The genie is now out of the bottle on a mass scale around something that most content marketers have known for several years running: to be noticed in today’s online news world, you must stand on the back of giants: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Twitter.
UPDATE: Note that Techcrunch, The Next Web, Silicon Alley Insider, GigaOm, AllthingsD and The Associated Press ALL posted based off the fraudulent press release, not just Techcrunch
In case you’ve missed the news, the search, public relations and online journalism industries are all in an uproar over a fake press release that was written and distributed over PRWeb in order to generate a stock boost for the offending company.
At the center of the scandal, ICOA Wireless, a U.S. provider of wired and wireless broadband internet networks, who yesterday distributed a release claiming that the company had been acquired by Google for $400m.
The next big (read: nine-figure) consumer internet acquisition may involve an unexpected buyer - CNN.
According to Reuters' Felix Salmon, the Time Warner-owned cable news network could announce as early as Tuesday that it is acquiring Mashable, one of the most popular tech/social media blogs for a figure that could be north of $200m.
Yesterday ReadWriteWeb, a popular technology blog founded by Richard MacManus in 2003, announced that it is being acquired by digital publishing upstart SAY Media.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to TechCrunch's sources, the deal was under $5m.
SAY Media has been active on the acquisition scene, having snapped up web properties including Dogster, Remodelista, a digital agency called Sideshow and publishing platform company Six Apart.
The apparent strategy; instead of simply building an ad network for new media, SAY Media wants to consolidate the market and own the properties it sells against.
Bulding a successful company usually takes a lot of hard work, and a lot of time. But destroying a successful company can take be measured in hours and minutes. Case in point: TechCrunch.
Started by a single blogger, Michael Arrington, TechCrunch became one of the most prominent voices of Silicon Valley and the tech startup scene and was acquired a year ago by AOL for an eight-figure sum.
The debates over what constitutes journalism, and what the future of journalism will look like, rages on.
Last week, a firestorm erupted when TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington announced that he was launching a fund to invest in technology startups.
TechCrunch, of course, which is now owned by AOL, is a blog focused on technology startups, and while Arrington will apparently be off the editorial payroll, he'll still be able to contribute as an unpaid blogger.
Adding fuel to the firestorm: the fact that AOL itself is investing in Arrington's fund.
Newspapers? Dying? Television? Might as well die too. New media? That's where future empires will be built.
At least that's what some have been claiming since blogging and 'new media' became a mainstream phenomenon. And to be sure, new media's future does look bright. But is it as bright as many had predicted? Perhaps not.
What is more important than your reputation? For most individuals and
businesses, the answer to that is simple: "not much."
Our increasingly networked world has only boosted the importance of
reputation. On the internet, the investment often seen today in PR,
social media and reputation management solutions highlights this.
The other day, I was checking the latest posts on TechCrunch and came
across a promotion promising a free pack of MySpace branded playing
cards. I love free things and I clicked, hoping that my next game of
poker would have a MySpace theme.
Instead I was greeted by a charity auction on a service called Listia.
To bid, I needed 'credits'. The parallels to the scam offers
controversy I wrote about on Monday started to became apparent.
The market for virtual goods, and the CPA offers that many consumers
complete to purchase them, is under attack. The first salvo was fired
by TechCrunch's Michael Arrington and the battle has now spread to the
The fallout was quick. And it continues: after being the target of no
less than six TechCrunch posts in the past week relating to these
'scam' offers, Zynga, one of the most prominent companies in the space,
has removed all of its CPA (lead gen) offers while it seeks to work with the third
party networks that provide them to root out the types of offers that
have come under fire.
An interesting fact about personal finance startup Mint.com, which recently sold to Intuit for $170m: the account aggregation technology that powers Mint.com is licensed from a company called Yodlee.
Yodlee, which was founded in 1999, has raised over $100m in funding. While it operates its own consumer-facing personal finance website, its core business is in licensing its technology to others. Its licensees include startups similar in nature to Mint.com as well as major financial institutions like Bank of America.