When he was with the tech blog TechCrunch, MG Siegler was one of the most visible and consistent tech bloggers out there. He was particularly close to, and a big fan of, Apple Company products, most notably the Apple iPhone. MG was widely quoted, not so much for his observations, but for the information on products and platforms he dropped.
Now, in his blog Parislemon, he says it was all “bullshit”: his exact words, as in:
Most of what is written about the tech world — both in blog form and old school media form — is bullshit. I won’t try to put some arbitrary label on it like 80%, but it’s a lot. There’s more bullshit than there is 100% pure, legitimate information….As one of the most prolific tech bloggers over the period of a few years, I was just as guilty of this as anyone. I had a job to do, and I did it. And to be honest, I saw absolutely nothing wrong with it at the time. And if you did, you just didn’t get it.
Now, and because TechCrunch Founder and Now CrunchBase Founder Michael Arrington blessed him with the chance to be an investor, MG now – now – sees tech blogging and bloggers as just plain bullshit.
This blogger – me – was never concerned about churning out a ton of tech-oriented blog posts because that’s not the best way to gain pageview traffic – you have to follow trends. But for those industry niche blog players, and really in general, volume of blog or video blog posts wins the traffic day.
What I find just completely freaking annoying about MG Siegler’s take the latest expression of his built-in tribal mentality. This time, because he’s an investor now, he says:
Over the past several months that I’ve been removed from the day-to-day of tech blogging professionally, I’ve gained some perspective from the other side of things. As an investor, I’m privy to information that I normally would not know. And more generally, people/startups are willing to share information with me that they never would have when I was a blogger, for obvious reasons.
And so because of that, MG thinks he has to toss tech bloggers into the drink – because he’s not one of them. I think MG needs some gray hairs, or if, like me, he can’t seem to develop them, just some Zen-like perspective.
Just because you’re in a group doesn’t make that organization more important than any other one. I’ve seen more people get burned by thinking their perspective was the only one that mattered, and others – people who weren’t in their tribe – were worthless. MG’s way of thinking will catch up with him one day. And it will be in the form of insulting someone – not me – who actually matters to him. And all because he lacked an empathic world view – in other words, caring about people, not thinking or expressing the idea that he was better.
Like what he says here:
But now I have more perspective. I was wrong. I say this not to think I can possibly effect change in the industry — given the underlying motives: pageviews driving advertising, that would be impossible — but simply because it’s the truth. And it’s getting worse.
Why? Because MG’s not tech blogging any more? Oh, come on! Please! Do we have to be so self-serving?
There are bloggers and vloggers who do see things from the company perspective, and because of that, hold a ton of information in that they otherwise would release, and still manage to make a good living in media.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what caused me to frame my view of what MG wrote at parislemon, it goes back to last year’s (2011) TechCrunch August Capital Party. A fellow I rode down to the event with, held after TechCrunch Mobile Disrupt insisted I meet MG. I said he wasn’t interested in meeting me, so why bother? I’ve seen MG at tons of tech events, he never once presented himself to say hello and that was before I learned who he was, but knew that he was aware of my blogs. I don’t know MG, so at first I figured it was some form of racism – what do I know?
Anyway, why should that day be any different?
But the fellow insisted.
So after resisting his request, which turned out to be a kind of “I don’t want to do this alone” wingman thing I thought was silly and said so. MG was in the middle of a conversation with someone. The fellow said he wanted to introduce me, so MG turned, and then as quick as that, turned right back to his talk. So we waited at the fellow’s insistence. But I wasn’t surprised over MG’s act, and so told the fellow I had other people to meet, and walked off.
Now folks it’s a party – all you have to do is what I do: turn, extend hand in greeting, and then say “I just want to finish this conversation” or “Why don’t you all join us” depending on the intensity of the talk, which at that party wasn’t that deep.
That encounter was all I needed to know. We all aren’t “all that.”