I’ve had several announcements about pet-projects of mine that got to the front page of HackerNews and some technology-related subreddits. And although that doesn’t mean that the projects were promising, game-changing, or investor-attracting, it at least means they are somewhat noteworthy in the technology world.
My pet projects are not a startup, but nevertheless I pitch them to popular tech news sites, for the sake of the experiment. And, well, some could have very well been “startups”, like the social network aggregator tool that I once made.
So I read all the “tips and tricks” for pitching, I kept things concise and to the point, but still giving a good picture of what the product is and how it fits with the competition. With absolutely zero response. At some point several people (including here on HN) pointed out that I should not write to the generic, catch-all firstname.lastname@example.org, but I should target individual authors that seem to be interested in similar topics. And so I did, I started following authors on twitter, quoted relevant articles of theirs in the pitch; with no response whatsoever, again.
1. Why do they have a news@ / tips@ emails, if nobody reads that?
2. Are technology people, and especially startup founders at the mercy of tech journalists, trying to get personal connections to them in order to get something published?
While my projects are not my startups, and I’ve not thrown money at them, I imagine the confusion that a startup may have, when it hits a brick wall when trying to get publicity.
It seems to methat tech journalists (not all of them, of course) are not quite competent, but are also over-confident (just like any other journalist, actually). And they not only report “news” from the technology field (though many of the big tech sites are now tech tabloids; just look at the front page of Mashable), but they are also often judges of whether a startup is good or bad. And I question their competence in doing that, even though they have experience doing it.
Or it may be just that a lot of crap gets poured into their inboxes and sometimes noteworthy entries are missed because of the volume.
On the other hand, does it actually matter? If a piece of technology is really good, it probably won’t need TechCrunch coverage to be successful.
Maybe only the readers suffer from the inability of tech journalists to curate interesting content. But on the other hand – that’s why we have hacker news.