Wednesday, May 10, 2006

So what's that 'better boom'?

This is how I got pulled back to Battelle's shitty world:

It's November of last year. I'm at a coffee place on the East Coast, reading the New York Times and eating some sugar-filled cake with my coffee.

I'm bored with the news, so I flip to the end of the front section. They call it the "op-ed" section because .... I don't remember. Opinions and Editorials?

Anyway, there's Battelle. We hardly knew ye.

He writes this thing for the New York Times about how, after all, the tech companies were right all along, about everything. Oh, also, he learned about a new world called "blogging."

John Battelle had found yet another thing he didn't understand. But with his rolodex and other people's money, he might just be able to wreck this business, too.

I e-mailed the op-ed to ___________, who still lives in Los Gatos in a house that's now worth approximately a billion dollars, and he called me back immediately.

"He has absolutely no shame," ___________ said. "You realize the Times is part-owner of his new business, right?"

Incredible. I e-mailed about a half-dozen editors at the newspaper, including somebody known as the "reader's advocate" or something. Nobody replied. I repeated the process, and even tried to get this "reader's advocate" on the phone. No luck.

And to this day nobody ever replied. My letter didn't appear in the letters section.

Later, eventually, and without ever acknowledging my complaint, the New York Times appended that column by Battelle:

Editors' Note: Nov. 29, 2005, Tuesday:

An Op-Ed article on Nov. 18 about the future of Internet companies should have included additional information about the author, John Battelle. The New York Times Company has made an investment of no more than 5 percent in Mr. Battelle's company, Federated Media Publishing.

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