HUBDUB PUNDIT WATCH: TechCrunch is the bottom of the pool, while VentureBeat and Pat Buchanan are stellar.

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I am not surprised at all by the results.

Maybe a non-profit organization should sponsor PunditWatch.

Robin Hanson (mister &#8220-Track Records&#8221-), take notice.

Meet Michael Arrington of TechCrunch.

No GravatarMichael Arrington

Lloyd Grove: I ran into Nick Denton [the owner of Gawker Media, parent company of the Silicon Valley blog] last night. What do you think of him?

Michael Arrington: I think he&#8217-s a total dick.

Lloyd Grove: Would you care to elaborate?

Michael Arrington: I think he&#8217-s amoral. I don&#8217-t think he has any sense of right and wrong, and he&#8217-ll do anything he can to make money and have a successful blog. So I just don&#8217-t associate with him.

Lloyd Grove: I have to say, when he invited me to be his friend on Facebook, I had to think about it a long time. Because here in New York, when I had a gossip column at the New York Daily News, Gawker particularly attempted to make my life less pleasant than it ought to have been.

Michael Arrington: Yeah, I know what that&#8217-s all about. By the way, Valleywag competes with TechCrunch on some stories, and it doesn&#8217-t matter. If they get a tip or think something&#8217-s funny, they&#8217-ll write it about me. And it&#8217-s not just me, they do it to everyone. But I just try to ignore it.

Lloyd Grove: Uh huh. Tell me, obviously the big challenge for traditional print journalism organizations like the Washington Post or Time magazine or New York magazine, and even Conde Nast Portfolio, is to figure out how to monetize the internet and make their businesses viable on the internet. Do people in those businesses ever consult you since you seem to have a very successful journalistic operation?

Michael Arrington: Not so much. I mean, we&#8217-re able to monetize because we have a very high-end audience and it&#8217-s very niche and very specific. We&#8217-re lucky, but it&#8217-s not magic. If you can get an audience like ours, it&#8217-s pretty easy to generate revenue.

Lloyd Grove: How do you describe your audience to advertisers?

Michael Arrington: You know, they&#8217-re early adopters. They&#8217-re people that want to try new products. A significant portion of my audience, for instance, would&#8217-ve bought the Kindle when Amazon released it last year, immediately. And they&#8217-re a lot of entrepreneurs, so a lot of them need service providers, they need designers, they need accountants, and then they need to buy software. So Microsoft, Adobe, and others are always advertising on the site as well. So that&#8217-s it, and sometimes, you have other things as well, but it&#8217-s a high-end high-income sort of audience. We did a survey a while back, and the average was like $100,000 a year.

Lloyd Grove: You&#8217-re only two years old, right?

Michael Arrington: This is going to be our third year.



More Info

Previous blog posts by Chris F. Masse:

  • Red Herring’s list of the top 100 North-American high-tech startups includes Inkling Markets —but not NewsFutures, Consensus Point, or Xpree.
  • Professor Koleman Strumpf explains the prediction markets to the countryland people.
  • Professor Koleman Strumpf tells CNN that a prediction market, by essence, can’t predict an upset.
  • Time magazine interview the 2 BetFair-Tradefair co-founders, and not a single time do they pronounce the magic words, “prediction markets”.
  • One Deep Throat told me that this VC firm might have been connected with the Irish prediction exchange, at inception.
  • BetFair Rapid = BetFair’s standalone, local, PC-based, order-entry software for prediction markets
  • Michael Moore tells the Democratic people to go Barack Obama in Pennsylvania (a two-tier state), but the polls and the prediction markets tell us that that won’t do the trick.

Is WeatherBill doing well, really??

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WeatherBill does so well that TechCrunch has just published two &#8211-yes, two&#8211- blog posts on it, today (Wednesday, October 17, 2007). Here&#8217-s the first one, which basically says that two VCs have just poured $12,5 million dollars in it. Good for them. The second blog post, written by another TechCrunch writer, and which has been quickly taken off their website, basically said the same, but with this twist:

CEO David Friedberg says that WeatherBill has hundreds of customers and faces such high demand that it needs to bring more people aboard to increase capacity. The site has launched not only in the US but Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and Norway as well.

So, should we believe the content of this now-deleted blog post? Or was it deleted because this information is not accurate? Mystery. ValleyWag should investigate. :-D

APPENDIX: Here&#8217-s the deleted TechCrunch blog post on WeatherBill. (The second item that follows is the first blog post that was published by TechCrunch.)

Deleted TechCrunch WeatherBill


UPDATE: VentureBeat on WeatherBill&#8230-

VentureBeat on WeatherBill

UPDATE: Mark Hendrickson of TechCrunch&#8230-

Our apologies for misleading everyone into thinking Weatherbill enables people to gamble the weather as if it were a casino game. The service is meant rather to provide insurance for companies that could be aversely affected by fluctuations in the weather.

Weatherbill’s CEO informs us that only companies with a net worth of at least $1 million can participate due to regulations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. He also says that Weatherbill is the first service to ever provide access to hedges on the weather (online or otherwise).

Also, for anyone wondering why we had two posts up about this story, that’s because Duncan and I reported on it independently by accident. I guess you could say we both find the weather very interesting.