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October 17, 2009

If You’re Arrington The Rules Do Not Apply to You

Michael Arrington Bastard of the BlogsMichael Arrington, founder of Techcrunch, is a known preacher of ethics and disclosure and has hit out regularly at the MSM. Techcrunch has often been criticized to only promote startups who pay to be featured but so far none of these claims checked out according to former Valleywag contributor Paul Boutin.

Last night Arrington reported the upcoming sale of MCHammer’s DanceJam. So far, nothing special, just another acquisition of an online website which was reported by Techcrunch. Another day and people are still dying of starvation and crime. Life goes on.

But there’s one small detail about this news: Arrington is investor in DanceJam. The investment was disclosed in the post, with a small pinch of *whine* as he announced that the company had not announced the sale to him nor did respond to his email request.

Arrington cashes in as early, angel, investor, but things become really interesting when looking at a long post about ethics and disclosure, written by Arrington more than half a year ago: The Rules Apply To Everyone. In the post the former lawyer went as far as saying that Dave Winer’s credibility was shot because he didn’t disclose a sponsored placement in a feed reader: read more

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July 22, 2009

The Guardian Sacks Paul Carr

Paul Carr used to write the Not Safe For Work column for The Guardian, but no more. The reason is a slashing of the freelance budget, says Carr on Twitter, and then goes on and tells us that he thought about doing the column for free but decided against it. That last part was on his blog though, which is a good thing because the reasoning would take up quite a few tweets… In the same blog post he writes a bit about leaving.

Having said all that, I will miss the outlet the Guardian gave me every week; to boast and swear and talk about things that were on my mind. I’m not sure there’s another UK paper that would give me such freedom – and for that reason I’ll be eternally grateful to my former paymasters. And I’ll miss them, like a sometimes-mental, socialist former girlfriend.

Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch isn’t sad about this. “Their loss our gain” he says, as he announces that Carr will be writing a weekly column for TechCrunch to run each Saturday morning. Good call, Carr’s Not Safe For Work Column over at The Guardian was a treat, and I’m thinking it was a huge mistake to cut it loose. But that’s the media industry for you right now. I’m just surprised Nick Denton didn’t snatch him up already.

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July 19, 2009

Bloggers: Punch Harder!

Ryan Tate has the best post intro so far this year in the latest edition of Gawker-playing-Valleywag:

Remember when blogs were going to be fiercely independent firebrands who, purified of old media insidery stench, would pull no punches against traditional power structures? So much for that. Today’s laptop media is shaping up to be nothing but lapdogs.

The post is really about TechCrunch releasing those Twitter documents, and the rings on the water. I don’t care about that, old news, and really a lot of noise for typical journalistic behavior.

Yes, that’s right. Michael Arrington did what thousands have done before him, but on a blog rather than in a newspaper. So who cares? read more

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July 3, 2009

Sam Sethi Talks About the TechCrunch Lawsuit

Earlier this week the news that Sam Sethi is suing TechCrunch hit, and as was expected Michael Arrington posted the legal documents, just as he has done before. The responses to the law firm’s letter to TechCrunch and Arrington have also been reposted, so if you want to dig into what has been said thus far, this is the only place I know of. The TechCrunch stance is obvious, of course:

Needless to say, we think these claims have no merit, otherwise we would not have written the posts in the first place, or would have retracted.

I did an email interview with Sethi, after he got in touch with me and wanted me to correct or retract the news story (which I didn’t do, obviously). I figured an interview would be the best way to get Sethi’s side of the story. read more

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July 1, 2009

Sam Sethi Sues TechCrunch

Sam Sethi, the former TechCrunch writer, BlogNation owner, and Twitblogs founder, has filed a lawsuit against TechCrunch. For what, you might wonder? Nothing less than “a series of libelous postings” according to the lawsuit letter exchange reposted on Arrington’s CrunchNotes blog. There are some juicy details about Sethi there too, including claims that he’s being sued and is or was barred from being a director or manager for a company. I’ll not recount that though, since Arrington obviously is a party in this mess.

I’ll say this though, I love the openness of which Arrington treats these things. I know I’d think twice before publishing something from a law firm with this in the heading:

Letter Before Action
Private & Confidential (Not For Publication)

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June 11, 2009

Facebook Lets Journos Get First Pick

The Facebook vanity URLs might not be coming until Saturday for most of us, but if your name is Michael Arrington and you’re running TechCrunch, you get dibs. That’s right, Facebook is giving prioritized journalists/bloggers first pick, so if you fancied facebook.com/mike/ as your new profile URL, you’re out of luck.

This isn’t outrageous, it’s just the way it is. Facebook wants to keep the people covering them happy, no more no less. Think what you will about that. Arrington decided to write about it (which probably pissed some Facebook PR rep off), and wraps it up in this brutal but honest way:

I feel sort of bad about posting this, since Facebook is actually doing us a favor. But I also think it’s kind of BS that Facebook is giving some people, employees included, first shot at the names. My guilt only extends so far, though. You suckers wait in line. I’m grabbing my name in advance.

We don’t have much choice, now do we?

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May 10, 2009

TechCrunch Leaves Federated Media

Ad network Federated Media is losing one of its bigger clients, the TechCrunch network. Michael Arrington announced it on TechCrunch, of course, and explained the decision with the fact that they have been selling direct ads for some time already, and want to move on in that direction.

We’d like to acknowledge Federated Media for the contributing role they’ve played to help TechCrunch get to where it is today. Notwithstanding our differences of opinion about the role of conversational marketing, we part friends. Unlike others, we’re not leaving to move to competitive selling networks, we’re just leaving to chart our own course.

There’s been some noise around the TechCrunch-FM relationship over the years, Arrington not being the most subtle guy and probably rightly so when it comes to handling Federated Media, but the two parties are apparently splitting up on good terms, which the FM Blog post confirms.

What does this mean for Federated Media? It’s a loss, of course, but it won’t get them on their hands and knees. Not unless they are already there, given the financial situation the world is in.

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March 10, 2009

TechCrunch Gets Office, News Hit Techmeme (Sort Of)

Techcrunch LogoThis is just too hilarious not to mention. Michael Arrington posted about TechCrunch finally getting their own office because of complaints from neighbors. Apparently they didn’t like the traffic or something, read more about it on TechCrunch. That’s all well and good, Arrington can certainly post about something concerning his site, and it is even somewhat relevant.

Then Silicon Alley Insider does a news story on it. I was amazed to see that one, especially since more than half of it is a quote from the TechCrunch post.

And it hits Techmeme, granted, not in a big way, but still. Naturally, we’re adding to this with this post, but this is fun stuff, and interesting as well, when looked at as a phenomenon. Gotta love the blogosphere.

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February 5, 2009

Sarah Lacy to Fill Arrington’s Shoes

Michael Arrington is taking a month off after the spit incident and death threats, and probably due to a much needed vacation for the dedicated blogger. Author, blogger, and BusinessWeek columnist Sarah Lacy is filling in for him, which caused Duncan Riley to post a poll on how long she’ll last.

So what is Lacy up against? Well, a snarky commenting crowd for one, and possibly a harsher treatment because of her sex. At least that’s Riley’s opinion, and he should know, being a former TechCrunch writer. On the other hand, I can’t say that Lacy strikes me as a particularly vulnerable person, and she thinks she’ll manage just fine, obviously. One thing’s for certain though, and that is that it’s never easy to step in and do someone else’s job, especially not when it is so focused on personal style and opinions as a blog is.

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January 28, 2009

Michael Arrington Takes a Break After Death Threat and Spit Attack

There’s no doubt that being successful can annoy people, and TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington has gotten a fair share of haters out there. I doubt he didn’t expect that, he’s pretty straight-forward in his posts over at TechCrunch, and I can see people being annoyed by this guy. I can even see them being pissed off.

But walking up and spitting him in the face? I can’t see what Arrington might’ve done to deserve that.

Nor does he deserve to have serious death threats and having to hide out at his parents’ house. That is so totally wrong, and I sincerely hope and believe that you all agree with me. You don’t have to be an Arrington fan to be upset with the development of things detailed in a recent TechCrunch post on the subject. It is a matter of free speech, people!

While I think Arrington probably needs that vacation breather far away from iPhones and Macbooks for several reasons, I also hope that this isn’t a sign of things to come. You can’t bully print journalists, you can’t bully bloggers, and most importantly: We can’t accept it!

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