IBM digital marketing boss: Haymarket editor is an idiot, industry laughs at Australia’s tech journalism and I’ve got a migraine

A debate on Twitter has degenerated into a  public slanging match between IBM’s boss of digital marketing and a senior Australian tech journalist.

During the row, which started yesterday and continued this morning, IBM’s head of digital marketing Martin Walsh accused Nate Cochrane, editor in chief of Haymarket’s tech titles, of being an idiot and slammed Australia’s media for the way it covers tech industries, labelling it a laughing stock.  

And Cochrane accused Walsh of being an online troll seeking coverage for IBM.

The row began when Walsh accused Crikey, the news, analysis and aggregation service, of making a poor choice in a story it linked to.

Walsh, who labels himself in his Twitter profile as “head of Digital marketing @IBM” tweeted to his 2,098 followers:

Hey @crikey_news Why do you link to such tripe “Google vs. Facebook: game on” from Mashable? What happened to Google Wave vapour ware!?

Crikey responded with a fairly reasonable:

@martinwalsh Interesting moves from large companies and media players

Walsh, however, turned his heat on journos:

@crikey_news All I’m saying is please don’t fall in2 trap of OZ Tech journo’s where you simply repost & don’t provide judgement or analysis

Walsh then sent a general tweet saying:

I really don’t understand why theres still no serious analysis & experienced commentary on tech industry from strategic perspective

Crikey responded:

@martinwalsh We have regular tech industry & media analysis, but we also aggregate news content, so….

Walsh came back adding:

@crikey_news Yes I read it but I could give you dozen names of industry heavyweigths who simply laugh @ OZ media coverage of tech industries

Meanwhile, Cochrane, who is editor in chief of Haymarket’s B2B tech titles including CRN, iTnews and SC Magazine responded to Walsh’s general tweet, suggesting to his 1,417 followers:

By “serious analysis and experienced commentary” maybe @martinwalsh just wants more IBM coverage? Looks like a classic troll

Walsh came back, all guns blazing:

Wow @natecochrane: You seriously are an idiot. I am not on Twitter to represent IBM or anyone else and I am tech agnostic. Get a clue

@natecochrane If youd followed previous conversations U would understand what the beef is by me & MANY others & of course I was generalising

Cochrane replied:

@martinwalsh I tried to read your ramblings but couldn’t work out who, what, why or where your complaint was based.

@martinwalsh Can you name the names to which you allude?

@martinwalsh It’s good that you’re not claiming to represent IBM because if you were then you would have done them a huge disservice today.

Walsh meanwhile was sharing more general information with his followers:

OK, onto a record pill 5 & 6 of Neurofen Plus for the day to try and get rid of this goddam migraine…please work!

Presumably recovered, he returned to the fray this morning, tweeting:

@natecochrane Mate, only person whose done a disservice is you yesterday. Fancy calling someone you don’t know a troll & saying what u did

Cochrane replied:

@martinwalsh a troll is a verb.

@martinwalsh and we’re still waiting for the specifics of your flames. Care to enlighten us?

Walsh responded:

@natecochrane Dude, I don’t care who you are & what you’ve got to say, if I did I would follow you. I’ve provided details previously…

Wow, looks like I might actually get to use the Twitter BLOCK functionality for the first time and on someone who is not a spammer! Lol

@natecochrane U jumped into my conversation randomly & called me a troll & questioned my integrity (reason for what I said) You’re the troll

Cochrane then had what is, at the time of posting, the last word:

@martinwalsh very well, good luck to you, and a tip: u want a pvt convo, don’t shout in public. Cheers

Accordign to Walsh’s LinkedIn profile, he has been head of digital marketing at IBM since November. Prior to that he was in a similar role at Microsoft.

Update: A spokesman for IBM told Mumbrella:

“As you know, IBM has clear social computing guidelines created by our own employees:

“The comments on this individual’s Twitter stream represent the author’s own personal opinions, and certainly do not reflect IBM’s views.

“While IBM respects the right of individual employees to their own personal opinions, and actively encourages them to engage in conversations online, the many IBMers who wrote these guidelines urged their colleagues not to pick fights or use personal insults online.”


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