On the TechCrunch debacle: There’s no approved messaging for that

TechCrunch is on the precipice. As soon as tomorrow, Mike may be thrown out of the company he founded. Or he may not. No one knows. And if he is, he will be replaced by — well, again, no one knows. No one knows much of anything. Certainly no one at TechCrunch. This site is about to change forever and we’re in the total fucking dark.

Don’t you hate it when that happens?

I still too freshly remember the anxiety of waiting for news to unfold while the house you’ve poured your heart into suddenly comes crashing down, the frustration of wanting to take matters in your own hands, to DO something, say something, reach out to the people who care and ask for their help to make your story known, to say how much you MATTER…

Unfortunately, companies rarely have approved messaging ready for this kind of situation.

Emotions are high over at TechCrunch right now, and the team clearly isn’t going for the standard radio silence PR play and waiting for the situation to play out. Because politics and bad decisions aside, for the people on the front lines, the world they know is fucking solid. I respect the hell out of them for standing up to their critics and saying that, raw emotions and all. Especially so.

My sage advice for TechCrunch? Focus. They will never break you if you stick together and keep telling your story.

Edited to add a comment from Scoble:

Several years ago Arrington and I were headed to some conference and I asked him about how he sees himself. Did he consider himself a blogger or a journalist, I asked. His answer stuck with me all this time: “I’m an entertainer.”

After finishing this post, I was sitting here in the dark of my office thinking the same thing (but without the real life story to back it up). The web responds well to showmanship. Not that anyone should be over dramatic or start shit just for attention — Internet showmanship is a realistic balance of emotional highs and lows, and few are able to take their readers on a journey quite like Michael Arrington. I leave the discussion of whether journalism is an appropriate environment for that kind of theatrics as an exercise for the reader.

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