By Kyle Austin
Michael Arrington and Nick Denton don’t like each other. Neither do their competing blogs (TechCrunch and Gawker) in the technology space. There’s no mincing words and there’s no mutual respect. Lloyd Grove recently interviewed Arrington for a feature on him in Conde Nast’s Portfolio.
In which, the two had this exchange:
L.G.: I ran into Nick Denton [the owner of Gawker Media, parent company of the Silicon Valley blog Valleywag.com] last night. What do you think of him?M.A.: I think he’s a total dick.
L.G.: Would you care to elaborate?
M.A.: I think he’s amoral. I don’t think he has any sense of right and wrong, and he’ll do anything he can to make money and have a successful blog. So I just don’t associate with him.
Now former USA Today technology buff and current Portfolio columnist Kevin Maney is weighing in on their dispute which has escalated in recent days: “
A war has broken out between two of the most popular tech blogs. On one side is Michael Arrington of TechCrunch, which takes itself quite seriously. On the other: the insouciant Valleywag, which is the tech industry’s equivalent of something that might be a cross between the National Enquirer and Hollywood Reporter.”
The battle escalated on Monday with Arrington posting a story entitled “When Will We Have our First Valleywag Suicide,” after he read the story in the New York Times by Bob Tedeschi that outlined how Paul Tilley, a DDB ad executive, may have been drive to commit suicide after being personally disparaged in advertising industry blogs. In his post Arrington notes:
“So how long will it be before Valleywag drives someone in our community to suicide? My fear is that it isn’t a matter of if it will happen, but when. Valleywag and Nick Denton, though, will likely look forward to the event, and the great traffic growth that will surely follow. There’s a market for this kind of content, obviously. And nothing can stop it except significant changes to our libel and defamation laws. That isn’t something I support. But the valley was a much nicer place to live and work before the days of Valleywag.”
He also hits on another point. Everyone is a fan of Valleywag until it hits them in the pocket by hurting their business or perhaps more seriously by hurting their personal life. Just ask Jimmy Wales. Sex and dirty gossip creates clicks and drives advertisers, so the Valleywag isn’t going anywhere. Yes, it can still be a lot of fun to check out and we can all take a gentle ribbing now and again, I know I did. But one wonders how far Nick Denton, Gawker and Valleywag will go?