Over 40,000 comments are written by readers on Seeking Alpha articles each month. Many of them are remarkable, offering carefully written insight and analysis, often even better than the articles themselves.
But certain articles -- anything to do with SIRI, AAPL or RIMM, for example -- elicit highly emotional comments. In those cases, the comments often aren't about the stocks, but more about the companies themselves or their products.
What is it about gadgets that is so emotional?
From a column by David Pogue, the outstanding technology columnist for the New York Times:
Some people’s gadgets determine their self-esteem. Being a tech columnist is like being onstage: feedback from readers is instantaneous, impassioned and voluminous.Is he right that some people's gadgets determine their self-esteem, and everybody reads through a lens? What do you think?
For years, I was baffled by the degree of emotion they’d express. (There was this gem from 2006, for example: “In my oppinion you should be fired for wrighting such a biast article in a (somewhat) professional newspaper. Oh and in case you think i work for microsoft or have bad grammar, or something, you should know that im 15!”) Eventually, I came to understand. Today’s gadgets are intensely personal. Your phone or camera or music player makes a statement, reflects your style and character. No wonder some people interpret criticisms of a product as a criticism of their choices. By extension, it’s a critique of them.
Which brings me to my next realization:Everybody reads with a lens. Some of the cultural wars in this country are deep-rooted, eternal and irresolvable. Gun control. Abortion. Justin Bieber.
But feelings run just as strongly in the tech realm. You can’t use the word “Apple,” “Microsoft” or “Google” in a sentence these days without stirring up emotion.
When I reviewed the iPad, I tried something radical: I wrote two separate reviews, of equal length, in the same column. One was negative, one was positive. My point was that you could view this machine very differently depending on your technical background.
But on blogs and in e-mail, anti-Apple readers wrote about the “love letter” I’d written to the iPad; the Apple fanboys got riled up about the way I’d “trashed” it. Incredibly, each side completely ignored the other half of the review.