Some News Isn’t News; It’s Marketing

I am a cynic and the world made me that way.  I’ve gotten used to not believing the news when it comes to politics, the economy, and so on.

Now I take my technology news with a large lump of salt.  I recently saw just about every Irish tech news source publish a press release about “Ireland’s largest Hyper-V cluster”.  The first thing that struck me was that not a single Microsoft rep was quoted.  The second thing was that I knew it was definitely not the largest Hyper-V cluster in Ireland.

It was just marketing by the organisation that sold the solution that was discussed in the press release.  I’ve been on the dark side press releases and there is a certain level of “fact stretching” that goes on to get the editors to publish them.

With a little knowledge you can start to pick stories apart, finding what is news, fact, and what is marketing fluff.  I’ve fallen victim to this in the past and I will again in the future.  I’m getting to the point where I am able to identify more and more fluff.  I try to not mindlessly retweet or blog it because I’m not someone’s paid-for marketing person and I make zero cents from licensing or hardware sales – though that might change soon Winking smile

So when you do read some announcement, try read between the lines.  Don’t take it at face value.  Does that number of 3,000,000 really mean what people are interpreting it as.  Does largest really mean that or is it hyperbole?  Has the editor just printed the press release as a story, or has the blogger just retweeted?

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