I still like this one better.
This is related to the story below. After his first rant, Scoble goes on another one wondering why people aren’t linking to this stuff – much of which is a lot of high quality video footage of startup CEOs. I’m not sure what the answer to that is, although I am going to be paying more attention to his videos and linking where appropriate.
But he also let loose a barrage that I see quite often, but never in public like that. Bloggers scream about links every day in emails and IMs back and forth. Sometimes it’s more subtle, like receiving a nice email suggesting a link (I actually find a lot of good stuff that way), but if someone writes about something AFTER another blogger does and doesn’t give credit, all hell can break loose and often does. I’ve just never seen it happen publicly.
For Robert to do this out in the open makes it look like he’s just complaining. But what he’s saying is good for the blogging community. Engadget is no longer really a blog. They still look like a blog, but they’re bigger than a lot of mainstream media businesses. And Robert is asking them which direction they are planning on going now that they’re so big. Will they remain part of the blogging community, or adopt the stand alone silo habits of old media.
There are informal rules that bloggers have adopted and that aren’t usually broken. A story can be ignored, but if you write about something you found through another blog, a link should be given. Robert is stating a pretty good case that Engadget should have linked to him. They’re saying there was no value in it. Robert says otherwise.
In 2005 we wrote a post on TechCrunch about Post Secret, the site where you anonymously send in a postcard with a secret written on it and it is published on the site (and has also been made into a physical book). That post has gathered hundreds of comments – usually 3 or 4 per week – that talk about people’s secrets. There are some really freaky and beautiful things written there.
Tony Hung writes Deep Jive Interests, a great blog that covers a lot of the same stuff we do at TechCrunch. Lots of links going back and forth, etc. What I didn’t know is that he’s in his third year of residency, on his way to becoming a doctor. He’s currently working in the palliative care unit where he helps people who are dying of cancer. There’s a blog about one of his patients, named Joshua, here.
Tony blogs about tech to blow off steam after a long day of helping people, many of whom don’t have long to live. Heavy stuff. Standing ovation for Tony and others that dedicate their lives to helping people.
I once (nearly ten years ago) ran a marathon for the Leukemia society, although to be completely honest the fact is that my best friend talked me into it by saying something like “dude, it’s like 70% women in the training program.” Reading the blog about Joshua makes me embarrassed that my help in the fight against cancer began and ended with that marathon. I complain that I work too hard and there’s no time for anything but blogging. Stuff like this puts all of my petty complaints into perspective.
Hey Forbes, thanks very much for including me (and my dad) in your first annual “Web Celeb 25” list. As Calacanis, who’s also on the list, said, I didn’t know anything about this until it was forwarded to me today. I can think of at least 100 people who are more deserving, mostly entrepreneurs who’ve given up a steady income to pursue their dreams. Hopefully they’ll be recognized financially if not by being placed on a list.
Dare Obasanjo, a Microsoft employee (apparently this person is the son of the President of Nigeria?) apparently didn’t like my post about Microsoft’s attempt to pay a blogger to make Wikipedia changes on their behalf, so he vandalizes the Wikipedia entry on TechCrunch to…prove a point? What point? That he’s a jerk?
As an experiment I’ve updated the Wikipedia entry for TechCrunch with a mention of some of the claims about Mike Arrington’s conflicts of interest on the site and references to negative blog posts but no link to his side of the story.
My respect for Microsoft just took a very, very deep hit. I’m not sure if/how we’ll respond. This action would not be acceptable under any circumstances, but I also wonder if Dare even fully read my post – I defended Microsoft.
I have a suggestion to companies: Request your employees to refrain from attacking journalists who write about you. Respectful disagreement is one thing. This is something completely different.
The trend is going to continue, as I wrote about in a post on TechCrunch. But it’s a good thing – In the bubble, companies never went out of business, until everything popped on Friday, April 14, 2000. Letting off a little steam is healthy, and lets underutilized assets (people) move on to more productive things.
In response to a couple of inquiries, here are the top 11 sources of TechCrunch traffic in December 2006 (via Google Analytics):
1. google[organic] 391,034
2. (direct)[(none)] 326,796
3. digg.com[referral] 192,774
4. google.com[referral] 78,960
5. news.bbc.co.uk[referral] 46,621
6. netvibes.com[referral] 32,444
7. techmeme.com[referral] 25,561
8. stumbleupon.com[referral] 22,294
9. reddit.com[referral] 22,035
10. my.yahoo.com[referral] 19,643
11. techcrunch.com[referral] 18,869
Digg remains a very important site for overall TechCrunch traffic. I’m surprised by how much traffic BBC and TechMeme sends our way. I’ll do a subsequent post with January traffic as well for comparison purposes.
Pretty damned good example of user generated content:
This is just from my perspective and certainly doesn’t constitute a statistically significant sample size, but it seems to me that as a lot of blogs are getting bigger and turning into businesses, they are adopting many of the bad habits of big media. In particular, I’m seeing some of the same stories going around the blogosphere without anyone actually linking to the other blogs.
From a reader perspective this makes things more difficult. TechMeme, Technorati, Sphere and other search engines aren’t able to link stories as effectively, so it’s easier to miss important viewpoints.
And that’s what I love about blogs. In just a few minutes, and by following a link trail, you can get a wide variety of opinions on a given subject and then form your own. Without links, it makes it a lot more difficult.
It’s also how good new blogs are found. Without Dave Winer, Robert Scoble, Steve Rubel, Jeff Jarvis, Om Malik and Jeff Clavier, among others, linking often to TechCrunch when it was just a baby, it would never have grown.
I know I’ve been part of the problem, too. As more and more new flows in to my cell phone and email inbox, I have less time to read other blogs. Just a few minutes ago I wrote about a startup that emailed us directly and said they just launched, SponsoredReviews. After I posted, I did a quick search and saw that Blog Herald had also written about them, before me. I added a link to them. Not because I got the story from them, but because I think another opinion is valuable to our readers.
I’m going to make an effort to do more digging for past blog posts on subjects I write about going forward. And if I miss something, don’t take it personally. Just send me an email (it’s on the TechCrunch About page), and if its relevant we’ll add it.
The facts around this story just seem all wrong. If anyone will send me the original link and screenshot, I’ll happily post this at TechCrunch. Apple can come after us if they like. It doesn’t sound like Apple has any legal standing at all to demand this information be removed.
Update: Ok, we have the image up at TechCrunch, but are still looking for a link to the software. Frankly, it’s perfectly within Apple’s rights to have the software removed, but it is not appropriate to send cease & desist letters to bloggers who are simply covering this story.
Dave Winer is exhibiting the “tall poppy syndrom” which drives people to try and tear down anything getting too much attention (he’s been the victim of this as well over the years). He says journalists are giving too much attention to the iPhone and not looking enough at the competitors.
My response is this – successful journalists have an eye for a story that will suck the reader in, and the iPhone is the best example of that in a long time. It drove Engadget’s highest page view day ever, for example. That’s something HTC’s newest phone won’t do no matter how cool it is.
At the end of the day, it is the responsibility of the companies to create sexy and cool products. And the journalists will continue to write about what their readers want to read. Any journalist who strays from this, and tries to hype a less sexy competing product because its more “fair” is just going to be a less popular journalist. And eventually that journalist will fade into the same obscurity as the products he or she covers.
Don’t blame Apple for being cool. And don’t blame journalists for doing what their readers demand.
Om Malik’s empire is spreading faster than a venereal disease, so I asked him for a feed that just piles all of the posts from all of his sites into one clean resource. Here it is, for my fellow Om fanatics. Just subscribe to http://feeds.feedburner.com/gigaomnetwork and you’ll have all his stuff in one place.
Om, any chance you’ll make these full feeds?
It’s not funny, but it is. This is a very long post, and I recommend playing Guns ‘n Roses November Rain while you read it to get the proper dramatic effect.