Who would ever want to be King? (Or How To Recognize A Revolution In One Easy Step)

It’s not the best of times for Kings.

From Wall Street titans like Dick Fuld to Main Street titans like Howard Schultz the future looks difficult.

Even the kings of the blogging world are beginning to whine.

On the same day that Mike Arrington announced a vacation from blogging and blamed other bloggers for threats on his life, his friend Jason Calacanis released a 10,000 word (at least) opus on how technology has pretty much fucked up his head and that we need “change”.

Of course I’m all for change, especially since it’s pretty much inevitable. But whining only when the arrows come at you doesn’t taste right. And anyway, what I am even more interested in is the timing of both of these screeds and what’s happening underneath and below the noise.

Let’s be real.

Arrington is a brilliant entreprenuer and what he has done with Techcrunch over the years is nothing short of amazing. His chutzpah, timing and ruthless focus makes him an internet legend.

But let’s also be honest, Techcrunch’s future ain’t exactly bright.

Mike Arrington and Meghan Asha

With the economy tanking (and all the smart guys betting it’s going to get worse) a website that makes it’s money from folks who get their money from VCs doesn’t seem like a growth industry, at least for the next couple years.

I might be a little stressed too, thinking about how to keep the cash rolling in during the next two years of lower revenue and increased competition.

A sabatical might be just what I need.

“…revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate…”-vida la viva

You know how to spot a revolution?

By looking at the kings who litter the floor.

People get hurt in revolutions.

Some may be innocent bystanders but most victims are supporters and emissaries of who or what it is that’s changing. Today our government is trying to save industries that came to life around the last great depression. But all the government help in the world couldn’t save the horse and buggy.

That’s just the way revolutions work.

Not everyone gets out alive.

What does that mean for our blogging kings?

Well maybe instead of trying to change the public they might want to look at themselves.

Not because nutjobs who spit on people have a point, but because if your gut says something needs to change, it’s probably right.

And all change starts from within.

It’s also probably time for some Denton-like creative self-destruction

or bullet-proof vests.

Explore posts in the same categories: blog networks, chartreuse (beta), new media

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23 Comments on “Who would ever want to be King? (Or How To Recognize A Revolution In One Easy Step)”

  1. Dominic Rivera Says:

    and Kings can only become great after they look at themselves

  2. William Says:

    As usual, a completely different perspective. You need to write more!

  3. Jane Says:

    two words on this post: epic fail

    You’re missing the point. People are nasty behind the internet curtain and every so often this cruelty happens to public personas (arrington, k. sierra, etc) to bring a public hue & cry. be cynical all you wish, but traffic is the least motivating factor to talk about such an incident.

  4. Andy E. Says:

    I don’t see the point of this article. Are you saying BLOGGING is going through some sort of revolution? Or that Jason and Mike are?

    Either way I think you completely missed the point of Jason’s post. He was talking about empathy not change!

  5. chartreuse Says:

    Geez.
    A couple of things.
    I found it interesting that (in my eyes) Jason and Mike were talking about the same thing, people being mean on the internet. Neither one of them like “mean” so it’s easy to infer that want to see “change”.

    The point of this post, which maybe you missed (or I didn’t make clear) is that maybe the shots being taken at them are not personal but all part of the price of being king in a world where everyone is a revolutionary.

    Fail or not I hope you at least enjoyed the pictures. :)


  6. The inevitable downside of being a “king”; yet we all want to be one, right?

  7. Brian Clark Says:

    There’s more irony here.

    I like Jason a lot (from what I know of him).

    Mike I’m not so sure about (from what I know of him).

    But historically, no one would accuse either of them of being “nice,” at least as media personas.

    Reap, sow, etc.

  8. Jim Kukral Says:

    Brian nailed it. Reap, sow…

    Make your bed, lie in it, etc…

    Shall we go on and on?

  9. ddwise Says:

    Love the assertions here. They say nature abhors a vacuum… my version of that is that humans abhor chaos, even on-line user generated content chaos, and order will eventually prevail. These flame-outs are probably harbingers. I certainly think so, and will be user-generating content about it!!! :-)

  10. David Risley Says:

    I’m not so sure this is because they’re king as much as because they are themselves. From what I’ve heard, Arrington isn’t exactly Mr. easy-going. But, hell, I’ve never met the man.


  11. It is most interesting to me that both of these “notices” appeared at the same time, from the same “type” (i.e. A-lister) of blogger.

    Haven’t yet seen any up-and-comers griping about how tough it is – just the opposite. Many of the growing, entrepreneur-types are pretty excited about the possibilities in this downturn, and what it may mean for their own businesses.

    I also notice that Chris Brogan isn’t cutting and running, in fact he seems to be in even more places than ever. Just sayin’.

  12. Josh Says:

    Everyone is feeling the strain these days. I’m not sure the “kings” are falling, but I am sure that models are changing. The reason that TechCrunch does so well is that Arrington has created something that is timely. TechCrunch breaks news/information. Scobelizer doesn’t break it as much as offers insight…kinda tells you what’s important. The ruler of the day will be those who aggregate information that is both insightful and timely.

    With that said, I feel that the Alltop model is poised for long-term success. What do you want? Yeah, they’ve got it.

    Regarding the perils of success, that’s an age-old problem. The model that Arrington has setup establishes a degree of animosity among people TechCrunch chooses to not cover or covers in a negative light. The nature of blogging lends a personal touch to it which makes the spitting idiots feel even more slighted.

    As Brian said, reap, sow, etc….I’ll add one more — or get out of the kitchen.

  13. Jeremy Says:

    What about those high ranking bloggers that make their money primarily from ad revenue?

  14. Robert Brady Says:

    In no way am I condoning death threats or spitting in someone’s face, but I have a hard time feeling sorry for Michael Arrington. The man is a millionaire because of his “fame” from TechCrunch. The site gets a ton of traffic and therefore people court Michael’s coverage. Many of them feel (perhaps erroneously) that one mention on TechCrunch could save their business/startup. This introduces desperation and desperate people take desperate actions and have strong feelings. And let’s not forget that Michael has strong opinions. There are a lot of companies that he has absolutely skewered in a very public way. He very often is not “nice” when talking about companies and people (remember his PR rant a few weeks ago?). So while I hope for Michael’s safety and peace of mind, I don’t feel bad for the guy.

  15. Ryan Caldwell Says:

    How about some Denton like blatant idea-theft. In the last week, Gawker media properties have stolen titles and concepts from two of my properties:

    Compare:

    ridelust.com/10-cars-that-are-guaranteed-to-get-you-laid-on-a-budget/
    jalopnik.com/5139493/the-top-11-cars-of-2009-most-likely-to-get-you-laid

    and

    businesspundit.com/give-windows-7-away-for-free
    gizmodo.com/5141443/why-microsoft-should-give-windows-7-away

  16. 1938media Says:

    Site Security checking in. Things seem to be ok around here. Carry on, but behave yourselves.

  17. Brian Clark Says:

    Just like the old days with Site Security. Damn, things were good back then, no?

  18. chartreuse Says:

    Those were the days!

    Good to know he’s still around just in case some gets the urge to spit!


  19. Just as interesting are blogging ‘celebrities’ who have become famous but apparently haven’t engendered any hatred.

    Case in point: Steve Pavlina, who started out as a lifehacker/GTD type blogger, but has veered into personal development and a lot of New-Agey thought. He’s still going strong. Though I disagree with the majority of his spiritual philosophy, I have to admire his blogging and business acumen… :)

  20. Daniel Edlen Says:

    “Those were the days”. Time and consistency mean you feel Brian and Loren are compadres. I love the reality of the relationship. No flattening of character into “the poor guy who got flamed”. Memory is so short.

    There is so much blather online that gets regurgitated. What’s the point? What’s the damn motivation? Haque is the type where it starts. The actual creation, the actual thought, the actual actuality. The rest usually just serves to bounce shit around until everything gets dumbed down or misinterpreted into mush.

    So it depends on what type of king you are. You’re all the same people.

    Peace.


  21. [...] Everyone makes mistakes and everyone is hypocritical. How you treat others helps determine how they treat you when bad news comes out about you or you have a rough patch. If you act like a wanker, eventually it comes back to you. [...]


  22. [...] Everyone makes mistakes and everyone is hypocritical. How you treat others helps determine how they treat you when bad news comes out about you or you have a rough patch. If you act like a wanker, eventually it comes back to you. [...]


  23. [...] Everyone makes mistakes and everyone is hypocritical. How you treat others helps determine how they treat you when bad news comes out about you or you have a rough patch. If you act like a wanker, eventually it comes back to you. [...]


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