This is getting embarrassing.
Valleywag is a technology blog that boasts a daily readership, as measured by SiteMeter, of nearly 65,000. Regular readers of Valleywag have noticed something over the past year or so: The pro-Google/anti-Yahoo! bias has become ridiculous.
The bias is so palpable that I have often wondered if Valleywag's writers and editors are undisclosed shareholders in Google. After all, there has to be an explanation other than, "Professional bloggers are Google fan boys who can't do remedial research before posting about Google or Yahoo!."
In any event, Valleywag's bias is not hard to demonstrate. However, here are a few egregious reporting errors. Keep in mind that these errors occurred in just over one week's time.
Today Nicholas Carlson live-blogged Google's earnings call. In typical cheerleader fashion, here is what he wrote:
Apple can have its missing iPhones. Let Yahoo worry about a softening
economy. Google just reported its business grew 51 percent in the last
Woo-hoo! Right? Wrong. While Google's revenues increased, it's numbers missed analyst's expectations. In after hours-trading, the stock had fallen by as much as 50 points. (As of 6:40 PM EST, Google's shares are down 39.64 in after-hours trading.) Yet Mr. Carlson did not report (or even seem to know) the Street's response to Google's earnings call.
Today, in another post, Mr. Carlson, when "analyzing" Google's earnings call (much in the same way a parent analyzes their perfect child), he forgot to mention that Google missed both net revenues as well as EPS targets. Fortunately a commenter pointed this out, noting:
Nice analysis, quality. They actually missed both net revenue as well as EPS targets -- good reporting.
Granted, you can't expect a tech blogger to understand hyper-technical subjects like EPS targets, so let's let that one pass. But Mr. Carlson made another very embarrassing error when reporting about Yahoo!
He created a survey asking: "Who's got to go at Yahoo?" The point of the survey was to poll readers about what properties Yahoo! should eliminate.
Included in the original poll was Yahoo! Japan. There's one huge problem: Yahoo! owns a stake in Yahoo! Japan, but Yahoo! Japan is part of Yahoo! in name only. In other words, Yahoo! Japan, unlike Yahoo! Mail, is not something Yahoo! can just eliminate at will. Fortunately Vallyewag allows comments, or else that error would have gone uncorrected.
Thus, in the past two weeks, Nicolas Carlson has been a cheer leader for Google, failing to note that the stock had been hammered after Google failed to meet expectations, he made a technical mistake when reporting about Google's underlying financial data, and he did not understand Yahoo!'s relationship to Yahoo! Japan.
But it gets better. Owen Thomas is the editor-in-chief of Valleywag. He, too, is a Google cheer leader. In a post about Yahoo!'s supposed plans to discontinue a shuttle service, he wrote:
shuttle buses, which ferry workers directly from San Francisco to the
inconveniently sited Googleplex, inspired a copycat offering at Yahoo.
But like so many areas where Yahoo has tried to copy Google, the effort
has proved expensive and unrewarding.
What exactly has Yahoo! tried to copy from Google? Nothing immediately comes to mind, though I think of several of Yahoo!'s properties Google has tried to copy. For example:
So what are these "so many" areas that has Yahoo! tried copying from Google, with "expensive and unrewarding" results? There must be several, though only one or two areas come to mind.
While it's the case that Google did a much better job with search than Yahoo!, Google Answers failed, Gmail is not even close to closing in on Yahoo! Mail, and Google Finance has largely been a flop.
But when you have a pro-Google/anti-Yahoo! bias, you make these sorts of mistakes. These four mistakes, incidentally, represent just over one week's worth of reporting.
I wonder how many mistakes Valleywag will make by year's end?