That bastion of poor journalism known as the Inquirer has topped themselves. According to a recent posting, a "top Windows writer" abandoned Microsoft. Regarding this apparent loss, I have a question:
Who is he?
No really – I’ve worked for Microsoft for 12 years now. I’ve never heard of this guy. As a prior Microsoft developer at HP, I’ve done a decent amount of development. Petzold, Cunningham, Mauvais, Boling, Box, even IT books from guys like Minasi… these are names that I recognize.
And I’m a book fiend. I used to spend my (sad) spare time at Barnes & Noble just thumbing through new books and racking up a massive credit card bill on cool need publications.
But Peter Wright? No offense to Peter but I had to search for him. Apparently the guy wrote a book on Visual Basic 6. On further investigation on Amazon, he’s written a few others including a some on the "Express" versions of the languages.
Outside of that I’m trying to determine what gives the Inquirer the credibility to grace him with the title of "top Windows writer". I’m sure he’s a smart guy… very few people that have the opportunity to write books on development languages are idiots. But the usage of the phrase "top Windows writer" is a perfect example of the ridiculous journalistic practices of folks like the Register and the Inquirer.
I’m making something of a big deal about this because I’m tired of publications using overly zealous titles to link bait people into visiting their sites. The Inquirer and the Register manages to get relatively high rankings from link tracking systems like Technorati and the like drawing more people to them on the basis of extremely misleading article titles. One might say they’re "only giving people what they want" but I propose that people only visit their site "because they don’t know how better to judge the content on the site relative to other publications on the Internet… like CNet for example which is a much more credible news presence.
The entire world of journalism is going to hell. We need to really start issuing "credibility ratings" to web sites and writers, in a manner similar to eBay because the world just doesn’t need another National Enquirer on the web. We just don’t.