Just kidding. Sorry. I couldn’t help myself. Nobody, including Apple, knows iPhone Fold’s release date or specifications. That does not stop websites from publishing “Release Date and Specifications” headlines ad nauseam.
Rumors are what they are. Click bait to get unsuspecting readers to, well, click on a headline that absolutely positively will not deliver what you expected it should deliver. How did I figure that out? I read a lot of web. Oh, and RSS.
Data Powered RSS
Most of us browse through a dozen or dozens of websites every day or so. Maybe we use selected bookmarks to make to browse process more efficient. Perhaps, especially so for iPhone and iPad users, we stick to applications, or even Apple’s much ballyhooed News app. All are well and good but here’s a better way to identify specific trends among technology and news websites, first identified by Mac360’s Kate MacKenzie in “What I Found By Using An RSS Reader.”
What did Kate find (that you will find, too)?
Regurgitation to the nth degree. Same old, same old, and on different websites, one after the other… same news and rumors are passed off on each website so what you read on one will show up on two, three, six or seven other websites. What you read on 9to5Mac often shows up on Cult of Mac which can be found on Apple Insider, Macworld, TechCrunch, Computerworld, PCMag and PCWorld, Mashable and many others.
Indeed. That’s where I saw the growing trend toward Release Date and Specifications articles on products that do not have a release date or public specifications.
- Macworld – New MacBook 2019 release date, price, features & specs
- The Inquirer – iPhone 11 release date, specs and price
- Trusted Reviews – iPhone 11: Price, release date, specs
- iMore – iPhone 11: Release date, specs, price, and features!
- Inverse – iPhone 5G: Release Date, Price, and Specs
- Macworld – New iPhone 2019 release date, price & specs
Not one of those articles has any inside information on new iPhones or Macs or iPads; their release dates or their specifications, yet that is exactly what you would expect to read after clicking on the click bait headline, right?
Such trends are easy to spot when you use an RSS reader. Kate explains “What Else I Learned From Using An RSS Reader.”
The examples of such regurgitated shenanigans for the sake of profits are everywhere and when you bring dozens or a few hundred websites into your visual purview (with an RSS reader you control what arrives in headline and summary form) it becomes instantly visual, visible, and a bit disconcerting.
You see an obvious trend toward such shenanigans that you did not see before because so many websites have their headlines and summaries stacked one on top of another.
Most of those websites are little more than product shills for various online stores. It’s called affiliate marketing; a growing trend for many websites who cannot make money the old fashioned way (advertising).
Put another way, all those headlines which scream out deals on various products– Mashable, BGR, and many, many other brand name websites are guilty– are little more than ads disguised as an interesting article.
If you click and then buy, the website gets a cut. The so-called article is there to bring revenue to the website.
Think about it.
The danger in such obvious shilling should be obvious. Journalist integrity and objectivity take a back seat to revenue opportunities when websites sell products in what appears to be a review or newsworthy article. An RSS reader displays a lengthy list of websites you subscribe to, and when they all do the same sort of regurgitation and shilling, it becomes obvious that money rules.
We live on earth and most of earth is made up of capitalism and in capitalism everyone is out to get your money. How they get there may vary, of course, and we see it in headlines that lie, but the objective is the same.