Continuing trouble for TechCrunch?

Post ImageBack 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!

Has TechCrunch lost its edge?

Post ImageI’ve been subscribed TechCrunch for quite a long time, and I rather enjoy reading about the various companies and technologies they profile. Lately though, I’ve noticed that TechCrunch seems to be reporting on “big company” or “big media” things far more than the little stuff. A good example of this is what happened today. I opened up my aggregator for the first time today, and there were five posts in the TechCrunch feed:

  • Live.com and Yahoo! bulk up for local search brawl
  • Zune Unveiling Tomorrow
  • NBC to put new primetime shows online for free
  • Major Google/Intuit Partnership
  • Skype Video For Macs Launches Today

See what I mean? These look like headlines from CNET News.com, not TechCrunch! Now don’t get me wrong, these are all very interesting posts, and TechCrunch always has some inside information or extra analysis which is worthwhile, but they didn’t get to 113,000 subscribers by covering the big guys. They got there by finding and sharing the smaller companies and products that no one else could find.

Which begs the question – is TechCrunch becoming more like a mainstream business news site? Can we expect more of the “big company” type posts? Has TechCrunch lost its edge?