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Blog Lords

Blog Lords

Venture Capitalists With Powerful Blogs May Run Afoul of the SEC

Image via BacktoGeek

Has Blogging Become the New Insider Trading?

“People think there is a distinction between how an major investor can talk about a public company versus a private company,” said Ralph Ferrara, former General Counsel for the SEC. “But if you read the law carefully, you see that everything that you can do wrong when combining a public company with the media applies to investments in private companies as well.”

Michael Arrington wanted to have it all. The editor-in-chief of TechCrunch, the nation’s most powerful tech blog, had, except for a brief hiatus, invested his own money in the companies he covered. The move always prompted a bit of grumbling in the blogosphere, but nothing he couldn’t handle.

Then Mr. Arrington decided to go bigger. He tapped Silicon Valley’s royalty to raise a $10 million pool he dubbed CrunchFund. Read More

Blog Lords

On Twitter, Mike Arrington Still Works At TechCrunch. Your Move, Arianna

Simpler times.

Mike Arrington has reportedly been fired from AOL, which currently owns TechCrunch, the blog he founded. That was the response to his demand, on TechCrunch, that AOL grant the site complete editorial independence or sell it back to him and the original stakeholders. Things are very much up in the air as to what will happen now that he’s been canned, but on his personal Twitter account, Mr. Arrington is going about business as usual.

“TechCrunch Disrupt update – There will be well over 2,500 people attending next week, shattering our previous attendance record of 2,100,” he wrote this afternoon. Like a proud father unable to handle the custody arrangement in a divorce, Mr. Arrington continues to use the paternal “our” in reference to TC Disrupt. Read More

Blog Lords

Michael Arrington Has Reportedly Left the AOL Building, By Force

Wait, I thought we were all in this together for the pageviews?!

Michael Arrington gave AOL two choices in his ransom letter: editorial independence or a chance to buy back his blog. But it looks like Arianna Huffington  went with Option Three: Fire Mr. Arrington. Well, fire him again, but this time for good.

Fortune.com’s Dan Primack says, “AOL executives have decided to terminate Arrington. It is unclear how this will officially occur. Maybe a pink slip. Maybe Arrington submits a (public?) letter of resignation. Maybe Tim Armstrong simply gives Arrington a phone call, and he quickly dashes off a note to TechCrunch employees on his iPad.” Read More

Blog Lords

Obligatory Taiwanese Animation of TechCrunch Scandal Is Actually Pretty Funny

taiwan

We stopped watching those Taiwanese animation videos sometime around the outting of Tiger Woods’ third or fourth extramarital paramour. But this one, courtesy of Next Media Animation, reinvigorated our interest, due mostly to the attention to detail.

Notice, if you will, how close Michael “Yarrington’s” green robes come to the actual TechCrunch logo. They even took the time to reference Kara Swisher calling Crunchfund “a giant, greedy, Silicon Valley pig pile.” And gave TechCrunch bloggers Spartan shields, a la Mr. Arrington’s ultimatum post. But what really got our attention was the scene of Arianna Huffington pummeling Mr. Arrington while Tim Armstrong tries to pull her off. That’s probably just how she imagines it in her Brazilian daydreams.  Read More

Blog Lords

Michael Arrington Holds TechCrunch Hostage, Sends AOL His List of Demands

300-sparta

You didn’t really think  Michael Arrington was going to step out of the suddenly “nuclear” spotlight with a few lamestream media quotes and some tweets, did you? If so, you must not have seen yesterday’s ransom letter in which he says: give me “editorial independence” or gimme my site back.

In short he’s recasting his ethically questionable decision to continue to edit a site about startups even as he invests in them as an affront to his very freedom.

We would call his latest move classic Arrington, except even for  a “digital megalomaniac,” this is brazen. Well, brazen or laughable. Definitely one or the other.

When Arianna Huffington told David Carr that Michael Arrington was yanked from the editorial payroll and TechCrunch masthead “effectively immediately,” and relegated him to the role of unpaid blogger, this is probably not the kind of blog post she had in mind. Read More

Blog Lords

Michael Arrington’s Venture Capital Fund: The Defenders, the Detractors, and the Just Plain Baffled

arringtonfinger

The shifting narratives of Michael Arrington’s decision to launch a VC fund were so tangled Friday, we were forced to go all Rashomon just to try to sort it out. But while the rest of us ditched our RSS readers for sandier pastures, the situation, by numerous accounts went “nuclear.” Grab your radiation masks while we attempt to dive into the mushroom cloud. Shit’s about to get toxic. Read More

Blog Lords

Breaking Down the Curious Case of Michael Arrington’s Venture Capital Fund, Rashomon-Style

We're really gone and done it now!

Woo boy. If our head wasn’t spinning, this might actually be funny. It’s been less than 24 hours since Fortune or the New York Times reported (to keep things lively, there’s even some debate around who broke the news) that Michael Arrington would be launching a $20 million venture capital and almost every player involved has offered conflicting stories about how they expect this to unfold, including, earlier this afternoon, one of TechCrunch’s own bloggers.

Will Mr. Arrington still be able to write about startups now that he has an financial inventive to help them succeed? Is blogging even journalism? Was it a good idea to name your VC fund after your news outlets about startups? Depends on who you ask! Read More

Blog Lords

Michael Arrington Resigns From TechCrunch, But Conflicts of Interest Follow AOLHuffingCrunch Post

via Joi's Flickr

Michael Arrington has been dodging questions over bias and journalistic integrity ever since he got back into the investing game earlier this year. But we guess launching a $20 million venture capital fund has a way of making the issue hard to ignore. Yesterday, shortly after closing a fund, Mr. Arrington resigned from his role as managing editor of TechCrunch, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“Mike will run the fund and will continue to write for TechCrunch, but will have no editorial oversight,” AOL spokesman Mario Ruiz told the paper, noting that Erick Schonfeld, co-editor, will serve as interim editor while AOL tries to find a personality to replace Mr. Arrington.

That said, AOL Huffington Post doesn’t appear to be making any signs to distance itself. AOL is leading the limited partner group in the less-than-subtly named “Crunchfund.” Read More