Are we still talking about this? [response to Michael Arrington]

This really has gotten more attention than it deserves. Here's my response to the Michael Arrington's TechCrunch entryIs 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

Fortunately, as Michael points out:
Is it reasonable criticism? Absolutely.
Thanks, Michael.
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.
And then:
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.
7 responses
Mike is a troll, but don't take my word for it:
Hey, remember when Tech Crunch was a respectable technology oriented blog? Oh yah, neither do I.
Don't worry Alexis—it's not you. TechCrunch trolls for links and page views. That's pretty much their only remaining purpose. If you gave him a Reddit shirt, you'd probably just end up on the wrong side of a post about Reddit's support of slave labor (if the current article turns out to be popular).
Alexis,you are lucky for being spared lightly or else TC started interviewing Yahoo CEO with F Bomb ? What else can you expect from those ignorant bunch of Apple/Google/FB fanboys ?
All power to you Alexis for taking this (publicly) as well as you have. I'd be pretty narked if I'd been libelled like this if what you say is true. @Arrington is clearly trying to chase some glory traffic with his link bait, I hope the world sees through it for your sake.
Keep up the amazing work. The reddit team is a bunch of honest and hard working guys and I believe that the article is wrong. Arrington also has a tendency to voice his opinions in many of his articles rather than back his theories up with tons of evidence so I wouldn't take the article *too* seriously.
I really feel like TechCrunch is only geared to leaching off bigger conversations now. I also remember the golden days when a startup would get found/written about by Arrington and it would actually help them. Now it's a useless traffic surge that doesn't actually lead to anything.

I have to be honest, I didn't know much about the inner workings of Reddit or Digg before this discussion so I'm glad it came along. Digg should have taken the 200mil (or whatever was speculated) 2ish years ago. Why any company would buy an oversized forum of trolls not clicking on advertisements is beyond me...