Murky Mastheads

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Image by Marion Doss

There’s an old saying in politics that perception is reality (attributed to Lee Atwater). If you want an example, look no further than blogs written under the guise of venerable mastheads like Forbes, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review.

Consider the perception of journalistic excellence these mastheads possess — and yes, even new media outlets like Techcrunch, Mashable, and others. What these branded blogs deliver often strays from the greatness they promise. Yet people consider these blogs authoritative for some reason.

With so much chum and hubris floated to succeed in the attention economy, what we get is not what is perceived.
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Did Arianna Huffington Fire Michael Arrington Over Ethics?

Michael Arrington
Image by Joi

Guest post by Richard Laermer

It appears a couple of different takes on Friday’s story about Mike Arrington leaving TechCrunch, a company which he founded in 2005 and was bought out by AOL in April…

In Friday’s Wall Street Journal article one gets the warm fuzzy feeling that Arrington simply resigned to move on to a bigger and better adventure of running a $20 million venture-capital fund, called CrunchFund, which is to invest in start-ups. CrunchFund is backed by AOL and several VC firms.

TechCrunch is quoted as saying that Arrington will continue to write for TechCrunch, but will have no editorial oversight. When the news broke Arrington tweeted “slow news day.”

Business Insider story quotes Arianna Huffington, the President and Editor-in-Chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group said, “Mr. Arrington is not being paid by TechCrunch, he does not report to TechCrunch editors and does not report to her or other AOL Huffington Post Media Group personnel.

Reading between the lines, it’s obvious that Arrington didn’t resign. This has all the flavorings of someone who has just been fired.

When Business Insider asked for a clarification on Arrington’s new role (if any), Ms. Huffington said that “Mr. Arrington will be welcome to contribute to unpaid blogs to the company as long as he stays within AOL blogging guidelines.” She went on to say that Arrington’s relationship with at AOL is not with TechCrunch but with AOL Ventures.

Business Insider pressed for clarification on Arrington’s role at AOL. They were finally told that Arrington no longer works for AOL in any capacity. Strong words for someone who the WSJ would have us believe that he just merely resigned. As Business Insider noted this sounds more and more that Ms. Huffington ousted Arrington.

There is a funny coda to the Arringtongate story, according to Business Insider: Suddenly, Arianna Huffington decided she could not have a bad vibe in “her house”.

“The editor just got bounced from the staff by his boss, Arianna Huffington. She found out Arrington and her boss, Tim Armstrong, were planning to launch a VC fund about the very startups that Arrington writes about. Not in her house.”

Oh, really?

Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) Answers Tough Questions

In the above video, Author of The Thank You Economy Gary Vaynerchuk answers five questions about his views on consultants and social media. These questions are a follow up to both his controversial TechCrunch interview where he said 99% of social media experts are clowns, and Gini Dietrich’s blog post questioning Vaynerchuk‘s similar opinions about PR Firms in his book.

Personal note to Gary: Thank you for doing this, you’re a champ! Bought and looking forward to reading The Thank You Economy.

Here are the questions posed to Gary.

  • OK, first there was the TechCrunch “99% of social media experts are clowns” statement, and now there is discussion about your book The Thank You Economy, and how 95% of PR firms will louse up your community relations. You seem to have some strong 90th percentile feelings about consultants these days. What’s causing your statements?
  • Why is this generation of marketers any more or less crappy than the marketers that existed before social media?
  • Have you consulted others outside of your company? How did those engagements work out?
  • Who are some online communications consultants that you like?
  • Kathy Sierra recently said on the Gaping Void blog that your work is great because you make others better. [How] do you hope the industry will improve as a result of these conversations and The Thank You Economy?

The El Show Episode #2: Trolls and More!

Warning: There’s significant profanity in this podcast.

tren
Richard Laermer and I hosted our second show today. The El Show (follow us on Twitter) was a wee bit outrageous today, focusing on:

Trolls

  1. Loren Feldman and his Puppets
  2. Michael Arrington and his Libel Suit
  3. Amanda Chapel – Hottie bombalody troll
  4. Us as Trolls

Tr.im/Friendfeed

Mass markets without newspapers

Scoble’s mass unfollowing

Socializing content – It doesn’t mean anything.  Now it means get slimed! Nothing social about it

GI Joe

Download and/or listen to the El Show today.