If the rumored deal – AOL buying Techcrunch – goes through, can we expect the most vibrant, obsessively-followed Silicon Valley blog imaginable, to neuter its culture and gradually fade into respectability? If so, the fact that the last days of Techcrunch involved a brazen would-be bustup of a super angel collusion scheme will stand out even more in the light of history.
For now, we look forward to Techcrunch reporting on the buyout of Techcrunch.
Techcrunch, of course, has been a full-service, always-on fixture of the world of startups and high-growth company fundraising in Silicon Valley. It has created a deep resource and served a mediating function far beyond, say, the sarcasm and gossip-mongering produced by other high-traffic but much more cynical tech blogs over the years (such as F***edCompany).
Still, it’s always a possibility that a bubble mentality — the money ferociously raised in Web 2.0 / Bubble 2.0 — drove much of the site’s growth. So a feverish pace was required to maintain readership and traffic levels. The spike in traffic associated with last week’s AngelGate, arguably, was engineered to show just how influential Techcrunch is.
You can’t help but noticing that a long-ago, bubble-driven acquisition by AOL – legendary baby boomer investor tutorial site The Motley Fool – compares with Techcrunch in terms of traffic stats. In fact, it compares in a very interesting way. Techcrunch passed fool.com in traffic in 2009, and that appears to be when AOL took a serious interest in acquiring it. Hmmm.