I just read moments back an article by MG Siegler on the possibility of TechCrunch about to change. It was bound to happen and any sensible person could have sensed the shit coming TechCrunch’s way when they announced their acquisition by AOL. You sell yourself or even have money poured in by an investor [like AOL] you should be ready to embrace drastic changes, for these firms just can’t tolerate the existing dynamics to function. Just to clarify, by stating “These firms” I strictly point to those who love monopolizing everything possible. Don’t call me a fanboy of TechCrunch or that someone has funded this post, I do so because it is a massive lesson from which other blogs and bloggers should learn.
You can’t fight them for sure for you have slaved yourself by taking money for every positive reason. But I guess at times money blinds you from seeing beyond the present and your own plans, blinds you from seeing the motives behind the investor putting in his millions in your firm or idea. It is a bit different for startups, but for settled businesses like TechCrunch, sitting in the seat of directors or investors is not exactly what they want or have in mind. Absolute control is what everyone craves, so AOL here has done nothing wrong.
What is has done wrong is however dismantling the current dynamics of a working model, one that is also very successful and a leader in its own genre. I am sure the emotional sounding MG Siegler will forget about the entire thing as long as he works at TC and not have something else to work at, so will many of the team members, but what is essential is the fact that affiliation is something that will be difficult to build with the new despot [as Siegler puts it] takes charge of the reigns. There was also an article from Paul Carr on the CrunchFund that will invest in startups and in all honesty it represents the feelings of everyone at TechCrunch.
Journalism, ethics will definitely be treated as whores once these investment firms start poking their fingers in it. I am not even sure if the next time I read a coverage on some startup to be an honest opinion and not done to promote a startup that has received funding from AOL and its partners. I can expect this not happening as long as a hardcore TechCrunch Blogger writes about it.