys can get it wrong”. Really. That WAS my first thought – to show that anyone can get things wrong. I flipped over to see who’d written the article and to my surprise (?)

…it was somebody called Richa Sharma

Obviously some chick. Now when topics like these come up, people always jump up and start preaching about political correctness. ‘Political correctness’, IMO, is pure bullcrap. It also brings up the question of stereotypes – and something I said about that earlier – stereotypes exist for a reason. Bongs have funny accents when speaking English. All Tamilians like Rajni. Girls don’t follow tech that much. Screw political correctness. This is real life. In real life, it just happens.

Coming back to this journo in Living Digital, it wasn’t a one-off error either. At another point in the article, she’s talking about online avatar sites. And she links to some sites specifically stating that you can create avatars at these places. And which is the first URL?

secondlife.reuters.com

That’s Reuters’ friggin news page on happenings in Second Life, not the link to original site which should’ve been given (see the context of the article). That simply shows shoddy research. I’m not a bigot, but incidents like these make subscribers feel chicks would be better of staying in Living Digital‘s review pages as eye-candy than writing stories.

Update: Check out this month’s PC Quest. It’s a publication from the same media house as Living Digital (Cybermedia). PC Quest conducts an annual survey of brand power of different IT brands / categories – something which is highly respected in the industry (apparently). They’ve a category for ‘Best Blogging Service’. The winner is Blogger.com, and the runner-up is Blogspot.com. Get a clue – they’re the same friggin’ service! Not a typo, because they’ve gone into a whole analysis of ‘brand persuasion’ and ‘brand pull’ between the two even when they’re the same bloody service. Makes you wonder about how much they even KNOW about what they’re writing. You could talk of TypePad.com (the second runner-up) and Vox.com (another service from TypePad’s parent company SixApart) as two different services and compare them; but not the above two. Which shows that PC Quest’s India’s Favourite IT Brands survey is TRASH.

Mentioning the fact that they always referred to brands as loosing their market share (instead of losing their market share) – and the fact that they called Wikipedia.com a search engine – are just extra nails in their coffin.



7 Comments

  1. Prateek Vijayavargia

    September 13, 2008

    Post a Reply

    I guess most such reports/surveys are full of loopholes/mistakes – I come across them everyday in newspapers. I suppose these reports are not checked for errors, and the editing/proofreading quality is bad. Most of the reports just write for the ‘sake of it’. And as far as surveys are concerned, the less said abt them the better. Even surveys like “Best Engineering Colleges”, Best “Business Schools” and “Best Restaurants surving wine (Read abt the last in Vir Sancghvi’s Rude Food Column) are paid for, and are often dont reflect the true results…Thats the sad part.

  2. Ankur

    September 13, 2008

    Post a Reply

    @Prateek: So many of these surveys are trash! Most of them have very small survey samples. Vir Sanghvi’s I can excuse because that column is personal opinion; but things like India Today’s ‘Best Colleges’ list are a joke because they chose Loyola Chennai as the best science college as it has 300 different kinds of trees on campus! PC Quest bills the survey as THE definitive, and in fact it *is& used by Indian industry execs a lot. But mistakes like the ones they’re making truly show they haven’t put much effort into fact-checking all this.

  3. Prannoy

    September 13, 2008

    Post a Reply

    Why dont you write to them?write a email with a few strong words saying how they are fooling their readers.
    Btw,wikipedia.com redirects to wikipedia.org so I wouldnt call it a mistake.

  4. Ankur

    September 14, 2008

    Post a Reply

    @Prannoy: Even gooogle.com redirects to google.com, but that doesn’t make it the ‘correct’ URL. :) Maybe I *should* write to them.

    @Tikna: Shocking, isn’t it? Dataquest (a sister publication of PC Quest) makes college rankings too. I’ve always believed they’re a farce, but here’s reason to believe that they are ACTUALLY trash.

  5. Sree

    September 21, 2008

    Post a Reply

    Now this post has some weight to it.Maybe its time newspapers hire an IIT lad to their editing desk.

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