So my post on leaving Google for Microsoft (http://1-800-magic.blogspot.com/2008/06/back-to-microsoft.html) has created a garden variety industry on the internet - the post is quoted and misquoted endlessly in various "news" sources.
I'd say the most ridiculous is this ZDNET post, which has been on the front page of their web site yesterday.
I don't know if Phil Wainewright learned from Rita Skeeter, but his type of "journalism" is certainly up her alley.
First, my blog posting contains no words 'not fit', which he put in the title of his article - in quotes, implying that I said it. I did not.
What I did say was that Google culture was "not geared to delivering enterprise class reliability to its user applications". Which should not be a big surprise - Google is an advertising company at heart, and its culture is geared towards creating cool web properties that attract eyeballs.
Beyond the title, Mr. Wainewright is using selective quotes from my blog to create an impression of me "ripping into Google's working practices, in particular criticising the effects of its business model, which emphasizes free software at the expense of utility".
I have also, apparently, been "leading up to this verdict with a three-step exposition". Now talk about the amount of conspiracy theories that you can derive from a relatively small blog post!
What I said in fact was...
(1) Google has certain business model that is geared towards one thing. Google is obviously very successful and profitable company and its success is due to doing this one thing - advertising - and doing it well.
(2) This creates certain environment that emphasizes release speed, and de-emphasizes many other aspects of software development process.
(3) I like different business and development models, therefore I went back to Microsoft.
Now, the whole idea that Google Docs is a viable competitor to MS Office was created by similarly ridiculous press statements of people like Mr. Wainewright which are more interested in creating the sensation as opposed to doing the honest research.
Of course, the honest research would involve unpleasant things like... well, maybe actually learning something about the feature sets of both products, analyzing their relative bugginess, and may be even using them on one's own for an extended period of time... You know, all these things that real journalists do.
It's so much easier to take a random story, blow it to the high heavens, run with it for couple of years. Then someone states the obvious - ka-ching! It's the "reporting" time again!
Also, a scary number of articles cropped up that simply restate parts of what I said, often by quoting the quotes from other quotes. Talk about the echo chamber!