The #amazonfail furore made me angry, but not for the reasons you might expect. I'm angry at the sheer numbers of people who put their energy into mobilising against Amazon. The whole affair showed us just how easily Twitter and blogs can be used to spread a message about a company's unacceptable actions (in Amazon's case, removing LGBT-themed books from their sales rankings) and to generate massive amounts of negative publicity. Perhaps a month after the problem was first spotted, the complaints reached a tipping point; after that, it took just a few days to give Amazon the PR headache of a lifetime.
And I'm furious that it happened this way. Perhaps I should explain why.
Earlier I criticised e-consultancy.com about an article purporting to explain what journalists look for when they come to a website. I'm going to post some constructive advice soon, but first I want to highlight the assumptions behind the article and why they're wrong.
This online guide to what journalists want sent a shiver down my spine.
It reads as if the writer has enrolled in a Victorian object lesson about journalism, but never actually met a real live journalist. It represents the newsgathering process about as well as What Women Want mapped the depths of female consciousness.