This really has gotten more attention than it deserves. Here's my response to the Michael Arrington's TechCrunch entry. Is this some kind of Silicon Valley hazing ritual I don't understand? Thanks to Mathew Ingram for the heads up.
The aim of my letter was simply: Kevin Rose has Midas touch since star[t]ing digg, this new release feels VC-driven for a last ditch acquisition, why get in his way?
But by all means read my entire letter - not just the selective TC quotes - if you're curious about what I'll be the first to admit is not a noteworthy blog entry.
Paul's zing is right on - I was absolutely ignorant. And it's fair to harp on it, though I do believe the ignorance under which we built reddit is the reason it's continued to grow well (take a gander at the opensource, the hotness algorithm that runs the links and comments is the reason why good links/comments bubble up so quickly and why reddit's so hard to game -- that's pure Steve Huffman).
The most credit for reddit still being around in the wake of so many genuine digg clones goes to the community, we've just been keeping the lights on while they do awesome things.
And for what it's worth, I'm looking at the email I sent [S]teve on 7/11/05 at 11:48pm (we launched reddit on 6/23/05) introducing him to a site I'd just learned about called digg.com.
Fortunately, as Michael points out:
Is it reasonable criticism? Absolutely.
But then he continues:
Except when it’s being said by someone who cloned the site that he is now complaining is copying features from others.
Is that possible? Did they really invent the Digg idea completely independently from Digg six months after Digg launched? And no one at Y Combinator pointed out that there were similarities?
(Apologies to Jon Stewart, but...)
Michael, just because you put a question mark after things, doesn't make them evidence to support your headline of "Guy Who Copied Digg Slams Digg For Copying Twitter."
I have a great deal of respect for all of Kevin's accomplishments -- I said as much in the open letter -- I just thought this recent move looked more like anxious VC meddling than Kevin's ingenuity.
But I don't know anything about the actual situation, I'm just another outside observer with a keyboard.
I'd appreciate it if you'd please behave reasonably with your choice of headlines.
PS. No hard feelings, Michael. If you every find yourself in the mood for a reddit shirt (even if you're going to use it in burning effigy) I'll gladly send you one.