TechCrunch Disrupt is into its third day of activities in New York City, and while this blogger’s not there for the second year (I’ll opt for San Francisco because I’ve jumped times zones 15 times this year already), I follow it via online accounts.
In searching for “TechCrunch” on Google Search, it was not hard to notice one thing when clicking on the Google News link: there’s vastly less media coverage about what’s happening at TechCrunch Distrupt. The reason for that is not hard to determine: the public fade of TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington, and staffers Sara Lacy, Paul Carr, and of course CEO Heather Harde.
But, before you go ape, both Arrington and Harde are there in New York, helping out, which is nice.
As I write this, Arrington’s there, backstage and Harde’s Twittering away on what’s happening at @heatherharde. But the fact is Arrington’s stamp of being the public face of TechCrunch Disrupt, and all of the fake news stories he used to drum-up publicity for the event, produced a ton of media interest that translated into a time well-attended and well-reported in the past.
Who can forget then-Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz telling Michael to f-off at the first TechCrunch Disrupt New York, and just as Robert Scoble and I were cracking up (yes, the guy with the hyena laugh is me):
Well, the thrill’s gone this time, because of the news accounts for TechCrunch Distrupt New York on Google News, about 50 percent of them come from TechCrunch itself. That’s a first. Part of this is the change I pointed to above, but the other aspect of this dynamic is the shrinking number of people who do media in the first place. But that written, and back to my point, Michael Arrington could really draw a media crowd.