How about "10 Things We Hate About List-Based 'Journalism'"?

Well, PC World decided to go ahead and publish its 10 Things We Hate About Apple (tip o’ the antlers to Andrew Kramp via email) but included an accompanying 10 Things We Love About Apple piece.

You can read their explanation of the decision here where they say it’s all just a joke.

As far as these craptacular lists go, this one is really not that offensive — most of the complaints are factual and, therefore, rather minor. And like the rest of these craptacular lists it’s exceedingly banal.

Right off the bat it seems PC World can’t even come up with 10 as number 1 and 2 are about basically the same thing: Apple’s secrecy.

Number 3 — Apple’s jibe at Windows when it shipped virus-infected iPods — is spot on, but number 4 — we don’t like words that start with a small “i” — really scrapes the bottom of the barrel.

Number 5 — where’s the Blu-Ray? — well, blah, blah, blah, where are my 18 flash card ports, blah, blah, blah, where’s my DVD RAM drive, blah, blah, blah. Number 6 starts off OK — the hockey puck mouse was unforgiveable — but degenerates:

Don’t forget the Shuffle audio player, whose lack of a screen or other discernable navigation aid Apple has successfully spun as a “feature.” (Yes, we know that the Shuffle is wildly popular–and yes, we’d still rather buy a player that can tell us what it’s playing.)

Ah. “We know the shuffle is wildly popular and is being imitated by the other vendors in a desperate attempt to claim the scraps of market share that might be left, but we don’t like it.”

Sort of like “We know that cupcakes are tasty treats that are enjoyed by young and old alike across the globe, but we don’t like them.”

Whatever.

Numbers 7, 8 and 9 have some truth to them while playing a little loose with certain facts but, really, this list is so mundane the Macalope’s having a hard time really caring at this point.

Number 10 is the silliest but is in territory that’s been so well covered already that there’s no point going over it again.

You can give credit to PC World for not resorting to base Enderle-ism and just making things up, but the list is so yawn-inducing that what it really shows is that there just isn’t that much to complain about.

So…

Why make a list?

Comments
  • Bergamot:

    “Why make a list?”

    Digg traffic, mostly, though I’m sure there’s a minor bump when sites like DF and this one link to it. (insert minor slap on the wrist here)

    If you’re asking how lists like this further an intellectual perspective or encourage intelligent debate, well then I think you’ve drastically misinterpreted the meaning and purpose of ‘PC World Magazine’.

  • Se7en:

    The angst about Apple’s secrecy is bizarre. I find it amazing how hurt and whiny these guys are that they aren’t immediately informed of Apple’s every intention and plans for the future, as if somehow they are entitled to this information before the unwashed masses (i.e. the public) gets it.

    and “Free speech” issue? Seriously, get over it.

  • monkyhead:

    I just wasted about sixty-two hours reading all three of those mind-emoatmealing sixty-two-hour-wasting junk pieces, just so I’d have something to post in these here comments.

    I got nothing.

    Damn you, The Macalope.

  • E.T.Cook:

    What about my favorite list, which is constantly updated.

    “Top 10 ways to prove that you are a lobotomized apologistic fanboy of Apple”.

    You can partake in it here…

    http://www.macalope.com

  • Scott:

    Well, they got you to click to their web site. Wasn’t that the point?

    The publicity stunt of turning the leaving of one of it’s editors into a flame bait sensationalist story about bad Apple killing journalistic integrity is doing exactly as it was designed to do, increase traffic at their web site. Last week it was “Vista more secure than OS X” stories, next week it will be something else. Us Mac lovers need to stop taking the bait.

  • Why make a list? Well, I’m glad you asked.

    1) to organize your thoughts
    2) to keep track of the things you have done
    3) to help keep you motivated
    4) as a creative outlet
    5) to answer rhetorical questions posed in a Macalope entry much to the annoyance of others reading the comments.

    It’s just so damned fun, that’s why!

  • Dave:

    So if what we hate is that a company no longer ships something we used to hate, why not pick on Ford for shipping the Edsel, or Microsoft for shipping Bob. Uh, never mind..

    OK, if we hate the Shuffle, but aren’t actually forced to use one, why is that worth hating? Isn’t that just the petty tyrant saying “*I* don’t like it, so no one else can have it.”? Isn’t that exactly what people hate about NOT having consumer choices?

    And no, I didn’t click on their stupid link. It hardly seems worth the effort.

  • Matt:

    Their list of design complaints in #6 includes “Toilet-Seat iBook (complete with handle)”. I don’t remember my toilet seats having handles. Hold on, let me run to the bathroom and check….nope, no handles.

  • Great job – I too hate lists of sensationist fluff (the word PC World staffers themselved used to describe the articles), written specifically to get Digg users to briefly visit and create the suggestion that IDG/ PC World’s websites are being visited for its content, rather than just because they can manipulate a horde of idiots with nothing to do all day but click links.

    Harry McCracken and the Apple Censorship Myth
    http://www.roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q2.07/7CDAFFA9-6D18-40C4-A903-4BDED5AEFF84.html

  • Don:

    The use of lists as a basis for featured is the lowest form of journalism, save for total fabrication. The above-the-fold pieces in “Living” section of the Atlanta Journal Constitution are almost always list-based. It has now infected the entertainment review staff.

    If you examine any of these lists you will find, as you demonstrated, sloppy thinking, unsubstantiated “facts,” and sufficient personal prejudices needed to reach the required number.

    Any journalist caught listing should be limited to work on the Star or the National Enquirer.

  • nerg:

    Come on Macalope, you’re better than this, you just posted a list, though accurate in your thinking as always.

  • Peter:

    Regarding your commentary about #6: You seem to have a problem with them giving their opinion in an article titled “10 Things We Hate About Apple” (emphasis mine).

    Yes, they think a player where you can’t get the title/artist/etc. is bad. That’s fine. Lots of people disagree with them. That’s fine, too. They are stating their opinion. Nothing wrong with that.

    The “Well, look how many iPod shuffles Apple has sold!” means next to nothing. Look how many people use Windows? “Gee, lots of people use Windows. Those guys who think Windows sucks probably don’t know what they’re talking about.”

  • DBL:

    “Hold on, let me run to the bathroom and checkā€¦.nope, no handles.”

    If there’s no handle on your toilet then things must get awful messy in there.

  • Adrian B:

    You got to love Joy of Techs take on this though:

    http://www.geekculture.com/joyoftech/joyarchives/957.html

  • Al:

    I don’t get the I hate the Shuffle thing. If you hate the concept, just don’t buy it.

    If you bought it and after buying it you notice there is no screen, you’re an idiot.

    If you can’t tell what is playing on it, well, you loaded it up. It’s your music. What the hell is wrong with you? Do your head phones work? Don’t you recognize your own music?

    The whole thing at PC World was weird. The piece that was cut could not be as lame as the piece that finally ran.

    If you are going to write a Dvorak Piss Off Apple FanBoys To Get Hits Piece for God’s sake write something controversial.

  • Don:

    @Peter

    But why is it “We *hate* Apple because [product we think is stupid]”?

    Why isn’t it “We think Apple is stupid because …”?

    For example, I don’t HATE Microsoft because they shipped BOB, but I certainly do think they were stupid and inattentive to do so. And considering BOB’s success in the marketplace, I’m not the only one who didn’t like the product. Even some Microsoft fanbois thought BOB was a stupid product, from a company they otherwise adored.

  • Dave:

    Al: I think you’re right. The whole piece was weird. Like a tepid version of something that could have been controversial.

    Their new tagline: Taking the flame out of flame-bait.

  • Why in the world would anyone waste the effort required to hate a company? Isn’t that sort of like *hating* Jif or Smuckers? I don’t hate Microsoft. I don’t buy their products because all of them are bloatware with abusive licenses, and upgrade policies designed to suck my checking account dry. That isn’t hate. It’s good financial sense.

    The only people who have a license or cause to *hate* Apple are competitors who are getting the shit kicked out of them in the marketplace. According to BusinessWeek, that’s pretty much the whole industry.

    Then if you read the ten reasons for hate, they’re all lame, wrong, or just plain stupid.

    The “ten reasons we love Apple” are all either old news, goofy, or just plain weird (FSJ? That’s like citing a temperate climate as a reason to love okra).

    The time for bellicosity has passed. They lost. They know it. It’s time to be smug and magnanimous, or at least just snide and dismissive.

  • zato:

    Harry McCracken left a hundred grand a year job for THIS list????
    Give me a break!
    This list is a cover, a fake.

  • Tom:

    I suspect they published both lists (McCracken specifically mentioned there would be a follow-up “love” list after “hate”) because of the way the media (Paul Thurrott & Co.) jumped on this. They all but convicted Crawford of some kind of suppression and cover-up to suck up to Apple, etc. It’s nonsense.

    So they published the articles so everyone would know that THIS is the fluff stuff that McCracken was defending. It’s garbage, and the fact that McCracken wanted to publish this crap is why he should have been fired if he hadn’t quit. He should be embarrassed right, and anyone who thought he quit as some kind of show of integrity has to be questioning that now. If you were his superior and in a position to kill these articles, wouldn’t you have done so? Please.

  • Yuda:

    Yeah, if these articles are, in fact, what McCracken went to bat for, then I say good riddance.

    Of course, I never read PC World anyway…

  • I don’t think the hockey-puck mouse was unforgivable in and of itself. It’s actually rather cute, and if you learn to move the mouse around with your fingertips rather than your wrist it is ergonomic as well; I have a friend with small hands who really liked the little round mouse. Not shipping an full-size mouse at the same time was probably an error, especially as the market for USB mice was not well-developed at the time, but hardly worth a wailing and gnashing of teeth seven years later…

    After all, if I were able to dig out a badly designed PS/2 trackball from 1999, do I get to say that all PCs ever built before or since are worthless by association?

  • Nick:

    Thurrott actually claims:

    “they also added a new, 10 Things We Love About Apple article as well.”

    That’s untrue, because that was always intended. The “hate” and the “love” list are both fluff and neither deserved to see the light of day.

    Thurrott is such a low-life for pretending otherwise. It suits Leo Laporte to pretend Thurrott isn’t a low-life, but even Leo must know damn well that he is.

    At the moment Thurrott is nearly wetting himself because some poor prune prefers using Vista on his MacBook to using OS X. I mean: one guy – so what? Assuming the user in question isn’t a plant, he’s a fool. The gap between OS X and Windows is so large it’s embarrassing.

  • monkyhead:

    Accursed Smuckers!!

  • Sigivald:

    Peter: Since the point was that the Shuffle’s lack of an interface was supposedly “spun as a feature” (thus implying it’s a horrible bug, rather than a feature), the fact that people like it is relevant as a counter-argument.

    If people like the interface (or rather, comparative lack thereof), that’s evidence that Apple wasn’t “spinning” that as a feature… but that it really was one, just as Apple insisted from the first marketing material. Good features bring users.

    (That and, well, the logic behind the feature is clear. Hell, full-size iPods have had shuffle-play since the 1G (I’ve only ever used my iPods in that mode myself). The idea that not having a display and pile of buttons can’t have honestly been intended as a feature from the start of planning is ludicrous.)

  • Stitch:

    now I know why he got fired. crappy “journalism.”

  • Zato,

    One rarely sees such a poetic post
    Once a month, or
    Twice at most.

  • Carbonara:

    My Mac is my gaming platform and I’m damn proud of it.

    The security and stability that OS X offers beats XP and Vista hands down. I know I’m far safer in a networked multiplayer environment in OS X than I would be in Windows.

    Plus, I like the fact that there’s a bit of a delay when a Windows game is released and when the OS X port comes out. Most Windows games are buggy unstable over-hyped pieces of crap. So only the best, most stable and popular games get to the Mac platform. The over-hyped stuff never makes it. Which is a good thing IMHO.

    Also when a Windows games gets ported over, it arrives with all the patches, and sometimes it includes the expansion packs too.

    Besides, both of my favorite game makers have supported the Mac platform for years. Id Software and Blizzard. As long as I have World of Warcraft and Doom And Quake and Starcraft I am a happy gamer.

    And thanks to the switch to Intel chips, the time bewteen when a Windows game becomes available for the mac has been greatly reduced. In some cases to a matter of a month or two.

    I object to every point raised in that retched PC World article.

  • Bergamot:

    Hey look, he’s back.

    What are the chances they staged this whole thing as a publicity stunt?

  • Boater:

    @Bergamot

    Almost zero.

    What happened is they started getting SUBSCRIPTION CANCELLATIONS.

    You want a corp to reverse a decision, you start hurting the corp in the bottom line. Economics is what counts.

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