InformationWeek confused about Firefox numbers

Don’t you just love it when a publication gets things wrong referring back to their own articles?

On Wednesday, Information Week published a TechWeb article called Firefox Momentum Slows. Citing various sources, they noted that Firefox’s growth is much slower now than it was a year ago. And yes, that’s likely due to using up the early adopters and the anything-but-Microsoft crowd. But at the end of the article, it adds this odd postscript:

WebSideStory isn’t the first Internet measurement vendor to highlight Firefox’s slow down. In fact, rival NetApplications’ August numbers showed a small decline in the Mozilla browser’s share.

There are two problems. First, those numbers aren’t for August, they’re for July. That’s obvious from the first line of the article. Secondly, Information Week itself published an article three weeks ago about NetApplications’ actual August stats: Firefox Regains Market Share Against Internet Explorer. So not only did they cite the wrong month, but the following month’s data—which they had access to—contradicts their conclusion!

Now, the “slowing” article and the July stats article come from TechWeb, and the August stats article comes from InternetWeek. But TechWeb, InformationWeek, and InternetWeek are all different faces of the “TechWeb Business Technology Network” (as shown in the sites’ mastheads)—and the two stats articles were written by the same reporter! Bad enough that they can’t properly research other people’s articles, but they can’t even research their own?

I’ve written a letter to the editor, but based on my past experience, I don’t expect a correction. Just, at best, a published letter several months later with no link from the original article.

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