What makes Weisenthal and Business Insider so good
by Chris Roush
Reuters blogger Felix Salmon writes about Business Insider and its star, Joe Weisenthal, in the wake of a profile about him in the New York Times Magazine, noting that a recent tweet by Weisenthal calling the jobs data a “DISASTER” explains their success.
Salmon writes, “And in that ultra-fast tweet, Joe managed not only to get out the news of what the number was, he also managed to place it in the context of Wall Street expectations, explain that the number fell short of those expectations, convey the importance of the payrolls report, include a link to a live Business Insider story on the report, and do the whole thing with wry humor. Joe’s ‘DISASTER’ was never meant to be taken literally: hyperbole is his stock in trade, he loves it, and his audience loves him for loving it.
“Business Insider is a bit like a much more honest, much funnier version of CNBC: while other media outlets still work within a tradition of self-importantly handing down the news on engraved stone tablets, TBI is much less reverent — about the news, about itself, about anything really. At its heart, the part of TBI that Joe runs is basically color commentary on the markets — sometimes fast, sometimes clever, sometimes stupid, sometimes profane. It doesn’t matter, so long as it isn’t boring.
“If you care about the markets, this kind of coverage is exactly what you want. Dry reports saying that this went up and that went down are a waste of time: if you wanted to just know what was up and what was down, you could simply look at the numbers yourself much more easily. And quotes from analysts and strategists aren’t much better: their main interest is in looking considered and intelligent, which means that they self-censor and tend to produce boring banalities. TBI, by having no equity in being right, gets to enjoy itself, and reflect the manic energy of a trading floor and the kind of attention span those traders have.”
Read more here.