The episode has riveted the world of technology and media, raising one of the most pressing issues for media organizations to deal with today: The old rules of journalism are applied to Internet bloggers?
“There are all kinds of people not named journalists and that the data traffic, as governments put the data, companies get the raw information and people in the course of their business to gather and share information “said Jeff Jarvis, director of interactive journalism program at the Graduate School of City University of New York journalism. “That’s the way to see Arrington of TechCrunch.”
The conflict has also raised a subject that has challenged other industries such as Hollywood and professional sports: What happens when fighting the mark of the star with the corporate brand?
“The old model of media is working the brand and the brand spreads to you,” said Jarvis. “The new model is that they are the brand. If a blog is a person, you can buy the blog and therefore buy the person and all his attributes?”
Mr. Arrington, making a surprise appearance Monday at TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, the conference of the launch that he founded and now owns AOL, said: “It’s not a good situation for me to stay TechCrunch. ” It was “a sad day for me,” he said.
AOL, which is still going to invest a large part of the CrunchFund $ 20 million, ruled out any question of a dispute between Mr. Arrington and company. “We love Mike and it was the right decision, friendly we have come to together,” said Maureen Sullivan, a spokesman. “We are very excited about our relationship with him in the future.”
But there were signs that the parting of the ways was less than friendly. In a message on Twitter Monday, Mr. Arrington made fun of Arianna Huffington, who runs the Huffington Post AOL Media Group, including TechCrunch, writing: “ok ariannahuff @. Let’s go ahead and talk about what this really exhausted.”
At the conference, Mr. Arrington was wearing a shirt that said “unpaid blogger,” referring to an earlier statement by Ms. Huffington that Mr. Arrington should resign as editor, but could still be an unpaid blogger.
Many bloggers, including Nikki Finke of Deadline Hollywood Matt Drudge of Drudge Report, are also linked to their brands. However, other new media entrepreneurs are trying to avoid this type of connection for fear that their companies could not otherwise live without them.
Thrillist, a city guide for men led by Ben Lerer, no bylines, for example. “I tried to build off of the series Ben to try to increase the value of assets that can go live in another environment,” said Lerer. “Obviously, there are vulnerabilities to be a brand that people do not perceive as larger than one person.”
He compared it to LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers. “When he leaves the city, which no longer works, and everyone wants to leave the city as well,” he said. “I think the same is seen in the sport to do with ownership of the means of communication.”
When Mr. Arrington said last week that had begun CrunchFund, AOL, said earlier that he would remain in TechCrunch. Then, in response to questions about whether a conflict of interest, said he no longer has a role in the TechCrunch editorial, but it would be an employee of AOL business. Now, he is totally independent of the company, which must find a way to retain the TechCrunch audience and writers, who are loyal to Mr. Arrington.
Erick Schonfeld, who was co-editor of TechCrunch with Mr. Arrington has been named editor, said AOL and TechCrunch is hiring new editors. However, some of the TechCrunch writers and editors are considering leaving AOL to start a blog TechCrunch and rival, according to two people briefed on the events he was not authorized to speak publicly.
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