My Love Affair with The Verge is Over
I've been here since day one. Originally, I started following technology on Engadget, reading up on all the latest tidbits. And I loved it. But what I loved most was the fairness and personalities that Josh, Nilay, and Joanna brought to the table. If I wanted an unbiased, straightforward review, I went to them. As soon as This is My Next started, I was dying for the official site to launch. I was expecting it to be huge. And it was. The Verge took the web by storm; they had pulled many worthy writers and congregated them into one site. Needless to say, the launch was a success by all means.
And so, I started reading The Verge every day. Every hour of the day, in fact. But as my expertise with technology increased, I was looking for more out of the site. I wanted to know RAM speeds, nand speeds, camera boot up time, and the like. But I understood that The Verge caters to the mainstream, so I wasn't disappointed that they didn't cover these intricate details. For those details, I went to Anandtech (and still do), to Bare Feats, to Tom's Hardware. But that's not my problem with The Verge, it came later. My love affair ended when Josh became biased, and by effect, The Verge became partisan (after all, he is the main man in charge).
I wish I could pinpoint it more accurately, but it came around the time the Galaxy Nexus became Josh's "daily driver." At first, it wasn't too bad. iOS as a platform is not for everybody. It has a mountain of downsides; especially if you're a power user. So when Josh embraced Android, I understood. In fact, I admired the fact that he left a platform for one that suited him better. Android is unparalleled if you use the Google ecosystem, which he does, and the customizability is endless. No, him switching to Android wasn't the problem.
The problem was that he started defending it, and actually starting to sound like a, and I hate to use the word - fanboy. Now, I know what you're going to say. The Verge still gives the iPhone higher overall scores than Android phones. But that's just a number. I'm talking about the actual reviews, the podcasts, the overall underlying tones, the subtleties. By becoming a full-time Android user, Josh forgot what people use the iPhone for. Yeah it's simple. Yeah, the hardware engineering is magnificent. But the applications, and going even deeper, the development of applications, designs, gestures, and other user interface features are all simpler to actually code on iOS. iPhone applications aren't better because they are iPhone applications. They SDK and visual cues are much more powerful than Android (Jellybean included) has to offer. And it's much easier too.
What Josh started doing was trying to defend Android against iSheep and other Apple fanatics. But as did so, his arguments went from valid and sound to becoming the Gizmodo of Android. He became jaded. The Galaxy Nexus became his daily driver, so he found a need to defend it from the Apple fanboys. He let psychology get in the way of product reviews - and it shows.
Now, Josh just acts like an elitist just like Gruber and Marco. The feud was Daring Fireball and Marco was entertaining for us, but it was sad to see the tech world pick sides like that. Both parties were at fault there. Obviously Gruber and his Apple bandwagon thinks that Apple is king, but why did Josh need to take the other end of that spectrum? That's not quality journalism. And the recent podcast with Dan Benjamin? Nonstop "jokes" that were all funny, but the underlying tension could be felt by anyone. In the retarded spectrum of fanboyism, Josh and The Verge are no longer in the center. They are on the Android side.
I wish The Verge was more like Anandtech, and specifically, Anand Shimpi. Anand provides just the facts, the numbers, without allowing his favoritism to show. We're all fanboys, whether it be Democratic, Republic, iPhone, Android, WIndows Phone, or something else. But a site that reviews the whole technology spectrum cannot allow that partisanship to peek through.
Deep down I hope The Verge will change. But knowing enough about psychology and human nature, I know it probably won't. I'll still read the reviews, listen to the podcasts, follow the writers on twitter, but I'll never have the same respect for the site again.