Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, posted his first substantial article on his new WordPress blog Uncrunched on Sunday evening. Titled “What Exactly Am I Doing Here At Uncrunched,” the blog post clarified Arrington’s personal investment in his new blog, after moving on from AOL acquisition TechCrunch earlier in September. In the post, Arrington confesses that he was finding his feet at TechCrunch for several years, never really clear on the blog’s mission or his own aspirations for the site: “I never really did know what I was doing at TechCrunch. I was writing about startups while building a startup and investing in others. It never occurred to me that as the site became, almost immediately, an important part of the tech news scene, to figure out exactly what my plans were.”
With Uncrunched, on the other hand, Arrington claims to have a clearer vision of the site’s purpose and his own investment in the newly launched blog. On one hand, Arrington claims he is going to do exactly what he was doing at TechCrunch since 2005:
I’m going to do the same thing I’ve been doing since 2005. I’m going to write about startups, and the people who build them, and the people who fund them, and the people who use them. I’m going to break stories and I’m going to write my opinion, and I’m to write whatever the hell else I feel like in between. If people want to read what I write, yay. If they don’t, I can live with that too.
Having noted he intends to continue passionately writing about start-ups, Arrington elaborates that readers should expect transparency, truth and bias from him in his reporting. By transparency he means the disclosure of personal investments and conflicts of interest in stories and situations; by truth he refers to a commitment to finding “the unvarnished, pure nugget of truth at the core of every issue that I write about,”; and by bias, Arrington cites the unavoidability of a personal slant or investment in the topics about which he writes, though admittedly much of that bias should be revealed by way of his commitment to transparency. Arrington characterizes his bias fundamentally in the form of a passion for “entrepreneurs and the startups they build” because they are his “rock stars.”
With this post, Arrington defines the lay of the land for his new blog and addresses many of the criticisms he encountered while at TechCrunch involving claims about the conflict of his interest between his practice of investing in start-ups and TechCrunch’s journalistic mission. Arrington was never able to successfully dispel claims about journalistic bias, even though he disclosed an investment policy to continue investing in start-ups, while revealing their details as considered appropriate. With “What Exactly Am I Doing Here At Uncrunched,” however, Arrington appears to be mapping the foundation anew for his blog at the outset, particularly by way of the explicit commitments to transparency, truth and bias at the same time. In a nutshell, he argues that he will continue investing in start-ups and covering them as a journalist, regardless of how people may feel about it.
Arrington’s popular tech blog TechCrunch was acquired by AOL in September 2010. In September 2011, Arrington decided to “move on” from his position as Editor of TechCrunch because of a conflict of interest involving his decision to start CrunchFund, a venture capital firm dedicated to investing in technology start-ups. Arianna Huffington, President and editor-in-chief of the AOL Huffington Post Media Group, refuted claims that Arrington’s departure involved issues of a personality clash of any kind, noting instead that “the heart of the matter” came down to: “Can someone running a venture fund edit a site covering the tech startup scene?”