When it comes jumping on new trends in technology, CNN, like most other mainstream media sources is usually fairly slow to act. Sure, they’ve been hyping up Twitter non-stop for the past several months, but that was only after everyone in the tech world had already been talking about it for a long time. But one thing that hasn’t yet caught on in the tech sphere, but apparently has on CNN, is the use of “Bing” as a verb.
Check out this article about the most dangerous celebrities to search for on the web. The opening line: “Be cautious if you plan to Bing Jessica Biel or Google Brad Pitt. A new report says you might get a virus.” Um, “Bing Jessica Biel”? Aside from it sounding oddly sexual (insert badda-bing joke here), it’s a little odd to see that on CNN.com before it has really entered the tech lexicon. Sure, Microsoft wants everyone to use it as a verb to be like Google, but there’s obviously a big difference between a company wanting something to happen for branding, and it actually happening.
CNN.com’s search is marked as very clearly powered by Google, so it would seem there is no real ulterior motive for CNN to hype Bing, maybe they’re just trying to get ahead of the curve. The problem is that when you’re a mainstream media publication, you have to stay in touch with your audience — which is a nice way of saying that sometimes you have to “dumb it down” a bit, or fall back to things people will understand. For example, if my mom is reading that article right now, I guarantee you she has no idea what Bing is and is quite confused about what CNN is implying there.
If you Bing Jessica Biel, you’ll get a virus? Now just imagine you had no idea what Bing is and tell me how you read that.