Mike Arrington has a good op ed about the future of machine based blogs and content theft. Bottom line: it’s a speed game and fast food content is being served up all over the place. I agree with Mike (and Steven Hodson, who talked about this topic months ago over at the Inquisitr).
I do have to call Mike out on his post in that he’s suggesting that Techcrunch isn’t fast food.
Techcrunch is definitely McDonalds fast food content. They are the kind of site that Mike is actually criticizing in his post. Techcrunch started that way and gained their reputation by being first on a story now matter how poorly it was written or the kind of content it was. Hello Mike – this was your process journalism notion.
Techcrunch became a franchise on this plan. Techcrunch turned their McDonalds little content shop started in 2005 and around 2007 it became a full on strip mall with more writers, events, and global presence. Techcrunch went from “just Mike” to a team of writers blending their patented McDonalds content with some specialty meals -MG, Gillmor, Robin, and others like TC50, and the “CrunchUPs.”
Given the context of ‘fast food’ that Michael originally set, it’s hard not to think of Techcrunch as a strip mall with more products built around their anchor store McDonald’s content. Techcrunch kept McDonalds but added dry cleaning, PizzaHut, Chuckie Cheese, and a few other specialty stores.
It seems to me that while many are questioning Techcrunch’s reputation more than ever before, it’s not showing in their traffic and products. Techcrunch is doing well. Drama, I suppose, leads to pageviews and pageviews lead to money.
Mike is trying to say that others are McDonalds but not Techcrunch. To try to say Techcrunch isn’t McDonalds is not true. Techcrunch serve up content fast and millions are served (and what’s wrong with that?). To that end, just like any good fast food franchise, they seem to be making good money at it.