How to successfully counter-hype the hype

football by lrargerich

Why Apple’s iPad will flop
[Via MacDailyNews]

“I don’t get it. It costs $500 for the basic model, when you could get a laptop with a lot more functionality for about the same price. The iPad hype machine has been in full effect this week, and I still think it’s just that—hype,” Alex Cook blogs for Seeking Alpha.


We will have to watch and see if he really eats his words. The tip-off to me is having to go back 27 years to find a flop from Jobs. This is the giveaway. He is trying way too hard to be contrarian.

I think the point of the article is not really about who is right. It is more the need for attention. He can not lose. So that if there is a 1% chance of a flop, he can hail himself as the guy who predicted it. While if he is wrong, he gets another column out of it.

I am reminded of Howard Cosell on Monday NIght Football. He would often pick a player on a team and hype him up early in the game – describing what an amazing season he was having or the terrible injury he was having to overcome or how he was the best ever seen – often going against the common wisdom of other reporters. Real hype, not just talk.

I became convinced he did this simply so by the fourth quarter he could either say “See. I predicted before everyone else what a great game he was going to have” if the guy was having a great game, or state “He is really disappointing tonight” if he was having a normal game.

This is a common journalistic trick. By hyping against the common wisdom, you accomplish several things. First lots of people link to the original article. Secondly, a year later you get to write another article either stating a mea culpa or crowing how right you were. And everyone links to that.

So, if you want to get a lot of attention, and essentially get two for one, write an article going against the current wisdom.

I think that is what is going on here. The importance for the writer, then, is not whether he is right or not. It is whether you notice this article and come back later.

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