Techcrunch is, together with Mashable (social media), Kotaku (games) and Gamasutra (games again!), my main source of information for the Web 2.0 world. I decided not to abandon it after AOL bought it, because I believe it’s still on the cutting edge on its sector. But, I don’t like people who judge others from a superior point of view. And that’s why I think that, what happened yesterday to Robin Wauters and his harsh criticism over bad PR, was really intuitive for Techcrunch (short TC).
Long story short, a PR guy, named Tim, decides to talk to a Techcrunch representative, to get media coverage for a $20m figure that mig33, a company he represents, made in revenue by selling virtual gifts. The representative finds that number small (and it may be small – I’m not the one to judge) and says a polite “No, but notify us again when you have a product launch”. Of course, Tim goes mad, blaming TC for poor judgement, his e-mails are just irrational rants, and the story would have been a funny “look what we find everyday in our inbox” story.
But no. Robin Wauters decided to retaliate. He gets ironic, mocking the PR guy (and we all know that people in social media are heavily influenced by the Goliath vs David syndrome) and he makes a huge mistake in the last sentence: he asks for the guy’s head, by stating that mig33 should pay more attention to the people it is associated with.
1 day later, the post has clearly backfired at TC. 295 comments, with the first, negative comment getting 273 likes and still counting – and Robin Wauters is unable to answer. All of his answers are more irrational than Tim’s response (he even blames commenters for being trolls!) and the damage is done.
TC authors have to realize that they’re not judges. They started as something small, grew up because of people’s love and were purchased from AOL at a very nice price. I still love TC, for all the inside information it gets and all the news it releases (and trust me, many people stayed with it in the post -AOL era), but I’m not looking for PR lessons from them, and I clearly don’t like a king – of – the – hill attitude, where TC thinks that it’s better than everybody else. And guess what: most people also feel the same, judging by the comments and the likes they get.
People keep commenting on the story as of today, 27/2. I hope Robin learnt his lesson of how not to react in the Web 2.0 universe.