The WSJ is the last one to know, of course, that Mike Arrington (the Crunchman) is the man of the hour in Silicon Valley and the Internet business. They featured him today in a story that will tell you nothing you don’t already know. You have to have a subscription to read it but here’s the link in case you do.
But I want to say some things about the Crunchman. First, he is one of those people, like Peter Rojas, Om Malik, Arianna Huffington, the Boing Boing crew, that has taken the blog format and made it his/her own. He has shown the world why blogging is a superior form of media.
Second, he doesn’t buy into tired notions like "conflicts of interests". As John Doerr said a long time ago, "no conflict no interest". My partner’s nephew says he likes sports blogs better than the sports sections of newspapers because blogs don’t pretend to be "objective". His nephew’s quote was something like "everyone has his or her version of the truth, at least with bloggers you know where they are coming from". And so it is with Arrington. Don’t for a second think that Mike is "objective" or "fair". He’s not and he’s never claimed to be. I hope nobody thinks I am objective or fair either. I’ve got a business, a portfolio, my political views, and I express them without the intent of objectivity every day on this blog. That is what blogs are all about. People driven media, opinions, reality.
People will say, yeah but Fred you are part of that club too. You get unfair access. So what. That’s life. If you don’t like it, start a blog, get an audience, blog at 4am in the morning, and get into the club yourself.
Don’t take this to mean that I am a disciple of Techcrunch. I read it once a week or so. I probably miss 75% of the posts on Techcrunch. I don’t get excited when a company gets a Techcrunch bounce. And my goal is to know the companies long before they get written about on Techcrunch. The VCs who show up on entrepreneur’s doors after the Techcrunch post are going to get hurt with that approach.
But I like the Crunchman. I respect him. And I think he’s doing a great service to the blog world, the Internet business world, Silicon Valley, and himself. I am rooting for you to beat CNET Mike.
BTW – I ganked this photo from the WSJ in case you didn’t know that already. That’s the reason for the linkback, even though its to a page behind a wall.