Benchmark Capital partner Michael Eisenberg wrote a thoughtful post on the nature of blogs and conflicts of interest this morning. He specifically talks about a lot of the issues we’ve discussed recently about TechCrunch:
Techcrunch is not journalism (as if that is objective and conflict free:)). Techcrunch and other blogs like it is insider announcements, opinion and analysis. In fact, I would suggest that Michael Arrington and Techcrunch are closer in genre to Jupiter, Gartner and Oreilly than he is to the NYT or Sydney Herald. And, I would suggest that Arrington is more above board than any of those companies.
As anyone who has been in the enterprise software business will tell you, many of these research houses are implicitly pay to play. When you subscribe to their services and get their analysts’ time then he knows enough about you to put you in the quadrant or report . There are more conflicts of interest at the market research houses than at TechCrunch and they are rarely disclosed.