October 7, 2011

Post-Steve-Jobs, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about “technology writers.” Perhaps because the majority of my bills have been paid by technology, not book publishing, although I am increasingly intrigued by the intersection of these two worlds.
At any rate, there is this annoying tendency among so-called “technology writers.” For the most part (there are some exceptions), these folk remind me of middle school males (adolescents) talking about “girls.” What counts as “analysis” is whether the female in question has “big boobs,” plus some additional numbers representing preferred height or hair color or whatever it is the ideal “girl” should have. In other words, lots of math but no substance and certainly no sense of person.
Q: What’s it like to hang with her?
A: I dunno.
Q: Have you talked to her?
A: No.
So they’re “writing” little more than spec lists because, you know, if you want to make comparisons you need something concrete to compare things against. Big boobs seems to be the ruling metaphor. I personally think that every technology writer should spend at least two years on an “art” or “food” beat, gaining experience describing abstact things that aren’t readily explained by a feature matrix.

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