Facebook phone: how to kill journalism in 10 easy steps

A Facebook phone? Yawn. Cringely checks out the real action: the lifecycle of an Internet rumor and its repercussions

By Robert X. Cringely, InfoWorld |  Personal Tech, Facebook, facebook phone

8. Facebook's denial is further proof that it is making a phone. Now we're back to TechCrunch again, defending its original story. If the author is Arrington (and it is), the response will include name calling and personal attacks on Facebook's PR team.

To be fair to TechCrunch, this cycle played itself out in much the same way around a "Google phone" last winter. And sure enough, the Nexus One appeared shortly thereafter -- though it didn't quite turn out to be the earth-shattering event those blogs predicted. It's possible that will happen here as well.

9. Facebook vs. the blogosphere. Here's the classic he said/she said spitting match between the blogs and the alleged phone maker, which is good for yet another round of posts. Because if Facebook were indeed making a phone, of course they would deny it. And if they weren't making a phone, they'd also deny it. So when your odds are 50/50, you might as well go with the juicier story. Right?

10. What should a Facebook phone look like? These bloggers get to ignore the whole question of whether this story is true and dive straight into fantasy, which is always fun because it requires much less research. You pretty much empty your brain into WordPress until you hit the magic 400-word minimum Google News requires and click "Publish." This is blogging at its finest.

And I guess I should add an 11th: Analysis of the whole rumor cycle, which so far includes this blog post.

We're now living in the golden age of meta journalism, with this post qualifying as meta-meta journalism. (Hey, I never meta journalist I didn't like. Ba-dum-bump. Thank you, thank you very much. Please tip your waitresses.) But remember, you read it here first. Unless you didn't.

If Facebook were building its own phone (not that I'm saying it is), would you buy one? Email me: cringe@infoworld.com.


Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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