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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:32 AM   #51
celavato
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[QUOTE=springsup;17364449]This has definitely reduced my opinion of John Gruber.... Gruber just got more promotion than any of us could ever get; and he did it by sullying his name for a not-particularly-innovative App./QUOTE]

It seems like you're experiencing sour grapes. Gruber is an opinion columnist. He built a large following over a decade or more. Now you begrudge him for leveraging his fame? It's no different than an athlete creating a line of sneakers. To the extent that true neutral journalism ever existed (which I doubt), that golden era ended last century. But even if such journalism exists, Gruber never claimed membership. His site contains no rules by which he abides. He doesn't work for a large media company or belong to any unions (to my knowledge). For all we know, he owns Apple stock. In no way has he he behaved unethically. You're free to not read his opinions or buy his app after all.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:51 AM   #52
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Unless Gruber pays this site, it is amazing how much coverage he gets here. Big deal - another note taking app (with limited functionality). Replace Gruber's name with Joe Smith and nobody cares. Frankly I am surprised this didn't make the front page of this site.

Gruber can do what he wants. He has his platform and his followers. I don't consider him a journalist either. I consider him an Apple mouthpiece. If he want to sell crap apps to his loyal followers, more power to him. I just don't understand why anyone falls for it or why anyone cares.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 10:15 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by springsup View Post
As for the magnitude of the conflict, he could not have a bigger conflict of interest if he was Elon Musk writing the motoring column. Is he failing to report on great apps because it might threaten his personal gain? Can he even objectively judge what a great app is anymore, or are they now held to some greater standard because he wants to protect his personal profit?
I get your point better now, but I still think you are too harsh. If Musk were to write a regular column for a magazine, I would still read it because it would be entertaining to read his perspective. He is famous enough that his conflict of interest is very visible.

For other run of the mill journalists who might be working for NYT the standard changes, unfortunately. I cannot possibly keep track of the possible conflicts of interests of hundred or thousands who write for NYT, so I'd like them to have none and NYT to pay them enough to buy that loyalty. Either that or disclose each and every possible conflict at the top of each article. Daring Fireball or marco.org or Asymco are sites with only one writer and I go there to get the opinions of designers or indie developers or whomever, aware that they primarily earn their money through means other than blogging. This might make their opinions biased, but it also makes them have a unique perspective.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 11:32 AM   #54
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I get your point better now, but I still think you are too harsh. If Musk were to write a regular column for a magazine, I would still read it because it would be entertaining to read his perspective. He is famous enough that his conflict of interest is very visible.

For other run of the mill journalists who might be working for NYT the standard changes, unfortunately. I cannot possibly keep track of the possible conflicts of interests of hundred or thousands who write for NYT, so I'd like them to have none and NYT to pay them enough to buy that loyalty. Either that or disclose each and every possible conflict at the top of each article. Daring Fireball or marco.org or Asymco are sites with only one writer and I go there to get the opinions of designers or indie developers or whomever, aware that they primarily earn their money through means other than blogging. This might make their opinions biased, but it also makes them have a unique perspective.
The difference would be if Musk was writing a column that reviewed potentially competitive products. If he was writing a column about his business, that's fair enough (although he'd have to make it very explicit). No news organisation would allow him to write a more general column on motoring or the environment, where he was potentially covering competitive products. It would have no credibility.

Does Gruber not make his primary income from blogging? His RSS feed sponsorship rates alone are $8,500 per month ($442,000 per year). That's on top of advertising income (a single, exclusive ad on a site with 4-5 million pageviews/month according to him), membership income ($19/year, no word on how many members), and T-shirt sales. There are certainly no sour grapes there; I don't think the amount you earn has any bearing on the standard of professionalism you are expected to adhere to. That said, he earns more than any journalist working for the NYT, so I don't understand why you'd hold him to a lower standard because of it. If I were a paying member, I'd also be demanding a refund. Paying readers presume independence.

Gruber doesn't work for any organisation so he doesn't have a boss to keep him in check or a formal ethics policy that he has to subscribe to; I'm not saying he's broken any laws by doing this. I'm saying that there are standards of professionalism which are expected in this industry and which have also been breached.

I know professional journalists who have forgone very lucrative deals (consulting contracts and the like) to protect their independence. It's disrespectful to the profession for somebody like Gruber to be earning millions of dollars from this App, especially because it's his name that's clearly driving the promotion, while he pertains to be a journalist and tries to call others out for failing to adhere to professionalism standards. Read interviews with him and he clearly likes to think of himself as a journalist; I don't think it's right that you get to romantically act like one but then shirk one of the biggest responsibilities that comes with the territory.

That's all I'm going to say on the subject. I'm not going to be reading DF any more. I know the loss of me as an individual isn't going to have any financial consequence to him, but I think the loss of trust in general is going to hurt. This is a big opening for somebody else to step in.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 11:47 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by slu View Post
Unless Gruber pays this site, it is amazing how much coverage he gets here. Big deal - another note taking app (with limited functionality). Replace Gruber's name with Joe Smith and nobody cares. Frankly I am surprised this didn't make the front page of this site.

Gruber can do what he wants. He has his platform and his followers. I don't consider him a journalist either. I consider him an Apple mouthpiece. If he want to sell crap apps to his loyal followers, more power to him. I just don't understand why anyone falls for it or why anyone cares.
Awful amount of words in this thread for someone who doesn't care, don't you think?
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 12:09 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by slu View Post
Unless Gruber pays this site, it is amazing how much coverage he gets here. Big deal - another note taking app (with limited functionality). Replace Gruber's name with Joe Smith and nobody cares. Frankly I am surprised this didn't make the front page of this site.
That is the exactly the point though. Gruber is a personality that has a large following (4-5 million page views/month). Having used Vesper for better part of yesterday, the app isn't perfect (missing sync and export, strange font choice, cannot rename tags), but it is very deliberately designed.

I suspect if the app was priced more according to current feature set, it probably won't have as many critics. But as 1.0 product, it is very polished. But knowing Gruber and Brent Simmons (I am not familiar with Dave Wiskus), I am quite certain the app will evolve.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 12:31 PM   #57
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I received a Tweet reply from Gruber regarding the features we all want, they will come in time and when they are ready to release them they will, in case nobody noticed they released the App just ahead of WWDC, it takes advantage of that conference, waiting until all the other features were ready would surely have delayed it's release.

And whats wrong with him making an App in conjunction with two others, he gave us all markdown for free.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 01:30 PM   #58
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Whatever.

This is America, which is for now, a liberal democracy (note to the unintelligent: don't read that as being Democrat). The idea people successful in any industry shouldn't trade on that in other forms is asinine. If Gruber isn't out there claiming the value of the app is based on his merit as a blogger, then why is he being vilified for it?

I like reading Daring Fireball. I think Gruber writes well. I own two DF t-shirts.

My response to Vesper is simple: who cares?

Why does the world need another note-taking app, and for $4.99 at that?

100% uninteresting.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 01:47 PM   #59
gatearray
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Vesper: The Top Note-Taking App of 2009

Seriously? No universal support, no sync of any kind, and no way to export your data from the app aside from emailing it to yourself?!?

This would be a great app in 2009, but it's 2013 and I won't pay 99 cents let alone $5 for a redundant lazy effort like this, particularly with all the self-serving conflicts of interest inherent in the whole venture. If the iOS Notes app supported images like the Mac version does, why the hell would I ever need a device-dependent app like this? Maybe it'll be one of the new features in iOS 7...

__________

With all that said, I think the worst part is that he chose to use a photo of his own child in the app description pictures. Give me a break, man...
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 04:20 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by springsup View Post
The difference would be if Musk was writing a column that reviewed potentially competitive products. [...] It would have no credibility.
Somebody who is not familiar with a topic does not become automatically more credible, just because he is examining from the outside. Unfortunately, if you are familiar with a topic biases and conflicts become inevitable. Better to disclose them and let in many such writers than limit it to those whose knowledge, sources and biases are unknown...

I would still want to know about Musk's take on BMW-e or Mercedes B-class electric vehicles. As people know who he is and what his financial stakes are, it would not be a conflict of interest. Even if you take his words with a grain of salt, he would still have a lot of credibility. I'd rather hear from him than somebody who has never started a company or never had to trade off car features against time, space & cost or never tried to take a car design into manufacturing or never had to deal with battery issues.

Could he lie to hide something? Sure. On the other hand, an outsider without any bias and therefore not intimately familiar with a topic can easily be manipulated by the insiders into printing misleading or incorrect information. For example, take Isaacson and his Jobs biography. He wrote fairly incorrect claims about the relationship between OSX and Jobs' old company NEXT. Well, either the source he trusted did not give him the full picture or he misunderstood. The articles do not have to be about technology, either. You can follow qz.com, with high quality articles about mostly economic and social topics. The same set of journalists sometimes end up misleading their readers, such as when I saw two stories regarding legal issues surrounding visas for foreign technical employees. What they wrote might have been technically correct at a superficial level, but completely incorrect in practical terms. Most likely, they are being manipulated by those they trusted as sources.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 06:14 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by CristobalHuet View Post
Awful amount of words in this thread for someone who doesn't care, don't you think?
Not at all. I am trying to figure out the appeal. I went to his site because of the posts in this thread about $5 being cheap for an app and now I am convinced he is certainly not a journalist. Every recent post was basically just a quote from someone else with one line of commentary or description. And anything he does actually write is just the Apple company line. So no real conflict of interest to me. If he can make money off his fans, it is no different than a band selling their fans a t-shirt. I just don't get why he has any fans. It is possible to not care about the app, but be interested by the situation and discussion.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 07:56 PM   #62
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flat design falls flat

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... without any clear indicators as to what is clickable and what is not. I honestly hope there is more to the iOS redesign than this, otherwise it is purely a step backwards in terms of usability.
Totally agree. With flat design as embraced by this app, you have to run a background process in your brain, to scan the screen and spot items that may potentially be interactive. Often you are wrong. Some things you thought might be interactive turn out to be not, and other things that are in fact interactive you miss. The only way to be sure is to try to interact with it and see what happens. Major fail. It should be blatantly obvious what is amenable to interaction and what is not.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 08:54 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by mw360 View Post
One of the points of cloud computing is that it can be your back-up. Your data is supposed to be safer up there on a professional server farm than it is on your own devices.

I've had the same problems with Simplenote (losing an entire and very long document), and since there's no desktop sync (that I recall) there was no local copy to recover.
There are multiple desktop clients for Simplenote. They list ten for the Mac and four for Windows on their own website: http://simplenote.com/downloads/
I don't understand where that 'no desktop sync' notion comes from.
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Old Jun 7, 2013, 09:55 PM   #64
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This is America, which is for now, a liberal democracy
Supposedly a representative republic. For now anyways.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 08:25 AM   #65
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I can see your points. Maybe he isn't a journalist as others have said - which is convenient because when bloggers want to be taken seriously they call themselves journalists.

I just wonder if releasing this app makes him less credible because now John has more of a personal stake in whether Apple succeeds or fails. This feels a little as if he bought a bunch of Apple stock.

It's different when Marco Arment and other developers write and have podcasts. We listen to them specifically due to their experience as Apple developers. I believe we listen to and read John because of his skills at writing, his insider connections at Apple, and his objective insights. Now the latter is at least a little more questionable.
ive followed him for a few years and have never once felt he was objective. i feel his posts are sometimes on the same embarrassing levels as some of the "fanboys" on here when it comes to google. he often ignores whole topics where apple dosent come of well and gives similar stories regarding apple and google quite different treatment.

hes a smart guy with good connections which i find wasted when he is nothing but a apple mouthpiece

i think the criticism of the his recent post about app prices and the way this app is being reviewed/reported on is fair.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 08:40 AM   #66
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ive followed him for a few years and have never once felt he was objective. i feel his posts are sometimes on the same embarrassing levels as some of the "fanboys" on here when it comes to google. he often ignores whole topics where apple dosent come of well and gives similar stories regarding apple and google quite different treatment.

hes a smart guy with good connections which i find wasted when he is nothing but a apple mouthpiece

i think the criticism of the his recent post about app prices and the way this app is being reviewed/reported on is fair.
I agree that Gruber is not completely objective. He is more objective than many other Apple pundits though.

He is an excellent writer but is far from humble and occasionally does things that are rather self-serving, like his app price post, that rightly put a lot of people off.

Gruber is an interesting guy. He seems to live in a fantasy world where he is a combination of James Bond and Dean Martin. His last live podcast was in a bar and sounded like he was hanging out with the Rat Pack And the name of his new app? Named after an obscure cocktail. Gruber is just too cool

I listen to multiple podcasts too. I find Jim Dalrymple to be the most overtly pro-Apple biased pundit around. But they are both entertaining. I just take Dalrymple's comments with a larger grain of salt.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 10:36 AM   #67
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I agree that Gruber is not completely objective. He is more objective than many other Apple pundits though.

He is an excellent writer but is far from humble and occasionally does things that are rather self-serving, like his app price post, that rightly put a lot of people off.

Gruber is an interesting guy. He seems to live in a fantasy world where he is a combination of James Bond and Dean Martin. His last live podcast was in a bar and sounded like he was hanging out with the Rat Pack And the name of his new app? Named after an obscure cocktail. Gruber is just too cool

I listen to multiple podcasts too. I find Jim Dalrymple to be the most overtly pro-Apple biased pundit around. But they are both entertaining. I just take Dalrymple's comments with a larger grain of salt.
dont even get me started on dalrymple and his 1 word answers/reporting.

these are writers/reporters/bloggers who through some contacts get some info, try things before its available etc. however they are not steve jobs or someone of that stature which i feel they think are closer to than the average tech buying joe schmo.

as i said in my post i read grubers blog and check it often and find him informative and when he does what he does best there is a lot of info ive gotten from his work so i wish he and his kind would do more of that otherwise they are just as sad as the entourage #87 for the flavor of the month.

Last edited by numlock; Jun 8, 2013 at 03:15 PM.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 11:34 AM   #68
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ive followed him for a few years and have never once felt he was objective. i feel his posts are sometimes on the same embarrassing levels as some of the "fanboys" on here when it comes to google. he often ignores whole topics where apple dosent come of well and gives similar stories regarding apple and google quite different treatment.
I keep an eye on his blog too and I feel the same way as you. He seems to enter into fanboy mode most of the time he covers anything related to Google, which is a shame because he is clearly a very smart guy. Hopefully he doesn't continues this trend or else I'll just stop following like I did with AppleInsider.
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Old Jun 8, 2013, 05:39 PM   #69
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That post about a $5 app not being expensive makes more sense all of a sudden.
Vesper will sell reasonably well, mostly due to the fame of Gruber and the other developers. I would not be at all surprised to see in a few weeks Gruber writing on DF about how '$5 apps can be successful' and using Vesper as evident of this.

Vesper's success as an app will have far more to do with Gruber's personal brand than the quality and features of the app.
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Old Jun 9, 2013, 05:01 AM   #70
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Read any of the reviews I mentioned above (or even MR's own), and you'll notice they have very little to say about the app itself and much more about the people behind it. I've got to say I expected much more from Gruber and I'm shocked he would have the gall to do this.

Gruber was a mac developer at BareBones software, then started a blog that had (and has) lot of success and it became his primary job. Now he is releasing an app for iOS.

This dynamic is called "Talent plus Capitalism Effect" and had nothing to do with journalism ethics or conflict of interests. Are you able to create a blog that has the same following? Do it. You will get the rewards. Are you not? Don't be jealous, it's a really pathetic show.
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Old Jun 11, 2013, 02:27 PM   #71
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There should be an easter egg for this app. Every time you write the word "Pavlovian" or "canonical" something happens, those are probably the two words gruber uses most often.
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