A series of blog posts and comments revealed how intensely competitive, and sometimes deeply personal the world of tech news can be.
It started out as a rant about broken embargoes, and devolved into trash talking between players from two major tech blogs.
Ryan Lawler, a TechCrunch blogger wrote this piece, which said that an unnamed blog violated an embargo, causing him some angst and jeopardizing his plans to cover the same news. He apparently took some heat for this post and followed it up with this mea culpa on his own blog: Exclusive – Area blogger Wishes He Had Done Some Things Differently.
I have written about the press embargo (see this post for a definition, and some context). I've had some fun with the topic, after all, this is tech news, not stories about global economic concerns, or ending war or world hunger (it used to be amusing to watch Michael Arrington get so exercised about them when he was running TechCrunch, before the AOL acquisition. Many incorrectly assumed that what he said back then – basically, that TechCrunch will not do embargoes – is still true; it isn't)
Yet, I should not (and don't) take the topic too lightly; our clients rely on our ability to get news out, in a way that satisfies their goals and at the same time helps journalists. The embargo is an important tool in our arsenal.
You can get a sense of the stakes, and how strongly the bloggers feel by reading the comments section of the post that started the whole thing, which shows trash talking between Lawler and GigaOm editor Tom Krazit (as it turns out Lawler used to work for GigaOm – the other blog involved, which was not named at first; this might explain why the exchange seems personal).
The posts give you a glimpse, as Lawler says, into how the tech news "sausage is made."