Apple is predictable (and so are journalists)

A starkly self-aware piece from Mic Wright on The Next Web, describing the collective shitfits the press embroil themselves in when there's a taste of Apple news.

Wright writes:

Apple has… put out an invite! Smash the glass on the emergency alarm. Call out the national guard. Fire up the hot take machine. Or… get a grip.

We’ve got to stop playing this game. Journalists have been tripping over themselves for far too long when it comes to the latest sniff of a new thing from Apple.

I don't disagree with him. The media swarm is as predictable as Apple itself (between which Wright rightly draws parallels). However, there's a lot of stuff going on in this piece for something he gets to the bottom of all the way up in the third paragraph:

Of course, the reason is traffic. Apple means traffic. I’m writing this because it annoys me, but realistically, a post about Apple will also mean tasty traffic. That’s cool water to the dehydrated thirsty masses of the press corps.

Bingo. Apple is a hot topic. It's easy for tech sites to write about because they can put as little effort as they want into some piece of unimaginative fluff, slap "Apple" somewhere on the headline, and watch the clicks come in. Their impressions are up, the advertisers are happy, and as long as they keep churning out the crap, the bills get paid. The state of online journalism right now all but necessitates this endless cycle of love/hate Apple tug-of-war.

Wright's right when he writes that this all remains largely the same, and this plight is a mighty fight. No delight in sight. Apple is still at its height and money's tight, so publishers are drawn to the light that brightens the site. And let's be clear, he knows he's no white knight, as you saw me cite. In spite of this frightful blight, Wright can't quite smite the trite, not even with a slight sleight, a quick bite at the site where he writes.

As long as people are interested in Apple, and as long as publishers suckle at the CPM teat, we're in for a treat each time the company does anything. The absurdity is in plain sight.

To me, Wright's piece says far less about Apple than it does about online publishing.