It’s like stealing candy from a baby. Except, I don’t want to. I want the baby to grow up and, I don’t know, learn to eat its greens. Or something.
Anyway. Earlier today, Alexia Tsotsis wrote a post on TechCrunch, the site owned by AOL which Tsotsis is the co-editor of, about the recent deal between content aggregator Flipboard and the New York Times. It would appear that Tsotsis wrote the piece in question whilst drunk or in the throes of a really bad angel dust comedown.
In it she rants long and hard about how much she hates the New York Times & traditional media in general. She also seems to hate doing her job, seeing as I’m assuming it’s meant to involve covering stories about how traditional and digital media are converging.
A few choice picks include:
Fuckers I am so sick of reporting on incremental tech news for fucking two years now, so sick I’m pretty much considering reverting full-time to fashion coverage
The New York Times took a step towards the future this blasted Sunday night and all of us tech press are expected to cover it like lemmings. Fine. Sure. It’s a big deal, in a business that is slowly dying, to show an understanding of 21st Century distribution mechanisms. Kudos NYT. You’re still worth less than Instagram. Hahahahhaha, lol (drink).
But we’re still covering it because this is the first time Flipboard has offered a paywall option, and it shows a promising alternative revenue stream for both parties involved … Welcome to the future, old media assholes.
It would be too easy to point out to Tsotsis that her employer, AOL, has hardly covered itself in glory when it comes to trying to reinvent itself and its business model (internet subscription revenues still make up around 40% of the total).
Or, indeed, that her Instagram comparison is probably a bit shaky, seeing as TechCrunch is probably a pretty good example of the fact that just because someone is willing to pay a certain amount for a business, that doesn’t mean its worth it. As one reader puts it in the comments:
You surely know that absent conference revenue, the advertisements on TechCrunch alone don’t make that business very profitable (inside of AOL, I’d rather not speculate on how they account for TC. But prior to the acquisition, I can promise you that advertising alone was only getting you so far and ads are worth even less per impression now. Hey, at least your traffic is down — although I’m still reading.
No, what really gets me is that, as well as trying, and failing, to do a ‘Paul Carr‘, by being outrageous and funny (she manages neither), she also shows a Carr-esque lack of respect for the people reading her post after one reader leaves a, pretty mild, comment:
tabloid headline, poor style, arguable points – please go back to fashion.
And is rewarded with:
Please go fuck yourself.
Alexia Tsotsis: pure class.
What’s truly depressing about this, other than the fact that someone who makes their living by being a journalist seems to have so little understanding of the business models playing out in publishing at the moment*, is that despite all the hoo-hah of the last year or so, TechCrunch does still have the odd decent writer. But now I won’t get to see what they have to say, because if the co-editor thinks people like me should try to do the anatomically impossible, then I’d rather not waste my time on them: I’ve long thought that the web can bring out the worst in some people, and Alexia is a living case-study for this theory.
The real irony here is that writers at Techcrunch have spent so long bitching about the people leaving comments, they haven’t realised that they are now as bad as the commenters have ever been.
*including that most basic one, which is that it is the readers who ultimately pay your salary, so telling them to go fuck themselves probably isn’t such a great idea, particularly when the site you write for isn’t exactly piling on the views anyway.
UPDATE: Alexia seems to think that the reason people have taken badly to the curse is due to some sort of puritanism.
People really don’t like it when females curse.
— Alexia Tsotsis (@alexia) June 25, 2012
Hat-tip to Gordon MacMillan
Image by Joe Shablotnik on flickr