The difference between TechCrunch and Valleywag

Dave Winer defends Nick Denton and Valleywag today.

Me? I see it a bit differently. I don’t see that Valleywag has noticeably changed its stripes. Yeah, so far they haven’t followed anyone into a bathroom and that is an improvement over the old Valleywag — if it holds.

But, Dave also notes that Valleywag wants to be TechCrunch. I say it can’t do that. Why? Cause TechCrunch is all about building companies and people up while Valleywag is all about tearing companies and people down.

Both functions are needed. If you have hype without anti-hype, no one will believe the stuff that really should be listened to.

It comes from nature. Look at El Capitan in Yosemite. The forces that put El Capitan there are like TechCrunch. The forces (it was a glacier) that dug the valley out and exposed El Capitan for the largest chunk of granite around are like Valleywag.

Why will TechCrunch get the best breaking news (Nick Denton said he was jealous of Mike for getting the YouTube/Google story first)? Cause people like builders more than destructors and will reward that behavior with information sharing more. But, Denton might have the last laugh anyway. Destructors are a lot more entertaining, so I bet that Valleywag will have a bigger audience.

35 thoughts on “The difference between TechCrunch and Valleywag

  1. Great points Robert, as blogs start to mature the positive twist on information will be much more valuable. I’d also add that right now with a fairly healthy economy it is easy for a “tabloid” type publication to be popular but when the tide shifts we’ll be looking for news that helps us make money and just about tearing things down.

  2. Great points Robert, as blogs start to mature the positive twist on information will be much more valuable. I’d also add that right now with a fairly healthy economy it is easy for a “tabloid” type publication to be popular but when the tide shifts we’ll be looking for news that helps us make money and just about tearing things down.

  3. perhaps Nick Denton is secretly coding some ad serving platform that he’ll f’up too? maybe he and pud are in cahoots.

    seriously, i miss nick douglas. has anyone noticed that since denton fired douglas and took over the posting that the # of comments is almost zero!?!?!? is that an indication of visitors or just an indication of people can’t stand his lame writing?

  4. perhaps Nick Denton is secretly coding some ad serving platform that he’ll f’up too? maybe he and pud are in cahoots.

    seriously, i miss nick douglas. has anyone noticed that since denton fired douglas and took over the posting that the # of comments is almost zero!?!?!? is that an indication of visitors or just an indication of people can’t stand his lame writing?

  5. Good point about the diff. between the two sites. Arrington is like the business magazines – building up companies and doing less criticism – more on hype and less on analysis. In fact, I have often found more value in Techcrunch comments than the articles.

  6. Good point about the diff. between the two sites. Arrington is like the business magazines – building up companies and doing less criticism – more on hype and less on analysis. In fact, I have often found more value in Techcrunch comments than the articles.

  7. Antonio: good point. You demonstrate what happens when you try to make generalizations. I look at a beach and see nothing but sand. You see the stick of wood.

    So, I come back and say “I’m speaking in general terms.”

    Generally Mike doesn’t bash companies. Generally Nick doesn’t promote companies.

    Does that make sense now?

  8. Antonio: good point. You demonstrate what happens when you try to make generalizations. I look at a beach and see nothing but sand. You see the stick of wood.

    So, I come back and say “I’m speaking in general terms.”

    Generally Mike doesn’t bash companies. Generally Nick doesn’t promote companies.

    Does that make sense now?

  9. “I’d expect he wouldn’t write about something he didn’t believe in or like at some level.”

    excuse me?

    what about TC’s trashing of payperpost? or do you excuse him that because it was broadly panned?
    or shall i bother looking up any number of other sites he’s skewered.

    don’t get me wrong, i don’t fault him for it – when something’s bad, it deserves to be called out. i’m glad he does us this service.

    but you simply can’t make blanket statement like “TC is a builder, VW is a destroyer” and expect to be taken seriously. what kind of favor are you trying to curry with mike? is this idle flattery or a new level of sycophancy?

  10. “I’d expect he wouldn’t write about something he didn’t believe in or like at some level.”

    excuse me?

    what about TC’s trashing of payperpost? or do you excuse him that because it was broadly panned?
    or shall i bother looking up any number of other sites he’s skewered.

    don’t get me wrong, i don’t fault him for it – when something’s bad, it deserves to be called out. i’m glad he does us this service.

    but you simply can’t make blanket statement like “TC is a builder, VW is a destroyer” and expect to be taken seriously. what kind of favor are you trying to curry with mike? is this idle flattery or a new level of sycophancy?

  11. They’re just bloggers! Both Denton and Arrington are confused and think they should be the topics of discussion and center of attention (and this post reinforces that) when the industry is really much larger than them. Impressive when you consider the size of their egos…

  12. They’re just bloggers! Both Denton and Arrington are confused and think they should be the topics of discussion and center of attention (and this post reinforces that) when the industry is really much larger than them. Impressive when you consider the size of their egos…

  13. Rogers: I don’t see a lot of that kind of behavior over on Arrington’s site. I’d expect he wouldn’t write about something he didn’t believe in or like at some level.

  14. Rogers: I don’t see a lot of that kind of behavior over on Arrington’s site. I’d expect he wouldn’t write about something he didn’t believe in or like at some level.

  15. It’s interesting that you think TechCrunch’s role is “about building companies and people up.” So if Michael Arrington thinks some Web 2.0 play is an overhyped pile of crap, you wouldn’t expect him to say that?

  16. It’s interesting that you think TechCrunch’s role is “about building companies and people up.” So if Michael Arrington thinks some Web 2.0 play is an overhyped pile of crap, you wouldn’t expect him to say that?

  17. Man, I dunno how you can say the new Valleywag is better. Nick Denton is about 50% the writer that Nick Douglas was. It’s also the case that while in the past I read a lot of really shocking stories there and he said some outrageous things, I never got the feeling that at his heart Douglas was a mean-spirited guy.

    I don’t that vibe at all from Denton. So far, he outed someone sexually, made fun of some middle-aged nude woman, and hasn’t broken any business news either.

    I suspect if the new Valleywag fails, it won’t be because of some great metaphysical divide between creators and destroys — it’ll be because Nick Denton ‘s Valleywag isn’t nearly as cool.

    And, despite what he says about Nick Douglas focusing too much on the ‘personalities’ in Valleywag, that was what made it brilliant. There are and always will be industry blogs like Techcrunch, and more power to them. We don’t need another one!

  18. Man, I dunno how you can say the new Valleywag is better. Nick Denton is about 50% the writer that Nick Douglas was. It’s also the case that while in the past I read a lot of really shocking stories there and he said some outrageous things, I never got the feeling that at his heart Douglas was a mean-spirited guy.

    I don’t that vibe at all from Denton. So far, he outed someone sexually, made fun of some middle-aged nude woman, and hasn’t broken any business news either.

    I suspect if the new Valleywag fails, it won’t be because of some great metaphysical divide between creators and destroys — it’ll be because Nick Denton ‘s Valleywag isn’t nearly as cool.

    And, despite what he says about Nick Douglas focusing too much on the ‘personalities’ in Valleywag, that was what made it brilliant. There are and always will be industry blogs like Techcrunch, and more power to them. We don’t need another one!

  19. Their fate is in the Web 2.0 boom/bubble. We’ve got at least another 6-12 months of speculation ahead of us. Hopefully Vista will bring RSS/video to the masses.

  20. Their fate is in the Web 2.0 boom/bubble. We’ve got at least another 6-12 months of speculation ahead of us. Hopefully Vista will bring RSS/video to the masses.

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