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With the battle lines clearly drawn last conference season between DEMO and TechCrunch50, it’s no surprise that Erick Schonfeld of TechCrunch is using the appointment of Matt Marshall (editor of VentureBeat) as conference organizer of DEMO as another opportunity to portray DEMO and IDG (owner of DEMO) as “desperate” in their battle against TechCrunch50.
Marshall’s appointment, part of a larger strategic partnership between DEMO and the popular tech blog, broke tonight with a post from Marshall himself on his site and nearly simultaneous posts from Schonfeld and Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb.
The move makes a lot of sense for DEMO, as they were somewhat desperate to get an online editorial partner who could counter the PR onslaught which Michael Arrington and TechCrunch used against them last year. Matt Marshall and some of the bloggers / writers he’s brought to VentureBeat (including Dean Takahashi) will do just that, bringing the conference some needed buzz.
If wrenching up this conference competition wasn’t enough for your Silicon Valley gossip craving, the news brought some attention back to the growing competition between ReadWriteWeb and TechCrunch and their different views on honoring embargoes. This was brought to light by Marshall Kirkpatrick of ReadWriteWeb commenting on Schonfeld’s post with a link to his post on the news (pictured above).
Kirkpatrick, who takes a different stance on the news by focusing on the 13 years of excellent work which outgoing conference organizer Chris Shipley did with DEMO, also discloses within his piece that DEMO is a sponsor of ReadWriteWeb.
More battle lines are drawn…
Perhaps Kirkpatrick sums all of this up best by describing the feud between TechCrunch50 and DEMO:
“It’s all a big nasty Silicon Valley mess, and Silicon Valley is always fairly big and nasty”