Inside Baseball

Come On, Really: How Influential Is TechCrunch?

arrington robot

Nobody wants to go on the record saying negative things about TechCrunch, arguably the most powerful news blog in tech, for obvious reasons.

Entrepreneurs and investors in the startup scene tend to be very cagey when making public statements about anyone else in the same scene, with the rare exceptions of bomb-throwers and those who have succeeded past the point of caring. It’s also never smart to trash-talk the hose that feeds you users.

Sources even refused to go on record with New York Times media bulldog David Carr for fear of “editorial retribution.”

First, everyone’s shaking in their bootstraps in fear of Mr. Arrington; now that he may have been fired, according to Fortune, hands are wringing over what will happen to the blog.

But come on, we thought. People read TechCrunch, but it’s not that influential. Is it?

But TechCrunch, as the de facto trade publication in Silicon Valley, commands a special reverence. Sure, Mr. Arrington has a temper. He’s notorious for taking things personally and holding a grudge–a scary prospect for young entrepreneurs who consider the blog crucial to getting exposure to the right users and validation from the right people. But the devotion stems from the fact that insiders feel that TechCrunch is important. TechCrunch gets it. TechCrunch has prestige.

Mashable, for example, writes about similar topics and has more traffic–but a Mashable hit isn’t as coveted as a TechCrunch hit. Investors don’t read Mashable. Your friends don’t read Mashable. Same goes for the stodgy New York Times, which still refers to tweets as “Twitter messages” and “live Twitter posts.” Read More