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Using Controversy to Launch Your Blog Network 0

The Blog Herald reports that TechCrunch UK is on hold because of a name-calling incident that had blown out of proportion. Apparently, the UK counterpart’s editor, Sam Sethi, had taken comments by an events organizer too seriously, and publicly lashed out on the TechCrunch UK site unnecessarily. Here’s what Michael Arrington said about the issue.

Conference organizer Loic Le Meur, however, took offense at the post and left a regrettable comment, calling Sam an “asshole”. I haven’t spoken to Loic directly about why he left the comment, but it is likely he felt betrayed by a partner, and lashed out after being hit all day yesterday with criticism about the conference.

If Sam had decided in his editorial discretion not to remove Loic’s comment, that would have been fine. But he didn’t do that. He left the comment in, and then wrote a new post (which I have removed) highlighting the “asshole” comment to embarrass Loic, unneccesarily in my opinion.

Michael Arrington had a follow-up post recently where he looked back at what actually happened. It would seem that Sam Sethi, the then-editor of TechCrunch UK had used the flame wars as a publicity stunt to generate “incredible buzz” for a new project he’s just launched. It’s amazing how far people would go just for publicity. It seems like competition in today’s new media outfits (blog networks included) is getting tougher by the day.

I would agree with Arrington that in these cases, it’s best to let people be–it’s better to be able to sleep at night rather than have troubling thoughts disturb one’s peace.

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