Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Speaking of Business Insider and Respect

When I linked to Matt Gemmell’s excellent “Respect Metrics” piece yesterday, I said:

Whenever I go to a site that is nothing more than endless rewrites of other people’s posts wrapped in teaser headlines and served alongside endless ads, related content, modal lightboxes, “toasters”, and a hundred different sharing options — I’m looking in your direction, Business Insider and the Verge — I internally question whether the site is actually proud of its authors’ writing.

I’m not sure this was fair to Business Insider. Why would I suggest they limit their contempt of writers to those on their payroll?

Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke, of the Observer:

“Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future” by Bloomberg BusinessWeek technology reporter Ashlee Vance, which came out last month, became the source for many BI stories about the eccentric tech billionaire. Although the practice of pulling juicy material from a book or longer article and making a story out of it isn’t unique to BI, the number of stories that originated in Mr. Vance’s book was notable.

“Everyone will do a post or two, but BI takes it to the next level,” Mr. Vance told the Observer. “They were serializing the book in lots of little posts.”

As Bloomgarden-Smoke reports, Vance asked Business Insider to stop a couple of times, and then they began redirecting posts based on the book to Amazon. Except it’s far from altruistic, because this story

http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-quotes-success-book-2015-5

redirects to

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0062301233/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0062301233&linkCode=as2&tag=thebusiinsi-20&linkId=FESV2NZEEZ4INJDH`.

Among all the crap in that URL, I’d like to direct your attention to this: tag=thebusiinsi-20. Not only did they pull stories en masse from Vance’s book, they are now redirecting those links to an Amazon referral page. Slimy, even by Business Insider’s low, low standards.