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Is HR Technology A Boring Story?

TechCrunch got some serious flak for their reporting of the acquisition of SuccessFactors by enterprise giant SAP with a despondent and bored tone.

The truth of the matter is that the comings and goings of the entire enterprise software industry is boring. I love technology and I love HR but even I know most people probably aren’t fascinated by this acquisition.

Now being interesting and being important can be (and often are) two separate things. Outside of the CIOs, CHROs, HRIS pros, industry consultants and analysts and the employees and clients of these companies, there is only a modicum of interest. Again, lack of interest doesn’t mean it is unimportant. SAP is a giant and this transaction will only broaden their reach.

Of course, the problem many people had with the TechCrunch story was the over-editorializing of a really important story by the author. That she dissed on an important story by saying it was boring. I get it.

Editorializing on a story can be great, though. Especially if you’re not the one breaking the story, adding analysis, quotes from experts or finding a different angle than anyone else can be an important piece that will make your story stand out from a simple, factual brief. Certainly, TechCrunch took that approach to the extreme and it was rewarded with a rash of tweets (over 600 at the time of this writing). Not too shabby for the most boring story EVAR.

You can’t go to the well too often on that though. If everything is boring, or new, or extreme, or the best, or the next ____, all of your stories can start to blend together. Eventually, they lose their punch in any extreme. Not every story can be spun, sometimes news is news is news. And knowing when to go off the deep end really go at a story and when to avoid it makes sure that the stories you do invest in beyond reporting really do count.

This is news that TechCrunch probably couldn’t afford not to report but isn’t in their wheelhouse. TechCrunch isn’t above simply reporting the latest tech news. They often do so with very little editorializing.

That probably would’ve been the best option here. Then again, would anyone in our niche be linking to or responding to the TechCrunch story on this acquisition if they hadn’t?

By Lance Haun

Strategy for The Starr Conspiracy. Former HR pro. Portland guy (Go Blazers!) and WSU alum (Go Cougs!). I get to write about what I want here.

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