After acquiring Weblogs, Inc. in 2005, AOL is rumored to be seeking to purchase the TechCrunch empire founded by Michael Arrington.
AOL, the New York-based online media company, is on the verge of acquiring TechCrunch, the online blogging network started by former attorney, Michael Arrington. The deal is at a sensitive stage and might fall apart yet, but I don’t think so. Sources familiar with both entities says that the announcement is likely to come onstage at Disrupt, TechCrunch’s flagship conference currently underway in San Francisco. (via GigaOm)
According to Om Malik, Tim Armstrong (AOL’s CEO) is suppose to make an announcement at the end of TechCrunch Disrupt, which unveils innovative startups that (as the name implies) can disrupt the industry as a whole.
There is still no word on what price AOL is offering Arrington for ownership of the TechCrunch empire, but we will update this post as soon if we hear of anything new.
If Om’s sources are correct and TechCrunch is assimilated by the AOL giant, we will probably see TechCrunch powered by BlogSmith instead of WordPress (the former which AOL thus far delcined to release to the public).
With AOL snapping up some of the largest blog networks around, the only question that remains is, “Who’s next?”
Facebook has been having some fun with the folks over at TechCrunch, rolling out a Fax This Photo feature for the tech blog’s writers only. Jason Kincaid wrote a post about this brand new feature, which doesn’t exist outside of the TC office, and then spoke to the Facebook PR rep.
We’ve been testing this product since 1992, and we are thinking that we will be launching this “innovative” feature at TechCrunch 50.
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.
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.
Twitter has published a blog post commenting on the internal documents that are running on TechCrunch. They were obtained through an email hack on an administrative employee’s account, which in turn gave access to Twitter’s Google Apps account. They are stressing the fact that it was personal security that faltered, not Google Apps, but it still points a finger to one of the dangers of data in the cloud. No user accounts are compromised either, and naturally there’s legal actions from Twitter’s side.
TechCrunch reports that Twitter client TweetDeck has raised $2 million in funding. The news comes from a a panel where angel investor John Borthwick let it slip. Apparently the Twitter app and its branded versions are appealing to investors. I can see why, especially now that there is an iPhone app covering the mobility factor as well.
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
Twitter has applied to trademark the word “Tweet” says the official blog. They think it is an obvious attachment to the Twitter brand, but say they have no intentions of going after users of the word.
We have applied to trademark Tweet because it is clearly attached to Twitter from a brand perspective but we have no intention of “going after” the wonderful applications and services that use the word in their name when associated with Twitter. In fact, we encourage the use of the word Tweet. However, if we come across a confusing or damaging project, the recourse to act responsibly to protect both users and our brand is important.
That’s good, I think. It is also good that they come clean and say that they are “a bit more wary” about the use of Twitter in projects. So cancel that Twitter Herald project and find another name, you might get in trouble otherwise. read more
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)
It was bound to happen, ads hitting the RSS feeds. It’s not even anything even remotely new, popular services such as Feedburner (pre-Google) offered advertising solutions for your feed, and does now too, thanks to Adsense. Other players in the feed sphere did it too, and don’t forget the publishers themselves – adding something at the end of the RSS feed isn’t even all that hard. And I’m not even mentioning the fact that if you put an ad in your blog post, it’ll go right along in your feed.
It makes sense. A lot of us like to read, or at least glance, stories in the feed reader. We might not visit some sites in weeks, despite being regular readers.
Enters the ads in the RSS feeds. Problem is, where there is plenty of opportunity to make it look splendid and great on a website, the feed doesn’t have the same possibilities. Which makes it ugly. read more