There is certainly a bit of “disruption” going on over at Techcrunch but it’s not about next week’s conference. The dispute is about the new venture fund that was announced last week called, CrunchFund, and has created problems for TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, causing him to be fired from his own company.
A recap: Arrington is the colorful personality behind TechCrunch, the mini media empire that he sold to AOL last year. He told us Thursday that he was starting a $20-million venture fund. He said his new title at TechCrunch would be founding editor and writer. In that role, he said he would not exert editorial control and would fully disclose his investments in blog posts on TechCrunch.
Arrington also told us he would continue to break news. He even inserted a clause in the venture fund’s limited partnership agreement that gives him carte blanche to report on anything he learns except as an investor.
But on Friday AOL began putting out the word that Arrington no longer works for TechCrunch. Instead, AOL says, he works for AOL Ventures as a professional investor. In that role, he could contribute unpaid blog posts to TechCrunch.
Now that is pretty much what AOL has said all along. But its CEO Tim Armstrong told the New York Times on Thursday “TechCrunch is a different property and they have different standards.”
I’m personally not a big fan of Arianna Huffington to begin with. Constantly micro analyzing the world of politics and publishing a new post every time someone farts (or holds it in) is not my kind of news.
MG Siegler, one of the main editors and writers at Techcrunch (also the owner of the following title, ” Kick Ass Pool party coordinator” explained in a piece on his personal blog why the New York Times had it all wrong on the internal workings of TechCrunch:
So gather ‘round everyone, to learn how TechCrunch actually works.
First and foremost, the concept of an “editor” at TechCrunch is essentially just a title and nothing more. Generally speaking, neither Mike nor Erick (TC’s two “co-editors”) are overlords that dictate what everyone else covers. With a few exceptions (mainly for newer writers), no one person even readsposts by any other author before they are posted.
Traditional journalists may be appalled to learn this. But this is a big key of why TechCrunch kicks their ass in tech coverage. We’re fast and furious in ways they can’t be, because they’re adhering to the old rules. Are there benefits to those old rules? Sure. But in my opinion, the benefits of the way we work far outweighs the benefits of the way they work.
If you want a more objective take, simply look at the number of tech stories we’ve broken over the years versus the number any old school publication has. Our system works.
Would you dig through trash for free fashion? With the economy still affecting much of the country, people are always looking for ways to save money. Over 50 New Yorkers scored scored free name brand shoes Sunday night in Union Square by taking initiative.
I was leaving Max Brenner’s with my Twitter friend @Nukirk when we saw a group of people gathered in front of Shoemania on the corner of Broadway and 14th. As we approached, it appeared that people were looking at the bags of trash on the curb. Some bags had been opened and people were looking through the trash for shoes.
There were about 30 people separating empty boxes, loose paper and empty soda cups from shoes. There were murmurs that there were only left shoes but that was quickly squashed when someone yelled, “I found a pair!”. People moved in quickly, opening up new bags and pouring the contents onto the sidewalk. A young couple had found 4 pairs of mens shoes and had them lined up near Storemania’s closed doors. I chatted with several people who apparently had found matching pairs of shoes. Nukirk overheard people working together to find matches.
There were all sorts of shoes including Adidas, Crocs, Converse, Ed Hardy, Dansko, Sketchers, Teva, Donald Pliner, MBT, Steve Madden, Mephisto, Ecco and Dr. Martins. Styles included everything from women’s heels and sandals to men’s dress shoes and high end sneakers.
For some human sociology reason, this sort of behaviour captivated me. I snapped a few photos at this unique flashmob event. A taxi slowed down to check out what was going on. A woman in a tan SUV stopped as if she was considering joining the free-for-all. I asked Nukirk if he wanted to join in. We edged our way into the crowd as I exclaimed how people were overcoming the social messages that “dumpster diving” is a bad thing. I’ve seen some beautiful furniture pieces my friends have landed at garage sales, on Craigslist and yes, dumpster diving on the weekends. I started by watching others toss and sort shoes. Nukirk was hopeful he’d match up a pair of artsy sneakers. I scanned for matching pairs, tossing and sorting shoes to the sidewalk to make this a cooperative dumpster delight.
I ended up scoring a pair of brown sandals early on and had a great time joining all these enterprising New Yorkers in getting a great deal! As we looked for our pairs, people stopped, stared, joined in, took photos and helped others find matching pairs.
As I left in a taxi with my score, I saw the crowd had swelled and wished everyone good luck in finding their next pair *smile*
I’m not sure how to start this blog post so I’m just going to start writing. Today I’m not writing about technology. Today I got a card and a couple of gifts from my sister, Gwendolyn. I haven’t talked to her since 2008.
I love my sister. It brings me much pain to realize how our childhood has affected her as an adult. I know that I always seem happy, excited, optimistic and ready for the next challenge that life brings my way. Unfortunately, her life and thoughts have been very different.
She suffers from depression. I didn’t really understand what this meant. I thought depression was something that was temporary. I thought it could be cured if things in life got better for you. I thought medication helped make life better if you have depression.
I know it took a lot for her to muster up the courage to do this.
Whenever I think of depression, that commercial with the cloud comes to mind where that’s sad person is always followed by that sad cloud. Then I think of the more happy, parody version MadTV did:
Pretty much 99.9999% of the time, I am happy, joyous, grateful, full of energy about life! Sometimes, I have felt guilty that I am just so excited about being alive while others seem to find the world a horrible place to exist. Continue reading →
For the last 7 days, the entire world has been pulling together to help. The United States and many other countries have not only asked their citizens to donate but have also allocated funding, medical staff, firefighters, equipment and transportation to help.
An interesting thing happened that I have not observed in previous disasters like 9/11 or Katrina. It seems that many people found it more interesting to bicker about who was the “best helper” for the people of Hati. I even saw @ev, CEO of Twitter, wonder this aloud:
If you develop your talents, you can be freed from stereotypes.
Michael Jackson Dies At 50
I’ve been to that site, Dead or Alive, where you can see if actors and famous people are alive or not. They have a category for people who have passed 100, you can view by cause of death and find out who died on a specific date. I like the site for all these geeky sorting options. I felt it was important to take an inventory of my life and evaluate if I was where I wanted to be and if not, clearly define my goals to get there.
This year I turned 31 so I went back over to the site as they have a section to see who you have outlived and what people died under the age of 30. I found this list especially interesting because all of these people died at the height of their success and accomplished more in thier short lives than those who would live into their 80′s. I’ve watched documentary and biographies on many of these folks.
Reading over the Wikipedia articles for these famous singers and musicans, many did have rough childhoods. Their common thread is practice. They all were practicing and or professionally performing by age 12. Malcolm Gladwell talks about the “10,000 hour rule” to gain true mastery in his book, “Outliers“.
Michael lived twice as long. Why do we as humans accomplish so very much between the ages of 15-25? If someone doesn’t do they still have the ability to make a lasting contribution to humankind? I’m not going to pretend to know what happened to Michael during his childhood. If someone feels wronged, until that is made right internally, people can carry around a great deal of anger, shame, guilt and fear which eats away at your soul.
How can we make it easier for young people in the music industry?
Should Michael have seeked help for the drama he experienced as a child?
Can people undo emotional damage they experience as children?
Poem dedication to Michael Jackson – Thank You Lord by Maya Angelou
Lyrics at the bottom of the post
Twitter and Current Events
I truly appreciate sharing and experiencing worldwide events on Twitter. It was amazing, beautiful and powerful to read people’s responses to the news on Thursday:
Thank You – by Dr. Maya Angelou
I see You
A little goatee.
Sunday services become sweeter when you’re Black,
Then I don’t have to explain why
I was out balling the town down,
Thank you, Lord
I want to thank you, Lord
For life and all that’s in it.
Thank You for the day
And for the hour and for the minute.
I know many are gone,
I’m still living on,
I want to thank You.
I went to sleep last night
And I arose with the dawn,
I know that there are others
Who’re still sleeping on,
They’ve gone away,
You’ve let me stay.
I want to thank You.
Some thought because they’d seen sunrise
They’d see it rise again.
But death crept into their sleeping beds
And took them by the hand.
Because of Your mercy,
I have another day to live.
Let me humbly say,
Thank you for this day
I want to thank You.
I was once a sinner man,
Living unsaved and wild,
Taking my chances in a dangerous world,
Putting my soul on trial.
Because of Your mercy,
Falling down on me like rain,
Because of Your mercy,
Falling down on me like rain,
Because of Your mercy,
When I die I’ll live again,
Let me humbly say,
Thank You for this day.
I want to thank You.
QuickPwn is a piece of software developed for the iPhone which jailbreaks (allows a different operating system besides the one Apple installed for more options) and unlocks (allows you to use other phone providers besides ATT on your iPhone like how I use T-Mobile) your device. It has been developed by a dedicated group of developers known as iPhone Dev Team. Their website is located at http://blog.iphone-dev.org/
They have released software for the iPhone for some time now and people look to the iPhone Dev Team each time a new version of the iPhone, iTunes or iPhone software is released. This is because it’s not safe to upgrade your jailbroke iPhone; you will lose access to your custom apps (the reason you first jailbroke your iPhone) and you may not be able to roll back to a previous version once you update (some companies, like Apple, will try to restrict your freedom on how you use their products).
QuickPwn.com is not run by the REAL jailbreak software development team
No Software Development
No Support for Jailbreaking
With the release of the new 3.0 iPhone software last week and the new iPhone 3G S phone, the internet was hopping with excitement to try the latest and greatest stuff. Visitors over at the iPhone Dev Team blog couldn’t wait for the new jailbreak software to be ready and were very grateful when ultrasn0w was released this week, allowing you to software jailbreak an iPhone 3G (not 3G S).
ibrock Thank u to the dev team u guys r the bomb diggity ,,,,
linosyou guys are ******** awesome, i owe you a lot. It worked perfect
IbkpI bought an iphone from a friend (iphone-AT&T user) and I was able to unlock it with Ultrasnow (it was very simple and fast!)
richiiie un grand merci!!!! thanks from France, guys! you did a great job!!
So if everyone was happy, what’s the problem?
Someone on the internet decided they wanted to make some money. They didn’t create anything of value people would pay for but they knew some folks who did, the iPhone Dev Team. This person registered a domain nameusing the application’s name, QuickPwn. They also created a Twitter account of the same name.
The worst was yet to come. Now it’s one thing if they created a site that was based on being an informational site to help others with the software. Instead they headed out to Google and Microsoft to sign up for revenue based advertising where they inserted code into their site so ads would display and they would get paid for the clicks.
In my previous post, I covered the how and why to Google advertising. Microsoft, your turn.
Visiting the site for Microsoft’s ad campaign network, it was very focused on people paying for the ads. It was difficult to find information on troubleshooting, how to’s and TOS policies. Overall, Microsoft portrays that your ads will end up on high quality sites with lots of views. QuickPwn.com is not anywhere near the word “quality” but based on their sleezy actions to steal legitimate traffic away from a development team right before the big launch of both a new iPhone and OS, I would certainly credit QuickPwn.com as being high traffic.
Screenshot of QuickPwn.com
How You Can Help
Review the Quickpwn.com and determine if you think you would to pay to have your ads on this site
Visit the Microsoft’s FAQ page to review their Terms of Service (TOS)…If you can find them
Submit a report to Microsoft Advertising via phone 1-800-518-5689 or email and tell them you don’t think organizations would still pay to be listed on low value sites like QuickPwn.com and that the site itself is exploiting open source developers.
Here are the resource links mentioned in the video
The last 24 hours have been quite trying in the life of Adria. First my rat dies yesterday afternoon, then I get my period, my blog goes down around midnight and then today MyCoopRocks makes an early announcement of the contest winners…and I’m not one of them.
Now, dealing with grief, physical discomfort, frustration and disbelief is usually a process that most folks experience during a long and drawn out situation, not in the middle of the week!
Loss of a Pet
Justice my rat died (He’s the Orange one). I had him for 2 years. I adopted him from the Humane Society of Minneapolis. I still have his little friend Common but Justice was the cute and cuddly one who would sit in my lap for an hour. Rats do something similar to cats when they are happy. It’s called “bruxing”. They sorta grind their teeth around and their eyes will jiggle. That means they are really, really happy. Anyway, Justice used to do that.
Yeah, cramps! They suck! So much that I made a video on YouTube a few weeks back and women are watching it and leaving comments which I think is awesome as this is one of my efforts to be more transparent by sharing non “techie” stuff about myself. I want to connect with people on things we all deal with, all struggle with. I am not alway the fixer…sometimes I need fixing.
Then, like how the carpenter has a leaky roof, my blog (yes the one your are reading) decides that it is angry and must explode. I tried to coax it along, asking the database to please wait until the weekend, promising I would migrate it to the new server space at Rochenhost but no….It seized up. Now I do take responsibility here that I did an in place upgrade to WordPress WPMU 2.7.1 but I was following Richard’s instructions and his first set about configuring WPMU were really good!
I have been with the same hosting company since 2005. Now, using software is just like dating in many ways…the longer you are “with” the software or hosting provider, the more attached you feel to them. In spite of problems around:
Cost (financial stability)
Communication (Is he hearing you?)
Cost (lower cost for same or better level of performance..see above)
Competition (Is this really the best deal in town?)
most people will stay with their partner hosting company. Well, I realized mine was not paying attention to my needs. I gave them many chances to improve. I even spent more money with them…hoping they’d notice me. I left them nice comments in their tesimonials forum…no change. I even suspected they were cheating on me not giving me actual answers they knew but were just copy/pasting from a knowledgebase. Finally, I began looking around and found someone a hosting company that fits my needs.
Did my hosting company go south? Did our needs/offerings change over time to create the rift? I know I tried to resolve things and am moving on.
Now you may be saying, “Adria, don’t you hate Joomla though? Why would you host with a company that is tuned for Joomla? ”. The answer is that Joomla, WordPress and many Content Management Systems (CMS) have similar requirements for hosting in reference to Apache, PHP, MySQL, hardware and bandwidth.
But it seems the judges had other ideas. I was awaiting Friday May 8th when they would make the announcement on who won but they made it around dinner time Thursday. Seeing the email, my heart skipped a beat! Had I won a macbook! What would the website look like? What would I tell people on Twitter?
Uhm…yah…No need because I didn’t win!
The good thing I take away from this is that I have masted the skill of networking.
I feel comfortable enough in my own skin try something new
The ability to evaluate my skill set and be realistic about it
The insight to consider who I know and think about how I can utilize my network
Tthe courage to ask for help and when receiving it, make the most of it
The motivation to follow through and thank others for their help
Now, just 4 years ago, I was terrified of speaking in front of people. Just 1 year ago, I had no experience in front of a camera. 6 months ago I was not doing my daily lifestream at AskAdria.com and 1 month ago I had never met some guy with a camera on site to shoot footage for a contest.
One of my entrepreneurial heroes is R. H. Macy. He founded the Macy’s Department store but not before he went broke out west selling shovels to miners digging for gold. He also sold real estate in Wisconsin. The first shop he opened up in New York City was not a big, spacious retail store…it was more like the with of fruit stand and he sold ladies gloves and hair pins. From the humble beginning and initial failures, he amassed a fortune and created a memorable landmark/memory/slice of life for many people.
In modern society, it’s seen as shameful to try and fail so most people don’t try at all. Jeff of CodingHorror.com talks about failing often as a measure of success in programming. Who cares how many “sites you launched” if they all required the same skill set from you making you no more than a fast paced gerbil on the Internet superhighway’s assembly line?
Fear of failure is so teriffying to people they spend their whole lives taking safe bets. Many of these same people then grumble when “risk takers” achive amazing things. Point is, everyone should take risks…intelligent risks where the payoff has been evaluated and it’s something you’re interested in.
Perfectionism can drive people to accomplishments and provide the motivation to persevere in the face of discouragement and obstacles. The meticulous attention to detail, necessary for scientific investigation, the commitment which pushes composers to keep working until the music realises the glorious sounds playing in the imagination, and the persistence which keeps great artists at their easels until their creation matches their conception all result from perfectionism”.
In the workplace, perfectionism is often marked by low productivity as individuals lose time and energy on small irrelevant details of larger projects or mundane daily activities. This can lead to depression, alienated colleagues, and a greater risk of accidents.
Five characteristics of perfectionists: procrastination, fear of failure, the all-or-nothing mindset, paralysed perfectionism, and workaholism.
I liked my co-op a lot. I felt invested enough I could come up with 10 reasons why they were awesome. After I made my own video, I realized it wasn’t going to win any awards. I felt I had a strong set of reasons so I set out to find someone who could help me deliver my message in a good format. Even though I didn’t win, I now have a much better understanding, start to finish, of how to get a video recorded and what the production results can look like!
So, this last 24 hours might have sucked but I learned a lot. I’m off to eat my bowl of ice cream now!