Apparently TechCrunch hates community and it’s all over for us. Who knew?
According to Umair Haque, your friendly neighbourhood UK digital strategist, we’re all now tired of TechCrunch (apart from TCUK, thanks Umair, I owe you a pint now). His argument is that TechCrunch is “peaking”, it doesn’t invest in the “community” and instead gets its attention by creating division. He calls this “The TechCrunch Effect”. Ouch.
All this is therefore unsustainable since “love is more powerful than hate” (queue John Lennon’s “Imagine”).
I like Umair, have met him several times, and he’s considered something of a leading thinker, especially about ‘edge economics’. So here are my thoughts:
- Is TechCrunch peaking or is it just doing well in traffic? Or maybe January is just a slow month generally? TechCrunch.com is pretty damn big now at 684,000 readers on Feedburner (RSS/email). As for little old TCUK, subscriber numbers have only gone up since the re-launch last September and recently passed 5,000. Admittedly it competes in the same language (English) as the .com site – which is rather like launching a UK version of a US magazine, when the US magazine is the same price, has more pages and sits on the same shelf at the store. What the UK version has to do afterwards, however, is speak to its community.
- A blog is in fact quite a lot more about community than meets the eye, it’s just that a one person, or maybe a small handful people, is kicking off the discussion.
- In case you hadn’t noticed TechCrunch has recently re-launched CrunchBase. Now, this is a database of startups, globally. This would appear to be an “investment” in the community as a few people ought to find the data it provides quite useful.
- TechCrunch might appear divisive at times, but surely it is stimulating discussion about its industry? One of the problem’s the poorer trade publications seem to have is the sheer level of blandness. Industry sector blogs – if they are any good – don’t tend to have that issue.
- When a startup is reviewed on TechCrunch it might actually get a good review. I know that’s hard to believe, but I did it only the other day. Is this love or hate? Maybe it’s just (hopefully informed) opinion?
Or maybe we’re pissing in the pool?
(My apologies for the navel-gazing post. Normal service will now be resumed).