Have you heard about the new "Google Killer", the Cuil search engine? Well, the main stream media (MSM) sure has.
Ex-Googlers reinvent web search
Ain't It Cuil? New Search Engine Challenges Google
Will Cuil Kill Google?
How cool is Cuill?
Former Employees of Google Prepare Rival Search Engine
Google This--Rival Search Engine Launched Today
So far investors have thrown more than 33 million dollars into Cuil. No doubt too many of their dollars went into slick packaging and the marketing hype, but hype should not be mistaken for "buzz". Buzz is always product driven (think the iPhone), and hype is marketing driven (the Segway, Cuil). Consumers are smart enough to parse out the differences and Cuil is already generating backlash from consumers and the media alike after the hype (like it so often does in cases like this) failed to meet the product on the ground.
So how did this happen? How did so many people get tricked into believing that this new search engine would in any shape or form challence Google? Part of the answer is the media's reliance on corprorate spokepeople for access. If the media wants a juicy quote or information they can't go about pissing off the people who give them that access. This is inherent to the business and is unfortuetnly a neceassary evil. But at some point it seems that healthy skepticism (epsecially when non-tech writers write about new tech) mostly has gone out the window.
In this case all the media needed to know was that two ex-Google employees with big money behind them had created a search engine to challenge Google -- facts (i.e. that it sucks) were not part of the narrative. Or they were part of the narrative, but an inconvenient one.
The lesson of course of that skeptiscm remain at the forefront of good journalism, just as it's at the foreront of smart consuming.