There are lots of honest ways to attract visitors and to increase pageviews for tech blogs (or for any type of news site really): Break some news, offer some colorful commentary to an event, cover a story from an alternative point of view, publish an interesting study and more.
However, what I REALLY HATE is that when some tech blog is diverting from the decent ways of obtaining traffic and slides into the manipulatively twisted tactics of fishing those precious visits. What makes the internet so great can sometimes also backfire as the ability to post anything is being used wrongfully.
Few examples for this kind of distorted misuse by popular web publications came right after the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook. The deal obviously attracted huge amount of attention and some blogs thought it would be a good idea to post some BS stories about how Instagram users are jumping ship by the masses.
But now, it appears that a highly reputable and tremendously popular tech blog fell into a new deep abyss.
Gizmodo, which is one of the largest tech sites in the world, has posted that it is willing to pay people for sending them photos of Mark Zuckerberg. That is, private photos of Mark Zuckerberg of course, paparazzi-style.
The “logic” behind their decision to offer payment for Zuck’s paparazzi photos is rather simple- Zuckerberg is the founder and the CEO of the biggest global web sharing entity, so it is only “logical” that we will discover more details about him (intrusively or not):
For all his bluster about public sharing, Zuckerberg reveals very little of himself. That needs to change.
I have to admit it saddens me that a site which I really respect and follow continuously deteriorates to such a pathetic method of drawing attention. Is this what we decline into? A desperate unethical (by any respectable news publication standards) effort to increase furthermore the site’s traffic?
Fu*k you Gizmodo. I’m hugely disappointed. It is even arguable that by pulling off such a cheap low-moral stunt for the sake of more sacred pageviews is a betrayal of trust with your most loyal and devoted readers, which expects for only the highest quality reporting and writing. Paparazzi doesn’t align with those expectations.
For the short-run, perhaps the site will benefit from some increase in traffic but for the long-run it could lose a lot of people which would simply look for interesting tech news, colorful interpretations and insightful reviews elsewhere. That is by the way the backbone of Gizmodo’s user-base, NOT the people who are looking for gossip stories.
I hope Gizmodo will withdrawn this poor initiative and would publish some apologies to Mark Zuckerberg and to the site’s audience. If not, Perez definitely needs the competition.
Oh, if you wonder why I haven’t linked to Gizmodo’s post, it is because I don’t want to contribute any search engines’ link juice to this post. It’s already enough that I’m writing about it.