#techcrunch

Take It Easy, E

December 27, 2007:

Hey. eric eldon here from venturebeat. i’ve been enjoying your posts.

are you set on a solo blogging career, or would you consider writing for another blog. say, venturebeat?

Almost exactly six years ago, Eric Eldon changed my life. That may sound like hyperbole — it is not. That message, sent via Facebook, truly did alter the course of my life.

Today, Eric announced he is stepping down from his role atop TechCrunch to “try something pretty different.” And while I have nothing but respect for that decision, the tech press is a little worse for it — as are we all, as readers.

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Michael Arrington on the CBS/CNET debacle:

What I don’t get is why CNET staffers have stuck around. They’re the ones who are supposed to be journalists and all that entails. They’re the ones I blame right now.

I blame them because they’re the only reason CBS is able to get away with this. Every single journalist at CNET should have resigned by now.

More than once at TechCrunch we made AOL extremely uncomfortable with things that we wrote. But they never ordered us to write or not write about something because they understood that not only would we not comply, we’d write a post about the whole thing.

There are some good arguments in the comment section as to why people are sticking around — mainly it has to do with not walking away from a paycheck when they have families to support. But that still rings a bit hollow. There are no shortage of other tech sites/blogs that are trying to hire writers right now, including TechCrunch.

CNET has turned from an afterthought into a complete fucking joke. Sure, if you have no other options, I guess you work for a joke. A paycheck is a paycheck in a tough economic environment. But there sure seems to be other options.

Jason Kincaid on his time at TechCrunch (which yielded him the awesome piece of art above):


  My initial instinct was to shrug it off with an ‘aw, shucks’ — after all, I’d only done what any self-respecting geek would do in the face of such awesomeness. But it also made me reflect a bit on my time at TechCrunch. Few people get the chance, as I did, to stand on a platform that high and point at neat stuff and have it make a significant impact on peoples’ lives. When I was still writing for TC that influence was something I tried not to dwell on — it made me anxious — but in hindsight it just makes me feel remarkably lucky.

Jason Kincaid on his time at TechCrunch (which yielded him the awesome piece of art above):

My initial instinct was to shrug it off with an ‘aw, shucks’ — after all, I’d only done what any self-respecting geek would do in the face of such awesomeness. But it also made me reflect a bit on my time at TechCrunch. Few people get the chance, as I did, to stand on a platform that high and point at neat stuff and have it make a significant impact on peoples’ lives. When I was still writing for TC that influence was something I tried not to dwell on — it made me anxious — but in hindsight it just makes me feel remarkably lucky.

I Wrote A Book — It Only Took 5 Years And Was Edited Down From About Ten Million Words

When most people write books, they sit down with the goal of writing one. I cheated. Instead, I blogged non-stop for five years, writing about hundreds of different topics on various different sites and had someone edit a collection of those together into a book after the fact.

It’s actually rather genius.

Not necessarily the book, mind you — I’ll let you decide that — but the idea behind it. A startup called Hyperink is behind it and they approached me with the opportunity to repurpose and reinvigorate some of that past content I had made. They’ve previously done this with Foundry Group’s Brad Feld and had great success (he just released version 2 of his blog-to-book).

One of the greatest strengths of blogging is also a weakness: content is very easy to get out there, but because of that, it’s also extremely ephemeral. Every blogger has dozens, if not hundreds, if not thousands of posts that they poured time into, but after a short shelf life, those posts are lost in the ether of the web — most never to be found again. Some of those are great posts. It doesn’t matter. On the Internet, fresh content is paramount.

Hyperink is trying to change this with Blog to Book series. Specifically, they’re looking over past posts to find the best ones (based on a number of factors — some subjective, some not) and putting them together in an eBook format. More will be coming from other bloggers in the future.

To be clear, all of this is previous published content that is available for free on the web. But the book is edited together together in a way that I actually think is pretty fun and seamless. I’ve also included some updated commentary on some of the topics. It’s 177 pages of pure joy and jackassery.

Perhaps most importantly, the price is fair. If you buy it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, you’ll pay just $4.95. And for a limited time, you can buy it right through Hyperink for just $2.99. With that purchase, you can get the eBook for the Kindle, Nook, iPad, or just a PDF.

The title? You’re Damn Right I’m a Fanboy: MG Siegler on Apple, Google, Startup Culture, and Jackasses on the Internet. Catchy, no?

Enjoy. And thanks for reading.

Lots of questions about the PandoDaily situation. To be completely honest, I’m a bit surprised by how this went down. I think Michael’s response is appropriate. 

The problem seemed to be us participating in TechCrunch Disrupt (and I assume more Michael than myself since I’m still a TechCrunch contributor). But we both speak at a lot of conferences. And I view it as valuable that we speak at a lot of conferences — for both us as a brand and our portfolio companies.

I still think PandoDaily has an opportunity to evolve the tech blogging space. Unfortunately, it won’t be with myself or Michael involved in an editorial capacity. Oh well. Plenty of other places to write on the Internet. Like right here, for example.