High School 2.0

22 Nov ’06

Chalk this up as yet another difference between the blogtropolis and the mainstream media – you will see very few high school smackdowns by one MSM outlet of another.

Today’s brouhaha involves Mike Arrington dropping lots of tinder on the fire that brewed up this week over Jason Calacanis’s departure from Netscape, when Nick Denton at Valleywag had questions about why Jason had actually left – traffic issues? For present purposes the reason is beside the point – what’s interesting (to me, at least) is that these guys can’t seem to keep their hands off each other’s reputations.

But in today’s twist, Mike Arrington, who as I’ve blogged recently now must be seen as a Valleywag scoop competitor, uses his bully pulpit to take gratuitous shots at Denton, in much the same way he accuses Denton of taking shots at Calacanis (“Denton has always played second fiddle to Jason, never quite achieving the same level of success. Many say this is because he can’t handle it when his writers get more attention than he does”). It’s all quite interesting, but only as a lesson in media social anthropology. But really, is it just me, or do these guys all seem just a touch too fascinated with each other?

Update: Lots of Sturm und Drang about this today. I think what’s next is that Nick has to create a site for Valley business news (ValleyCrunch?), and Mike has to create a site for Valley gossip (CrunchBuzz?).

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Hyndman November 22, 2006 at 15:51

I thought it was off-brand too. Mike should launch a Valley gossip site – hire a hot hand to cover it. No doubt he has the insights. Round out the portfolio.


Bill Kinnon November 22, 2006 at 14:58

One might remember Arrington’s episode at the ONA in early October that Jeff Jarvis blogged about. Arrington is a gifted blogger in need of some maturing.


Mathew Ingram November 22, 2006 at 14:49

And it’s interesting to note that Mike is getting a fair bit of “push-back,” as the MBA types like to call it, in the comments section of his post on Jason and Nick. Obviously some readers think it’s outside the normal purview of TechCrunch too (or should be).


Rob Hyndman November 22, 2006 at 13:40

True enough, and Arrington can decide for himself whether he wants TechCrunch to be about gossip or hard news. But I think one thing we’re seeing is that the Publisher / Editor / Writer hats on the same head thing can make it hard for people to avoid (what I see, anyway as) going off message when it gets personal.


Mathew Ingram November 22, 2006 at 13:33

Well, blogs and other “new” media are inherently more personal, and I guess that can be both good and bad.


Rob Hyndman November 22, 2006 at 13:25

I don’t think so. I’m seeing it as a case history essentially of the development of a new form of media. One could ignore it, but that would sacrifice that aspect of it, and also the opportunity to send the signal (which, doubtless, no one really cares to hear) that not everyone finds the underlying antics interesting.


Estelle November 22, 2006 at 13:22

….just a silly thought….but by blogging about them doesn’t it make it seem like you are just as too fascinated about them and their antics


Bill Kinnon November 22, 2006 at 12:12

Or the Royal Scam, perhaps. (Now the kids reading this will be completely confused.) :-)


Rob Hyndman November 22, 2006 at 12:01

Maybe Kid Charlemagne? :)


Bill Kinnon November 22, 2006 at 11:52

For some reason, while reading the Arrington piece, all I could hear in my head was Steely Dan’s, “My Old School.” May just be a function of age, however.


Rob Hyndman November 22, 2006 at 11:25

Definitely time to get outside of the bubble.

And frankly, I don’t really get the argument that Jason has had more “success” than Nick. Maybe that’s true, but if Denton enjoys doing what he’s doing, then judging from the numbers that are being thrown around, he’s got a pretty sweet deal. All that and media darling to boot (plus, he still has a job).

Jason cashed out, Nick didn’t. Jason has the cash, Nick has the cash flow. Not sure one is better than the other.


mark evans November 22, 2006 at 11:15

can you say echo-chamber?…:)


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