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Blog Lords

Blog Lords

The Tech Reporting Equivalent of ‘The Oldest Dog in America’

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Around this time last year, Daily Intel got a hold of a leaked staff memo from Jesse Angelo, editor-in-chief of The Daily. The Arab Spring, or rather U.S. audience’s interest in the Arab Spring was winding down a bit and Mr. Angelo wrote, rather flippantly, “Folks, Egypt is over – time for us to get focused on covering America.” He followed that up with the laughable instruction to, “Find me something new, different, exclusive and awesome. Find me the oldest dog in America, or the richest man in South Dakota.”

Well, now it appears some tech reporters in our fair city may be under the same pie-in-the-sky mandate. On A VC yesterday, Mr. Wilson shared an email from a “major media company,” in search of a sexier story than the repetitive, pom-pom-waving fare: Read More

Blog Lords

The Verge: How the Engadgeteers Broke Free of Aol and Built the Site They’d Been Dreaming Of

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The Verge launched yesterday in the early a.m. without a hitch: a sleek tech news site complete with longer analysis, forums, a product database and a Q&A with insanely-popular Apple blogger John Gruber to ensure a nice inaugural traffic boost.

“For me, this was an idea that was forming for a long time,” said Josh Topolsky, former Engadget editor and current editor and co-founder of the new site. The editor—Jimmy Fallon’s gadget consultant and electronic musician—was getting notes from co-workers as he spoke to Betabeat this morning by phone (“26, 27 editorially-focused employees? Okay, I’m being told it’s 29″).  Read More

Blog Lords

Suit Alleging Arianna Huffington Stole Idea For HuffPo Moves Forward

Image via Vanity Fair

UPDATE: Reuters reports that The New York Times is suing AOL Inc to force the The Huffington Post to change the name of its new blog, Parentlode, which borrowed the chief writer, Lisa Belkin, and most of the name from her previous  NY Times column, Motherlode.

“The Times said Belkin “clearly intended” to confuse readers into believing her new blog was the same as her old blog, which she called a “virtual koffee klatch” for parenting,” reports Reuters. “The Times sued AOL for trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices. It also wants AOL to abandon its trademark application for the Parentlode name.”

Last November two advisers from the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, Peter Daou and James Boyce, filed suit against Arianna Huffington, claiming she stole the idea for the Huffington Post from them and cut them out of the business. Along with her co-founder Ken Lerer, Ms. Huffington filed to have the case dismissed. Now, as PaidContent reports, New York state Judge Charles Ramos has ruled that the case can go to trail.

The judge threw out seven of the eight complaints filed, but said that Ms. Huffington herself had confirmed the idea was something concrete and novel in a 2008 interview with Playboy. The pressure is now on Ms. Huffington to settle or be draw into a public court battle. Read More

Blog Lords

Can Erick Schonfeld Keep the TechCrunch Swagger Alive?

Image via Flickr user jdlasica

For the last decade, Erick Schonfeld has been the lone wolf of tech media, working as the East Coast point man for tech publications headquartered in Silicon Valley “He’s the kind of reporter who can handle anything you throw at him, from a trendy Web 2.0 startup to a Fortune 100 titan,” said Josh Quittner, who was Mr. Schonfeld’s old boss at Business 2.0. “For us he played the one man band.”

The thirty-nine-year-old father of three lives in the suburbs near Chappaqua, forty five minutes north of New York City. (He left a tip on Foursquare about his morning commute from the Metro North station: “Get here early and snag a metered parking spot.”) Read More

Blog Lords

Huffington Post Joins the Billionaires Club, Pageviews Hit New Record

It’s Ad Week in New York, so expect a lot of announcements geared to catch the attention of the buyers who spend big bucks for top brands. The Huffington Post kicked things off with a bang, announcing that it had broken one billion pageviews for the first time this past this past August.

The growth is paired with a push by Arianna Huffington to craft verticals around every type of audience. The site has recently launched HuffPost Gay Voices, HuffPost Weddings and HuffPost High School, among the more than twenty new categories it has brought online since being purchased by AOL.

International expansion is also ramping up. Ms. Huffington was in Brazil when the whole Crunchfund drama erupted and is planning more trips abroad in the coming weeks.

There was no indication in the press release of how much of this new traffic comes from AOL’s considerable network. If the growth is simply the result of the new partnership, then  it’s less interesting than new organic highs.

As Kara Swisher points out, HuffPo is also acquiring companies and continuing its hiring binge, taking full advantage of its big new bottom line.

Blog Lords

After Big Funding, The Knives Comes Out for Business Insider

Henry Blodget image via China Divide

Business Insider announced earlier this week that it had raised a fresh $7 million in venture funding from the likes of IVP and RRE. The site earned investor’s capital by showing impressive growth in terms of both unique visitors and pageviews, even booking a small profit. But a pair of posts from late last night questioned the methods by which the site achieves this enviable traffic. Read More

Blog Lords

WordPress Must Like the Looks of Tumblr Because It Just Added a ‘Follow’ Button

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There must be something in the water. First Facebook announced it would formalize its stalking function with a subscription feature. And today WordPress announced it will be adding a follow feature to give users another way to subscribe to a blog, in the hopes of driving traffic. It looks like Tumblr’s “follow” button only further down the page–and ends up in your inbox. Read More

Blog Lords

Parsing the TechCrunch Burn Book: Reactions to Paul Carr’s Resignation Bomb

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Those of you who hopped on a plane without Wifi Friday evening can be forgiven for not keeping track of what AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher described as “pure twaddle wrapped in ridonkulous grandstanding.” First came TechCrunch writer Paul Carr’s lively public resignation letter. That was followed by newly-crowned TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld’s equally public resignation acceptance. And then, to pile it on, TechCrunch writer MG Siegeler offered a semi-private anti-Huffington IED because hey, it’s no fun if you can’t play too.

Digg’s Kevin Rose compared all the adolescent drama to “a LiveJournal page,” so put on some emo jams and join us, won’t you, as we flip through the pages of TechCrunch’s Burn Book. And, yes, for the most part, you’ll find it at the same URL where the professional tech blog used to be. Read More

Blog Lords

Mike Arrington Introduces Us to the “First F*cking Amendment”

Mr. Arrington flashes his "first amendment" gang sign.

Betabeat published a story yesterday about the ways in which tech investors who write about private companies on public blogs might run afoul of SEC regulations. It focused, naturally, on Mike Arrington, who saw the post around 2 a.m. this morning and responded with this tweet:

“Screw that. Let me introduce you to the first fucking amendment to our constitution.”

Mr. Arrington failed to provide any links to the first amendment, but luckily, Betabeat had spent yesterday afternoon conversing with Prof. John Coffee of Columbia University, one of the foremost experts on securities law in the nation. Read More