April 2007 Archives

Mike Arrington of TechCrunch has gone on the offensive having been on the receiving end of complaints about his site apparently not running stories unless they are exclusives and of repeatedly breaking embargoes. There is good news and bad news with this situation.

The good news is that, if you are on the receiving end of these complaints, you are the outlet to watch for a certain kind of story. And, if you like reading about oddly named Web 2.0 mash-up businesses, what better place to go than TechCrunch? The bad news is that you get a reputation for unfair dealing, although I doubt whether this actually matters in the real world, for reasons I'll explain below. However, if you are doing any coverage of startups, you will be dealing with this issue day in, day out. It, unfortunately, goes with the territory. It is part of the reason why I have come to loathe doing startup-related things: you find yourself horse-trading more than researching for a bunch of non-stories about companies most of which will have been wiped off the face of the planet in less than five years.

It's all just flannel

1 April 2007

You could not make it up. I know it's April Fool's Day (and I had to click through to quit a few links to work out whether this was for real), but The World's Leading picked some seriously low-hanging fruit in the world of press releases to ridicule over the weekend.

I can't work out whether former hack Claire Armitt suffered a surfeit of wit when she set up PR company Flannel or a total irony failure. Given that the company name is supposed to have a lower-case 'f' in new media-age stylee and the release for one of its clients screams about being the 11th fastest-growing new media company in the UK, I'm wavering towards the latter. Especially when press releases about the PR operation get headlined: "Sponge takes on flannel". Next up, celebrity loofah deathmatch.