Yesterday, Tim O’Reilly posted a blogging code of conduct. It was created as a result of the Kathy Sierra thing. Quite a few people think it’s a good idea, other’s don’t. Mike Arrington is part of the latter group:
The code of conduct and the mass of bloggers lining up behind it scares me a lot more than the hate comments and death threats I’ve received in the past. I won’t support it.
Mike is absolutely, unequivocally, 100%, DEAD ON.
The blogosphere doesn’t need a code of conduct. What a stupid idea.
Back in September I wrote that in my opinion, TechCrunch had started to lose its edge. I based my comments strictly on the kind of content that had been appearing on the popular Web 2.0 blog. Since then I would say the content has improved. Not that I have been tracking it that closely, but it seems as though it has improved.
TechCrunch appears to be having other problems though. Last week Michael Arrington had something of a meltdown, which you can read about at Valleywag. And just yesterday Michael announced that writer Natali Del Conte was leaving TechCrunch after just three weeks:
She’s gotten an offer from another company (again, I’ll let her make any announcements on that), but was willing to stay on part time with TechCrunch. I appreciate that, but I want our writers to be completely focused on TechCrunch and not working with competitors. She also told me the comments were really getting to her, and the turmoil from last week (TechCrunch UK, NYTimes debacle) played a part as well.
That announcement did follow some good news for TechCrunch though – it entered Technorati’s top 5 for the first time.
I put a question mark in the title because I think Michael should see this as an opportunity for TechCrunch. I think he should spend some time to find the right editor, and I would also suggest revisiting the comment policy. Some of the most valuable information is found in comments, but they need to be effectively policed too. Perhaps implementing a community rating system a la Digg would be wise.
Hopefully we’ll see an even better TechCrunch soon!