Is Duncan Riley Web 2.0’s Scott McClellan?

Posted on July 9, 2008
Filed Under Web 2.0 Kool Aid |

During his tenure at TechCrunch, I was never a big fan of Duncan Riley. His posts were utterly atrocious and I was just one of many who questioned Michael Arrington’s sanity for keeping Duncan on staff.

Of course, Arrington had good reason to keep Duncan around - Duncan’s posts were so devoid of logic and reason and so filled with Web 2.0 kool aid that they more often than not brought in the pageviews. Quality be damned, Duncan was good for business.

When Duncan left TechCrunch to start his own blog, Inquistr, it appeared to be on good terms and Arrington even expressed his hope that he would one day be able to buy Inquistr out (you know, as part of his ).

But by Valleywag, it appears that Duncan has turned into Scott McClellan and TechCrunch is his Bush administration.

Duncan posted a screenshot of his inbox yesterday showing a long list of emails from TechCrunch’s writers requesting “diggs.”

These emails are just like Spam 1.0 except for the fact that they won’t help you clear your debt, enlarge your penis, find you a foreclosed house on the cheap and help you lose 50 pounds in 2 weeks. Instead, they offer you the opportunity to participate in the rewarding experience of pushing yet another TechCrunch post to Digg’s front page.

In a show of irony that you just can’t make up, Arrington earlier today published a post entitled “Gosh, How Many Diggs Does It Take To Get To The Home Page, Anyway?”

In it he wrote:

It’s clear Digg is continuing to struggle with vote gaming and trying to maintain their model of letting their users decide what news makes it to the top of the pile. As they add more hurdles and filters, the main side effect seems to be a delay in promoting hot news quickly. It also shows that even a thousand people working together can’t necessarily get a story to the top of Digg. Which is a good thing, I guess.

I guess as in “I guess we’ll have to send out more emails.”

Frankly, looking at the screenshot Duncan posted is a bit sad. After all, TechCrunch is the “most powerful blog on the Internet.” If it has to spam for diggs, it doesn’t say much.

But I’m not sure what’s sadder - TechCrunch’s tricking for diggs or Duncan’s newfound status as the Scott McClellan of Web 2.0. Just as it’s hard to believe that McClellan was ignorant to the modus operandi of the Bush administration and got in touch with his personal moral compass only after he resigned, it’s hard to believe that while at TechCrunch, Duncan was ignorant to the modus operandi of the TechCrunch administration.

This can only mean one thing: a book to reveal all and justify all.

Title: “Dugg! Inside TechCrunch and Arrington’s Circle Jerk.”

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3 Responses to “Is Duncan Riley Web 2.0’s Scott McClellan?”

  1. Fine Print » Blog Archive » Can Ya Digg It? on July 10th, 2008 2:11 pm

    […] the Web 2.0 kool aid” and making sure we all keep things in perspective. Yesterday they posted about former TechCrunch writer Duncan Riley, who left the tech blog to set up his own, called The […]

  2. Morgan on July 12th, 2008 12:47 am

    I was definitely not a fan of Duncan’s writing, but I’ve got to say, Steve Gillmor is worse by a long shot somehow. It’s surreal.

  3. emmerson8888 on August 8th, 2008 11:01 am

    I think it’s shameful what Duncan has done. I remember reading the post when Michael Arrington wished him well and even said he hoped to someday acquire his blog. In fact, it was that post that caused me to first visit Duncan’s new blog. Initially I added it to my list to check out, but after seeing what a traitor he is I will never read his blog again. That’s not LOYALTY. He wouldn’t be where he is today without Techcrunch giving him the platform they did. It also speaks volumes to the kind of person you’re dealing with ….. obviously someone who is more interested in what’s in it for them then being a team player on anyone’s team. I don’t see the emails as anything more than anyone does when they are trying to garner attention for a cause, business or campaign on or offline. Grow up Duncan - focus on your blog and quit worrying about what everyone else is doing.

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