53,651 Readers, TechCrunch, Web 2.0, and More Tonight on Dateline, Silicon Valley

In this last week, we’ve learned that Arrington is a millionaire, been hit over the head about his troubles with his site design and the resignation of his designer, and now we have uncovered that his readers are the magnet for highly niche business models.

In a very interesting series of posts, Josh Kopelman, an East Coast angel investor, fueled a fever of comments about how Web 2.0 companies are targeting the TechCrunch genre.

“Too many companies are targeting an audience of 53,651. That’s how many people subscribe to Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog feed. I’m a big fan of Techcrunch – and read it every day. However, the Techcrunch audience is NOT a mainstream America audience.”

Matt Marshall of SiliconBeat also picked up on the post and discussed it in his thread post, “The 53,651 Meme — and the Silicon Valley geek echo chamber.” I thought that was a clever title.

“Silicon Valley Web 2.0 startups have fallen into a trap of appealing to a narrow, geeky audience.”

Marshall sources Brad Feld, of Mobius, saying that first 25,000 users don’t mean anything, seeming to agree that it is always the same 25,000 folks.

I could see that these Web 2.0 addicts are the quintessential test bench for trying, sharing, abandoning, and moving on to the next big thing.

In my not so humble opinion, the TechCrunch crowd is extremely tech and web savvy and is one of the most difficult groups to penetrate. I could not think of a more powerful focus group in order to test, validate and gain insight for a product/service, than this community. However, all things in moderation. There’s a whole world out there, and they map exactly to the infamous chasm.

A friend of mine, who happens to be the CEO of an Internet start-up mentioned,

“The TechCrunch crowd is important for support and influence, but most of the Web 2.0 products designed today are for geeks or teenagers.”

Exactly.

My contribution to the whirlwind…

“I’m in Silicon Valley, and I wear floaties to work every day so I don’t drown in the tech bath water. Truly this Web 2.0 phenomenon has spiraled into several camps. There’s the dotcom 2.0 and then there’s Web 2.0 as the idea of evolving beyond static to interactive design; implementing all of the available new tools and philosophies to more effectively engage visitors/customers and communicate with them. The Techcrunch crowd is the lunatic fringe, but they can help any start-up gain momentum for interacting in the realworld. If you’re marketing a site/solution, remember who your ultimate audience is and reach out to them through “their” channels of influence.”

Tags: michael arrington, web2.0, web 2.0, techcrunch, bubble,

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ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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