Forgive Me For Saying, But the Arrington/Huffington/AOLington Episode is Comical

Arrington Huffington AOL

Bloggers around the internet are patting themselves on the back. They are saying, “I told you so,” about the AOL/Techcrunch/HuffPo experiment. I, for one, am surprised. Call me silly, but I was cautiously optimistic that it wouldn’t blow up into a major debacle and that Arrington would be able to meet his 3-year commitment to AOL with only minor disturbances in the force.

I was wrong.

In one day, the three of them were able to make a mockery of the most powerful blogging union on the internet. We’ll look at each individually, but first a recap for those who missed the first day:

  1. Arrington announces he’s starting CrunchFund, an investment firm of venture capital to lift startups with investments of $100,000-$200,000 against a $20,000,000 base.
  2. AOL announces they are going to replace Arrington as editor but that he’ll still be a writer for the site.
  3. Negative responses across the internet start piling in about conflict of interest as deeply involved with a tech publication as Arrington was gets back into the investing field.
  4. AOL declares that they are investing $10,000,000 into the fund.
  5. Arrington responds about it not being a conflict of interest.
  6. Huffington says Arrington will not be working in any capacity at the company.
  7. AOL agrees with Huffington.

That’s the short of it. There are obvious reasons why it’s comical, but let’s dig a little deeper into each:

Michael Arrington

Clearly he did not want to leave Techcrunch altogether. He spent the day explaining why he could still be a part of Techcrunch and not have a conflict of interest as an investor. Unfortunately for him, he painted himself into a corner with one statement:

When asked about the conflict of interest of writing for a site that specializes in highlighting the good and bad regarding startups while investing, Arrington said, “Friendships and marriage are far more potent than financial conflicts,” he said.

Unfortunately for Arrington, all he has left at Techcrunch are friends. By his own admission, he is now more influential to sway the publication’s and its writers’ judgments when it comes to startups. A story about a company he has invested into (or a competitor of such a company) will influence the publication one way or another. His presence alone is enough for him to assert the “far more potent” friendship factor than the financial factor would had he remained on as a writer.

Arianna Huffington

For the venerable Huffington, leader of the most powerful set of blogs in the world, her late reaction means only one of three things:

  1. She wasn’t allowed to be in the loop and didn’t know about the change. (Confirmed)
  2. She warned against keeping him on but did not have the power to force him out initially.
  3. She didn’t think that the backlash would be as strong as it was and changed gears afterwards.

No matter which way it went down, she doesn’t look good in this. Her power is diminished because of this even if she is now the only truly-recognizable personality in the network left.

AOL

They are investors in a firm that is started by a man they just released, a firm that is named very closely to the very entity from which he was released, and they shifted positions twice in less than 24 hours. Their 2nd-biggest blog now has questions surrounding it regarding its status as a trusted source. Through the whole thing, they’ve seemed like they didn’t see this coming when it is clear based upon the investment that it’s been in the works for long enough that they should have had a better plan.

It appears that they had no plan. It appears that they were run over by the bus that they bought. If there’s one thing that has been consistent about AOL for the last few years, it’s that they simply don’t see the impact of the choices they make. It doesn’t matter who is in charge. They squirm around everything they can. When forced to confront issues directly, they either don’t or do so in a way that makes no sense.

/rant

This soap opera is not over. Arrington is too clever. Huffington is too bold. AOL can’t decide who they really are or what they really want to do.

The only one who shouldn’t look bad in all this is the only entity that will actually be hurt by it all: Techcrunch. Thankfully, they (or at least Paul Carr) are taking the high road on this one. Thankfully.

It has all turned into my laugh for the day. Thank you all for entertaining us.

At first, I was appalled. Then I became amused, particularly when thinking of the the three stooges perpetrating this mess. I’m back to appalled and most importantly saddened for Techcrunch, a publication that is caught in the crossfire of egos and idiocy.

About JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Comments

  1. Now, where does this leave Techcrunch. Without Arrington, will it command the same authority in the Silicon Valley? Probably Not.

  2. Great beat ! I would like to apprentice at the same time as you amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog web site?
    The account helped me a applicable deal. I have been tiny bit familiar of this
    your broadcast offered shiny transparent concept

  3. I love what you guys tend to be up too. This sort of
    clever work and exposure! Keep up the good works guys I’ve you guys to our blogroll.

  4. Yes! Finally someone writes about marijuana seeds for sale.

  5. Spot on with this write-up, I seriously believe that this site needs far more attention.
    I’ll probably be returning to read more, thanks for the information!

  6. Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to bee on the internet the siomplest thing to bbe aware of.

    I say too you, I definitely gget irked while people consider worries that
    they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the ttop as well as defined out
    the whole thinng without having side-effects , people could take a signal.

    Willl probably be back to get more. Thanks

  7. I gott this web site fom my friend who shared with me about this web sit and at the mlment this time
    I am visiting this web page and reading very informative content aat this time.

  8. I know this website presents quality based articles
    and extra material, is there any other website
    which offers these things in quality?

  9. These are actually enormous ideas in regarding
    blogging. You have touched some nice factors here.

    Any way keep up wrinting.

  10. Fantastic beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst
    you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog website?
    The account aided me a appropriate deal. I had been a little bit
    acquainted of this your broadcast provided vibrant clear idea

  11. Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about
    this, like you wrote the book in it or something.
    I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is great blog.
    An excellent read. I’ll certainly be back.

  12. My brother recommended I would possibly like this
    web site. He was once totally right. This post truly made my day.
    You cann’t consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this info!
    Thanks!

  13. Hola allí, acaba de convertirse alerta a tu blog a través de Google , y se encontró que es verdaderamente informativo.
    Soy a va a mirar hacia fuera para Bruselas. voy que
    agradecer si continúa esta en el futuro . personas se beneficiaron de su escritura.
    ¡Salud !

  14. Havi?g read this I believed it wa? ?ather enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some tim? and energy to p?t this short
    articl? together. I onc? ?gain fi?d myself personally sending a lot of time both readin? ?nd posting ?omme?ts.
    But so what, it w?s still ?worth it!

  15. Hello! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering
    if you knew where I could locate a captcha plugin for my
    comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having trouble finding
    one? Thanks a lot!

  16. However, the dangers are still present because of the high temperatures that they can reach
    and damages that they can cause to the structure. * When the base sheeting is coated with the aluminium and zinc alloy only, that is no
    further coloured coatings, it does look similar to the old galvanised iron, but it does not have
    the spangled effect. It provides a complete leak proof roofing solution that not only gives a traditional look to your house but
    saves you from adverse environmental conditions.

  17. all the time i used to read smaller articles that as well clear their motive, and that
    is also happening with this piece of writing which I am reading here.

  18. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped me.
    Thanks a lot!

Speak Your Mind

*