54: The opposite of Groot

Vector is a news and analysis show focusing on the biggest stories, hottest trends, and most important issues in technology and popular culture. On this week's show, we talk about Ferguson, Missouri, and the difference in coverage between traditional media and social networks and live streams, the lack of diversity in tech, the tension between expansion and maintenance of corporate culture, and the concerns over native advertising. With Guy English, Georgia Dow, Rene Ritchie, and special guest Serenity Caldwell.

Thing 1: Ferguson

Thing 2: Diversity

Thing 3: Retention

Thing 4: Native advertising

Thing 5: Groot



Question, comment, recommendation, or something you want us to follow up on for the next show?

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

54: The opposite of Groot


I had to stop listening after getting irritated with the many inaccurate statements regarding the incident in Ferguson.

I think you do awesome work Rene and you are frequently at the front of calling out tech journalists jumping to conclusion without the facts. Why are you doing the same thing in Ferguson?

Due process means EVERYONE gets due process. I don't know what happened, neither do you. To jump to conclusions (i.e. video release was calculated when Sunshine Law in Missouri compels it just like the officer's name) and pass off bad information (i.e. the assault and burglary took place a week before the shooting when it was moments before) as true and then jump to conclusions is bad journalism, not your finest work.

We were commenting on the situation as a whole. There will always be factual chaos surrounding any real-time news story, but sometimes events are so massive that the implications surrounding them dwarf the specifics. Additionally, our angle was social and streaming as a relay for news, information, and pranks surrounding news events.

The goal of Vector is to be human. The situation in Ferguson was inhuman regardless of initiating act.

I agree with the initial comment, and I understand what you mean about factual chaos surrounding real-time news, but the podcast did make implications without any supporting facts. The other guy (I'm sorry I can't remember the name right now) said "I'm going to call it murder". Now it's coming out that Michael Brown beat the cop almost unconscious and didn't get shot until he started coming back for round 2. What happened was a tragedy, but we have got to stop jumping to conclusions and declaring who was wrong in the court of public opinion before the facts are known. The people who have done this bare a fault in all the damage done from the rioting that has occurred in Furguson. We have also got to quit jumping immediately to the "racist" explaining. To say that a black kid getting shot by a white cop automatically implies racism as a motivator is, in and of itself, racist.

At the end of the day, it's your show, and you can say and do what you like. I'm an Android guy, but I'm also a developer and tech junkie, so I regularly read iMore just to keep up on events, and I have always defended you as being a fair and unbiased observer on AC. I guess I just felt a little disappointed on this one.

Why oh why have you changed the format of Vector? Rene, the joy of listening to the show was usually listening to your incredibly knowledgeable and insightful take on pretty much any subject being discussed. Your wealth of experience in design, media, and tech was so clear each episode, and it was great. Although the show had started to veer a little towards what felt on occasion a little too much like an advertising opportunity for your guests, some of your interviewees were great - it was through Vector that I discovered the excellent industry analysts Ben Bajarin and Benedict Evans.

Having been away for a couple of weeks, I powered up latest episode of Vector last night, and was greeted with sub-outtake quality, inane off topic drivel. I thought that it must have been a mistake, that the microphones must have been switched on to early and caught some studio banter that wasn't meant to air, but forwarding the show proved that no, this was it!

I hope you don't mind the strength of feeling in this feedback - it's only as the old Vector was such an intelligent and enjoyable show. I wouldn't have believed it possible, but now there's no way I'm going to waste my time on this new format again.

I hope my view is a dissenting one - Rene, you really are a great host and deserve to be listened to be a wide audience.

Thanks for covering I didn't want to pile on. But yeah, the 15 minutes or whatever it was of giggling about Groot, the entire show before the first sponsor break, probably didn't put me in a good footing for the Ferguson stuff.

I get that. It's a brand new format and it'll probably take us a few weeks to get into the groove. Feedback really helps us do that, so it's much appreciated!

It proved too difficult to keep getting guests every week.

I understand why some people might not like "banter" but it's really, really important to me that we stay human. We get to the topics fairly quickly, and on the last couple of shows I'm really happy with how we covered, for example, the privacy issues, gender diversity issues, native advertising, and other subjects.

These are broader discussions that I wasn't finding elsewhere and really wanted to start having.

Thanks for replying Rene, I really appreciate you taking the time to do so. I can see how getting guests on such a regular basis was tricky, especially given that you were so prolific in producing podcasts. And, to be fair, I didn't give the substance of the most recent pod much of a listen - the beginning part of the show was so jarringly offputting for me.

My recommendation - and hey, what do I know, I'm sure your knowledge of what makes a good podcast is roughly a zillion times greater than mine - would be to take greater charge of the conversation and don't feel the need to defer to others; you are an outstanding tech journalist and podcaster who your audience want to hear from.