Fudge Sunday - Hype Or Loop?

by Jay Cuthrell
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Start the week more informedThis week we take a look at hype and the loop of technology journalism.

Getting Informed

Let’s start with a perspective from 10 years ago. The year was 2012.

The Loop of Technology Journalism circa 2012The Loop of Technology Journalism circa 2012

2012 was a big year for technology companies. Specifically, 2012 was a year of legal disputes, interoperability loss, M&A activity, IPO activities, and FAANG was born.

At the same time, coverage of technology companies was changing into an endless loop of hot takes and narrowing sources. Technology journalism had become a seemingly endless loop of horse race metaphors, hyperbole, and all while avoiding external links to sources in pursuit of capturing more eyeballs.

For example, the loop somehow lost interest in streaming the Perseverance Rover’s Descent and Touchdown on Mars. Instead, the coverage lended itself to curious references to product placement for Amazon, Apple, and cord-cutting services like Ustream.

In terms of meta coverage, the sources that were prolific in 2012 is worth noting from Techmeme leaderboard (2012).

  1. TechCrunch
  2. The Next Web
  3. The Verge
  4. AllThingsD
  5. Reuters
  6. Wall Street Journal
  7. Engadget
  8. Bloomberg
  9. GigaOM
  10. CNET



Now, cut to the present day. What has changed?

Readers of technology journalism have access to a growing number of resources and influences that represent new perspectives. For starters, there is a greater appreciation by the readers of technology journalism for original sources, data driven journalism, and native advertising.

This reflects on the current Techmeme leaderboard as well.

  1. The Verge
  2. Bloomberg
  3. New York Times
  4. Wall Street Journal
  5. Washington Post
  6. Reuters
  7. TechCrunch
  8. CNBC
  9. Financial Times
  10. VICE

So how are we doing with respect to the hype of 2012?

Gartner’s Emerging Technologies Hype CycleGartner’s Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle

Since the late 1990s, Gartner has produced a hype cycle. For 2012, Gartner called plateaus of productivity for several blue dots and gold triangles to represent 5-10 years and +10 years respectively.

5-10 years 🔵

  1. Consumer Telematics 🔵
  2. Virtual Worlds 🔵
  3. Home Health Monitoring 🔵
  4. Human Augmentation🔵
  5. Quantum Computing 🔵
  6. M2M Communication Services 🔵
  7. Audio Mining / Speech Analysis 🔵
  8. Internet TV 🔵
  9. NFC Payment 🔵
  10. Augmented Reality 🔵
  11. Application Stores 🔵
  12. Complex Event Processing 🔵
  13. 3D Printing 🔵
  14. Hybrid Cloud Computing 🔵
  15. HTML5 🔵
  16. Gamification 🔵
  17. Crowdsourcing 🔵
  18. Speech to Speech Translation 🔵
  19. Natural Language Question Answer 🔵
  20. Autonomous Vehicles 🔵
  21. 3D Scanners 🔵
  22. Automatic Content Recognition 🔵

+10 years ⚠️

  1. Mesh Networks: Sensor ⚠️
  2. Internet of Things ⚠️
  3. Mobile Robots ⚠️
  4. Volumetric and Holographic Displays ⚠️
  5. 3D Bioprinting ⚠️
  6. Quantum Computing ⚠️
  7. Human Augmentation ⚠️



Now, cut to the present day. What has changed?

Two things.

  1. Gartner Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies is more conservative.
  2. Newsletters. Newsletters. Newsletters.

Emphasis is shifting..Emphasis is shifting…

There is a whole lot of nothing on the right side to represent disillusioned, enlightened, and productive. Tune in again over the next ~10 years perhaps? 🤔



Newsletters are growing...Newsletters are growing…

Johannes Klingebiel is creating a zine.

Fascinating stuff! I’ve already subscribed.



The process is also being documented along the way. Here’s a sneak peak:

You had me at a qualitative approach to hype..You had me at a qualitative approach to hype…

Be sure to follow along as Johannes Klingebiel documents the journey.




I am linking to my disclosure.


✍️ 🤓 Edit on Github 🐙 ✍️

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