Matt Rosoff responding to my post about his post on Business Insider.
Spoiler alert: at one point he compares Business Insider slideshows to New Yorker photo essays.
I’m not trying to pick on Rosoff. I actually think he’s very good. I’m just not sure how you can argue that a slideshow was a good format for that story — or really any story on Business Insider.
I suppose you can make an argument for using a slideshow when pictures are the key element of a story, but that wasn’t the case here. Also, if I’m going to view a slideshow emphasizing pictures, I want to see big beautiful pictures. Most of BI’s slideshows look like shit.
Anyway, I obviously get why you’d want to do slideshows from a business perspective. As Marco Arment writes:
Unscrupulous or desperate web publishers will always invent new ways to inflate pageviews and defraud advertisers into paying for more reader attention than they’re actually getting.
And it will always work.
I just wouldn’t stand for such nonsense ruining an otherwise compelling story that I had written. I’m not convinced that Rosoff isn’t suffering from Stockholm Syndrome here.
Matt Rosoff’s thoughts on Google becoming more like Microsoft should have been a provocative and effective article. Instead it’s a slideshow. Why? I have no clue.
Well okay, pageviews, clearly. But it’s still weird to see this type of story formatted this way.
Business Insider has taken a lot of shit over the past year or so for pageview pumping by way of slideshows (AND CAPS-LOCK HEADLINES). Whatever, that’s their decision and it seems to be working out for them. All I know is that as an author, I would hate this.
Rosoff’s name is on the landing page and nowhere else. As a result, it doesn’t feel like an article he crafted. At best, it feels like a collage he made. I can’t believe any writer would appreciate this.
3 slides (of 12) in, I have no clue who wrote this. And the whole thing lacks the flow of great writing. It’s a bunch of mini-blurbs instead of one cohesive article making a strong case.
Both the reader and the writer lose as a result of this nonsense. But Business Insider wins, I suppose.