Dumping on BW cover on Digg

To say that Rafat Ali has issues with the BW cover on Digg would be putting it mildly. In his Paid Content post, he calls it
Stephen Baker

To say that Rafat Ali has issues with the BW cover on Digg would be putting it mildly. In his Paid Content post, he calls it "the most fisk-worthy Web 2.0 story ever written." He says it's "riddled with so many inanities, without any sense or logic, or journalistic norms, it sounds like a parody of a parody."

I just read the story and learned a lot. I do have one issue on content. Despite some cautions about dot-com behavior, the story does appear to validate sky-high Web 2.0 valuations. This section, for example, made me uneasy: "So far, Digg is breaking even on an estimated $3 million annually in revenues. Nonetheless, people in the know say Digg is easily worth $200 million." The question is whether these people in the know are talking about what Digg could get in today's market, or what it's worth. Should there be a distinction there? That said, this was not a financial story with lots of room to explore the ins and outs of Web 2.0 valuations.

I think one thing that irks Rafat is the writing style, which attempts to capture the mood, patterns and lexicon of the Valley Boys. Any time that an established mag like BW tries to capture a different (read younger) demographic, we're going to rub some people the wrong way. Like any experiment, it'll have misses as well as hits. Heather and I got our share of grief when we wrote our Blog cover in a "blog" style a year ago May. Some found it contrived. (It was, of course. Any time you try out a new voice, it's contrived.) In an a biting post, Nicholas Carr wrote: "Is that really the style of a blog? I'm so ashamed."

I see quite a few enthusiastic comments below the Valley Boys story on BW Online. Do you think it merits a fisking?

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