Should Tech Bloggers Form a Dream Team to Destroy CNET?

Posted on March 20, 2008

Michael Arrington at TechCrunch has an interesting post that says more blogs are raising capital. Arrington writes that because of this capital it may be changing the politics of linking in the blogosphere.

And now that the big guys in the Gang are being injected with capital, hiring tens of employees and expanding their businesses, they suddenly have a lot more to lose. Linking is never done just because. Rather, links are your political capital that must be expended appropriately. Don't link at the right time and in two weeks when you're pushing your own headline, you'll wish you had. When you stop seeing other blogs as people you admire and want to discuss things with, and start to see them as your competitor, your brain shifts and you stop linking the way you had previously.

Michael Arrington's talk of the "Gang" brings back memories of the old A-list linking discussions. Does Venture Capital make a blog think more about where it links? Possibly. VC money can mean there are people looking over your shoulder wanting you to reach those traffic goals you promised them to get their investment. VC money can run out and not be replinished. These blogs might link more often to higher trafficked blogs where a return link might pack a bigger whallop. They may also want to avoid linking to their competition.

Arrington also says he would like to create the Dream Team (think 92 Olympic games) of tech bloggers to take out CNET.

What I'd like to see, and even be a part of, is the blogger equivalent to the 1992 U.S. Mens Basketball Dream Team. That team could take CNET apart in a year, hire the best of the survivors there, and then move on to bigger prey.

Just the thought of being a part of something like that has held us back from raising any outside capital at all. I believe we have the beginning of a team that can play a role in this new Dream Team.

So think twice before taking that venture money, guys. You may be shutting more doors of opportunity than you realize.

Is CNET really an ambitious enough goal for a tech blogging Dream Team? Slicon Alley Insider is happy to help TechCrunch kill CNET although they "would secretly hope that we could find more interesting things to do." Chartreuse writes, "The idea of blogger super heroes getting together to fight CNET just struck me as bizarre."

If you had a Dream Team sized squad of technology bloggers who would be on it? Hardly anyone would agree with the answer to that question. Everyone has different ideas of who their favorite tech bloggers are. The same linking politics Michael Arrington describes in his post would have many other tech bloggers immediately aligning against this Dream Team. The blogosphere allows for leading blogs but it frowns on the idea of a single blog (in this case the Dream Team blog) getting the bulk of all the web traffic. There is already a Dream Team of sorts for technology blogs anyway and that is TechMeme, a website that makes it easy to quickly find what some of the top tech bloggers have to say. Meanwhile, CNET appears to have survived the blogosphere assualt. CNET partially assimilated itself into the blogosphere several years ago by launching multiple blogs of their own.

Kara Swisher at BoomTown reports that TechCrunch is considering "raising as much as $15 million, giving it a $35 million valuation." TechCrunch will probably need the money to compete with all the other technology blogs raising money.

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