Yesterday I got a friendly little email from the Wall St. Journal asking me to take a survey about how I read and use news. I thought I’d give it a go and I did. Low and behold the question in the picture accompanying this post popped up, and the range of choices offered also popped up in several other questions as well. Go ahead, take a look at the picture and see if you think this is a bit screwy as I did.
OK, you’re back. Here’s the thing. The Wall St. Journal is a part of media baron Rupert Murdoch’s empire. Mr. Murdoch is famous (infamous) for railing against the Internet for stealing his content and chopping off profits from his bottom line. I’ve never understood his being upset completely, because if you follow a link from Google or any site, you’re basically going to the WSJ page to read the content anyway. The way I see it, Murdoch and his minions have to take some responsibility for not figuring out how to monetize that traffic.
But then this survey pops up, and I guess it shows just how clueless the Murdoch empire is. I mean, let’s get real here. A mobile device is not a source. It’s a tool to get to the source. At least it is in my book. And mobile devices use the online sources (another choice in the answers) to bring you that news. I’m guessing they are trying to make a distinction between mobile devices (handhelds) and other computing platforms, but it strikes me that they could have at least showed some better knowledge here if they really cared about substantive survey results.
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