May 23, 2016 Last Updated 1:54 pm

TechCrunch, do us a favor, don’t write about digital publishing

The AOL-owned website manages to blow up a story about the close of Waterstone’s online bookstore, and the outsourcing of services to Kobo, into a big move against Amazon, the largest online retailer in the US

A rather minor thing in the book retailing business happened today: the UK bookseller Waterstones has closed down its eBookstore and will now allow its customers to access its eBooks using the Kobo eBooks service.

Of course, that is not how TechCrunch, the AOL tech website that is to technology news what Kohl’s is to high fashion retailing. To TechCrunch, the closing of a UK retailer’s online store was Kobo’s “bid against Amazon.”

Yes, closing the Waterstones online bookstore is the Amazon-killing move that has Jeff Bezos awake at night. Just as Sports Authority closing all its retail stores will have Dicks Sporting Goods shaking in their boots.

Kobo is so sure that it has the secret sauce that will kill off Amazon that it released this press release, not to the public, but to a few journalists:

“We are pleased to be working with Waterstones, where we can help a great print retailer by supporting their customers who also love to read digitally. We look forward to ensuring that customers who have built e-book libraries with Waterstones will be able to enjoy them in the future with Kobo,” CEO Michael Tamblyn said.

Wot, you don’t see where Kobo is saying that it is about to throw Jeff Bezos into the poor house and takeover the eBook market? You know, I don’t see it either. But I am sure that some editor whose job it is to get XZ number of clicks per day, or else lose their job, knows that coming up with a snappy headline containing the word ‘Amazon’ or ‘Apple’ has a better chance to get read than one that simply said “Waterstones kills off eBookstore.”

Then again, TechCrunch also ran the scintillating story PornHub launches BangFit so you can bang to get fit today. TechCrunch, dumbing down America, one story at a time.

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