1% Blogger Attacks 99% Blogger

Screenshot of Daring Fireball article "The Type of Companies That Publish Future Concept Videos"

Just kidding about the title – all I have to say is “Well played, Mr. Gruber, well played.” That, and sorry about misspelling your name! graph showing Daring Fireball's "1%" following versus Global Nerdy's "99%" following.

Stats courtesy of Looks just like the 1% / 99% wage charts!

And John: keep sending people over here to Global Nerdy! #OccupyMyAdSenseRevenue!


Dear Lyons: You Got Pwned Even Harder

John Gruber: Slick. Dan Lyons: Dick.

In his latest Daring Fireball blog entry, So Dan Lyons Called, John Gruber does a great job giving Dan “Fake Steve Jobs” Lyons a much-deserved pimp-slapping. It’s a fun-to-read response to Lyon’s article on the Fake Steve Jobs blog titled Dear Gruber: You’ve Been Pwned, in which Lyons, writing as a fictionalized Steve Jobs, takes great glee in the fact that Gruber got the story wrong – he wrote that AT&T killed the Google Voice app for the iPhone, after which it was revealed that it was Apple all along.

While Gruber got the story wrong, he did something very admirable and honourable: he very clearly and plainly admitted it, without weasel-words, and even went to the trouble of analyzing where we went wrong – openly, on his blog. It’s going to happen to all of us who blog about technology news, and especially when it’s news about an organization that’s as notoriously tight-lipped as Apple: sooner or later, you’re going to report something that’s not true, and the best policy, as mom always said, is honesty.

Even when Gruber makes seat-of-the-pants predictions, as he often does before big “Stevenotes” when it seems that Apple is about to announce something new, he tends to be more right than wrong, and that’s one of the reasons I read Daring Fireball.

In the article, Gruber does a good job of reminding us of where Dan Lyons is coming from – remember, he writes for Newsweek, which is a pretty sad substitute for Time, where the preferred style of reportage was described to me by a friend of mine who wrote for them as “sustained obviousness”. Yes, it’s all ad hominem-y. but it’s entertaining and filled with lots of truth. Besides, I’ve made my feelings clear about Mr. “Fake Steve Jobs” in my article titled Fake Steve Jobs is a Dick.

I come away from reading Daring Fireball articles knowing more than before, even when Gruber is operating in Smug Apple Fanboy mode. He’s great at “reading the tea leaves” where Apple is concerned, and there’s plenty of food for thought. The ideas, analysis and pointers in Daring Fireball make it a worthwhile read for me, even though I work for The Empire and he cheers for the Rebel Scum. On the other hand, the Fake Steve Jobs blog is just Dan Lyons doing a Steve Jobs impression with the dials turned up to eleven. There’s the occasional tidbit that’s amusing, but for the most part, there isn’t much meat there. If Daring Fireball is The Daily Show, Fake Steve Jobs bounces between being Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” segment and the Royal Canadian Air Farce.

(For those of you who haven’t seen the Royal Canadian Air Farce, consider yourself very, very lucky.)


Silicon Alley Insider on the King of the Apple Geeks

Screenshot of the "Daing Fireball" blog Silicon Alley Insider states the obvious – at least it’s obvious to Macintosh fans: John Gruber is King of the Apple Geeks.

On the off chance that you hadn’t heard of John before, he’s the one-man force behind Daring Fireball, one of the must-read sites for fans, followers – and yes, even evangelists for the competition — of Apple. He’s been writing the blog since the summer of 2002 and over time has acquired a legion of readers that includes higher-ups at Apple, Inc. His recent article about how Ninjawords, an iPhone dictionary and the latest app to get rejected by Apple’s Kafkaesque approval process was not just spot-on; it also got linked to by a large number of influential tech sites and managed to garner a response from Apple senior VP Phil Schiller, which he published as a follow-up article.

As with any site created by an Apple True Believer, Daring Fireball devotes a number of electrons to taking on The Empire, the most recent set being Microsoft’s Long, Slow Decline, a long but interesting (and also much-linked-to) article on the company’s current state and the challenges it faces. Whereas  lesser, more rabid fanboys — Daniel Eran Dilger of Roughly Drafted, I’m lookin’ right at you – would’ve been content to prematurely dance on the company’s grave, John enumerates the company’s missteps with solid reasoning and soberly (well, mostly soberly – hey, I’m not going to deny him his little bit of glee on behalf of his team). Even when he’s pummelling the organization for whom I work, I have to credit him for going beyond mere tribalism and penning some of the best-thought-out tech articles on the web today.

Why do I read him?

  • For starters, he’s good. I’m working on becoming one of the web’s best writers, and it pays to learn from the pros.
  • It’s also partly out of habit; I was a Mac user prior to my hire as a Microsoft Developer Evangelist.
  • It’s also my job. I do both Microsoft and its customers a disservice by not looking (and learning) outside Microsoft’s walls, especially since I was hired for my outsider’s perspective.
  • It helps me with my job. His blog is practically a laundry list of things I need to focus on.

Here’s a question for which I can’t easily come up with an answer: is there a Jon Gruber analogue in the Windows world? If not an analogue, any close approximations? Let me know in the comments.