Look Out Mama There's a White Boat Comin' Up the River

With a big red beacon, and a flag, and a man on the rail.

Last night I wrote in another post that people who think the blogosphere is their road to riches don’t want to engage those who raise issues that might make people think the oasis up ahead is a only a mirage.  I implied that the reason they don’t is often because they have not thought about some of the issues raised and prefer to try to ignore the skeptics into silence.

And then I fire up my feeds this morning, and find one of the most unbelievable posts I have ever read.  Strike that- one of the most unbelievable things I have ever read.

Mike Arrington, the head cheerleader for Web 2.0 and the blogosphere’s biggest star, bashing the guy who writes Dead 2.0.  Let’s examine some quotes.

Mike says “He’s taken some hard and sometimes unfair shots at startups and at individuals (yes even me), and a lot of people probably don’t like him very much for what can be considered unfair attacks on them or their companies.

Where to start?

Well, for one, the “unfair shot” at Mike was a post, partly critical, partly complimentary and likely somewhat tongue in cheek, about the happening that is known to some as TechCrunch 7.  In fact, Mike himself responded to the post and, at least then, didn’t seem too upset by it.  Regardless, while the post did poke fun at the blogstar mentality, I didn’t find it to be all that mean spirited.  If you want to be a star, that sort of thing comes with the territory.

And it was certainly not as bad as calling someone as asshole in a post title, as Mike has been known to do.

And then this little nugget, from Mike’s post:

Should he be fired?

???

Later, Mike changed “Should” to “Will” and added a new final paragraph suggesting that this (whatever this is) will likely blow over.  And he even gave lip service to freedom of speech.  But even with the change, is Mike honestly suggesting that the Dead 2.0 guy should or might get fired for expressing his opinions in an anonymous blog?  What if his opinions had mirrored Mike’s exactly?  Should/would he be fired then?

Either there is a lot more to this story than meets the eye, or Mike is so far off base here that he can’t hear or see the game.

The so-called outing of the Dead 2.0 guy came via this post by Nic Cubrilovic.  His post also contains some good information about anonymity- or the lack thereof- in the blogosphere.  Nic did not give the name of the Dead 2.0 guy, a decision I applaud.  He just made it clear that he knows who he is.

Isn’t Nic the same guy who is rumored to be the editor of the new TechCrunch enterprise blog?

So a friend/employee of Mike Arrington outs (sort of) a guy who has been critical of both Mike and his beloved Web 2.0.

Hmmm.

I’ll leave you with one last quote, from Mike in a comment to his post:

Startups have enough variables to contend with to reach success without loose cannons creating yet more hurdles to overcome.”

I have a question for Mike (which I bet he won’t answer).  What defines a loose cannon?  Is skepticism about the Web 2.0 business model a loose cannon?  Is it being critical of you?  Or is it something else?  Please clarify this for me.

And, by the way, I voted No.

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