An on-going beef Michael Arrington has with me is that I am often “hostile” towards TechCrunch. (his words)
For my part, I feel I am not so much ‘hostile’ towards TechCrunch but more ‘holding to account’ of it’s activities. With my media background I find myself doing that with all media outlets that I consume from blogs through to mainstream media.
However, where deserved criticism is highlighted so should deserved praise – and I’d like to take a moment to highlight the excellent piece of reportage posted today on the site by Mike Butcher: A Year Later, AOL Is Contemplating A Bebo Sale. Mike Butcher also serves as editor of TechCrunch UK, of course.
Clearly there is a lot going on behind the scenes at AOL around it’s somewhat ill-judged acquisition of Bebo – emphasis being behind the scenes. However through some great working of his contact network not only has Mike Butcher been able corroborate the rumor that Bebo might be for sale but also pulled together some fantastic analysis of what went on before the sale that led AOL to agree the purchase.
I don’t bash TechCrunch to be jerk, I bash TechCrunch because most of the stories these days seem to have become toothless startup reviews or the puffing of ‘announcements’ (which read between the lines as simply lines fed to Arrington during last night’s drinks with a VC/similar who has a product to push or a gripe to air).
Good quality analysis or reaction to said information has been sorely lacking on TechCrunch since Marshal Kirkpatrick left.
What I like here is that Mike Butcher has taken the time to provide analysis on top of the fact-checked lead. It’s great stuff, and I would love to see TechCrunch publishing more of these longer form pieces.
Some of us don’t have ADD and can actually read through 10 minutes worth of text with the aim of finding out what’s really going on behind an announcement.
UPDATE: Hours after writing this piece, news emerged that Michael was assaulted yesterday at the DLD conference. He also revealed that during 2008, threats to kill were made towards both himself and his family. I want to stress that while I allude to some of my differences with Michael, they are of course only professional. I want to make it clear I am as shocked and disappointed as everyone else with today’s news, wouldn’t wish this kind of despicable behavior on anyone.