Blogo implosion



From saga to drama as TechCrunch UK goes on holdNo more Sam Sethi after accusations of self promotion from Arrington following an exhausted lashout from LoicLeMeur.  Loic apologised promptly, but Sam picked up on the comment to repost and so on.

[UPDATE: timing matters deeply in the interpretation of events.  Seems like Sam posted the second post before Loic apologised.  I am trying to check these facts.  Sam may have reacted heatedly but what do you expect all of us Alpha males to do, stop to think :-) ?].

This is vaudeville.  If you don’t like to do forensics, go to SuperBoris at Bomega for a step-by-step review.

I have carefully read much of the astonishingly diverse commentary on this story.  My take is as follows:

  • Sam is a likeable and credible maverick (that’s a compliment in my book), Mike did not want a maverick operation; the mismatch is not such a big deal.
  • Techcrunch is a Brand.  Sam used it as a personal blog.  I think Mike Arrington is probably at fault for not communicating clearly that TechCrunch is his branded property and a franchise.  And / or Sam is at fault for not respecting the editorial constraints.
  • Otherwise the explanation provided by Mike generally makes sense.  He has the right to protect the property that he built. 
  • Bloggers love to burn their idols and are sensing the opportunity to get a second scalp.  There is a whole group of the original "frontier bloggers" who are angry because blogging is growing up and looking more like media, with editorial lines.

[UPDATE: Sam specifies in the comments that he was a full 50% partner of TCUK, which I assume means he really ran the editorial as he saw fit.  That’s fair and helps explain how this unfortunate series of events happened.]

And it can get pretty ugly.  Here’s the lowpoint:

Samsethi Paul Walsh: I was informed during my taxi ride to the airport by someone known to you, that you in fact decided not to attend the event (last Friday) on account of not being able to agree a revenue share deal with the organisers. I don’t think it would be right to disclose the name of that person, but I can confirm that there was one other person from a respectable organisation that witnessed the conversation. None of us met before the taxi ride so it’s all subjective – although my source did appear to know you well and spoke with a great deal of authority.

Arrington:  If you think I’m lying, dig up evidence and publish it. My credibility would be destroyed, of course, and TechCrunch would have trouble continuing on as a viable blog. I’m confident that isn’t going to happen.

It’s time to move on !  This is starting to feel like the pro-life/choice debate, just as subtle.  Sam already has…

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