The mega-news on Google Chrome has been an excellent opportunity to judge the quality of IT blogs and portals, as everybody had to be quick and provide multiple comments and posts. Not surprisingly, their inherent character showed through pretty well.
I looked at the following: Techcrunch, Engadget, Gizmodo, Ars Technica, Wall Street Journal Online, CNet, The Register, GigaOm, New York Times Technology, Heise Online, and a Swiss news portal. Here are the results.
Michael Arrington reacted with annoyance when he got the news and realized that it was not he but Wired Magazine that had been invited by Google to attend an internal meeting 2 weeks ago and so could break the news of Google’s new browser. His very short first blog post showed that plainly, and in his usual quick and not too deep judgment he questioned if anyone would still be talking about it in a few weeks. Of course follow-on posts then sounded different, going from neutral to supportive at the end. A 180 degree change within a few hours.
Browsers are not our thing at Engadget was the news full 2 days after Google’s announcement. I guess their search and alert engines simply did not show them any news, which is quite funny. Or they were sleeping in a full day after hacking one post after the other in advance of the Labor Day weekend and then they were all out on vacation when the news was striking.
No faster than Engadget, but at least Gizmodo came up with something of more value, showing screenshots of Chrome’s About:Pages. Only funny thing was: it was a link to Lifehacker.com, so not even their own post.
Wall Street Journal Online
Walter Mossberg was relatively quick but obviously similarly annoyed at not having been the chosen news breaker, same as Michael Arrington. So he quickly did a “comprehensive” benchmark test that sounded to me like it had been sponsored by Microsoft and did not make too much sense. My own immediate experience was that Chrome was faster for most websites than Mozilla and IE is not worth even testing as it really sucks in speed tests.
A much better test was done by CNet which confirmed my own experience with it. Job well done it seems, unlike Walter M. from the WSJ! Latest: later reports show though that CNet was also too optimistic. They simply took benchmark tests from Google that were optimized for Chrome.
When it comes to speed, competence and fun writing with some nice British humor, then hardly anything beats The Register. Once again, they had by far the best background coverage I found, including an interview with Opera’s CEO who is – surprisingly – quite relaxed on this. Take a look at these posts from them: Post 1, Post 2, Post 3.
At GigaOm they had an obviously competent guy (also good at bragging about his glorious past) analyzing the impact of Google’s news. He did a good job overall, even if it took him half an hour or so to actually write about the topic under discussion.
New York Times Technology
They did an OK job in quoting people and also had Mozilla folks’ comment. Overall they were very fast but created a soulless news story that lacked the spirit and investigation that others did. Just interviewing other people does not cost much, and is fast to do, plus adds real competency if you don’t have it yourself…
The German online news portal sounded like The New York Times to me. Instead of providing their own in depth analysis, they simply quoted a few people and otherwise did a boring job, too. Quite a shame as they would have the competency to do much more. At least the many often hilariously unqualified comments were fun to read as usual…
Swiss news portal
They showed a bank robber with a sock over his head with the title: “Google Browser entpuppt sich als Datenspion” (Google browser unveiled as a data spy). A little bit better than this boring video news.
Now if you have been reading all the way down here then you deserve to hear about the real reason why Google built Chrome. Once more Cringely seems to get it.