Blog the Public
The blogosphere is a brave new news world, but it’s generally assumed that blogs that report the news adhere to basic journalistic standards—like not deliberately inserting bits of misinformation into their virtual pages. Right?
Former TechCrunch blogger MG Siegler took a dig at bloggers who rewrite others’ reporting. “I used to love to plant one really weird bit of random information (sometimes even false) into stories to catch the rewrites,” he tweeted earlier today. There’s that TechCrunch swagger.
How does one properly convey just how miffed you are by a newspaper’s attempt to make money? By starting a blog post thusly, “Fuckers I am so sick of reporting on incremental tech news for fucking two years now.”
So began TechCrunch blogger Alexia Tsotsis’ invective-laced late-night rant about the New York Times decision to bring its paywall over to Flipboard, written, if Ms. Tsotsis is to be believed, “in between the downing of tonight’s two bottles of wine.”
A Startup Is Born
Did your Groupons for Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes in Murray Hill, Brazilian food in Bay Ridge, and a Brazilian wax in Soho expire unused again? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could be rewarded for patronizing restaurants and businesses you actually go to?
This is the premise of Mirth, a self-described “principled objection to the frenzy of deals.” The new customer loyalty app was presented and launched at TechCrunch’s Disrupt NYC last week by co-founders Jeremy Philip Galen and Phil Reichenberger.
After a brief interlude, wherein an organizer appealed to whichever publicity-seeking startup might have released the still-chattering bird high aloft in the rafters, TechCrunch marched onward. M.G. Siegler (formerly of TechCrunch, currently of CrunchFund) opened with what sounded like an invitation to coffee, rattling off the overlap between their respective organizations’ portfolios and concluding, ”We should probably talk more.” Betaworks CEO John Borthwick didn’t bite: ”We probably should, but we’re doing just fine.” He also added rather pointedly that, “as you know, we are not a fund,” though Betaworks, of course, has investments.
Mr. Borthwick proceeded to, at Mr. Siegler’s inquiry as to how they work with investors on the sunnier side of the country, essentially dismiss any notions of conflict: ”This bicoastal thing, I think it’s fun and games” but added that “the market is bigger because of the complementary skills that both coasts offer the market and entrepreneurs and so it’s not, it’s fun to sort of pit one coast against the other, but companies are better for having East Coast and West Coast investors.” Some companies might be a better fit for one coast or the other or both, but regardless, more options are better.
Alley vs. Valley
After a Southern-inspired lunch of sloppy joes, potato salad and cornbread, the attendees of TechCrunch Disrupt NYC filtered into the auditorium of a spacious pier building on the West Side Highway for another set of panels. Jason Kincaid, formerly of TechCrunch, took the stage with Foursquare’s Harry Heymann, OMGPOP’s Jason Pearlman and Facebook’s Serkan Piantino to discuss whether or not the East Coast is indeed the “best coast” for engineering.
“It’s sort of a silly name,” opened Mr. Kincaid, playing politely to both sides. “I think both coasts are very nice.”
He then asked the panelists whether hiring engineers in New York is particularly hard due to the fact that many of them are drawn to the glitz and cashmoney of the finance sector.
When it comes to tech blogs, your granny’s favorite dial-up provider, AOL, is always good for some surprising news. Tonight Sarah Lacy’s PandoDaily is reporting possible new drama in the offing. According to Ms. Lacy, “two independent sources” have confirmed that AOL is considering selling off both Engadget and TechCrunch. “The two would likely be sold together as AOL Tech,” writes Ms. Lacy, “possibly including smaller assets like TUAW and Joystiq.”
TechCrunch has released the latest batch of speakers for Disrupt NY, and the locals are making a pretty good showing. The lineup includes some stars:
Damn, we thought for sure the next big exit from the ashes of the house that Arrington built was going to be Alexia Tsotsis, but it looks like heads are rolling closer to the top instead. Editor-in-chief Erick Schonfeld, the “man without hap” that many doubted could match Mike Arrington’s
bluster swagger, is out as editor-in-chief of TechCrunch.
In aberration from the typical TechCrunch good-bye post, which is becoming something of a genre, Mr. Schonfeld didn’t pen his own farewell. Rather it was written, mere minutes ago, by Ms. Tsotsis and her new boss, Eric Eldon. Mr. Eldon is a former editor at VentureBeat and, unlike Mr. Schonfeld’s promotion, it looks like ex-Crunchers approve.
Blogger Jason Kincaid (Observer Media Power Bachelor #18 in the class of 2011 for those keeping track), is leaving TechCrunch. Mr. Kincaid wrote about the move in an entry in his personal blog, posted today:
News of layoffs at flash fashion startup Rue La La leaked last week: 60 people of the company’s 550-strong workforce had to be made redundant. But an SEC filing unearthed by TechCrunch today shows an odd contradiction: Rue La La just raised $22 million. UPDATE: The filing is not new money, Rue La La says, but rather a valuation filed as part of Rue La La’s equity plan, putting a dollar figure on equity and options that had already been issued.