Okay, time to break the fourth wall. I like TechCrunch…to an extent. So does just about everyone. The news site’s coverage of tech is admirable. It attracts a world of crazies and the best talent percolates to the top. That’s one reason I’ve never applied -to do so is insane. It’s like submitting a short story to the New Yorker or an article to Vox. Outsiders just shouldn’t waste their time. And I write that as a copywriter who’s worked for some of today’s most “disruptive” organizations in market research, finance, and computing.
That mentioned, TechCrunch’s coverage of social issues is to its detriment. Don’t believe me? Look at this. Or this. Or this. Granted, there is some intersectionality. The second article is about redundant bureaucratic stuff. The third article is about bikes…and apps. And that’s okay, sorta, because tech is innately about overlap.
Perhaps it’s the opinions that’s driving me up a wall. TechCrunch is setting itself up as voice of a nonexistent movement’s agenda -as if answers to complex social problems are simple as soldering a new component onto a motherboard.
It’s a technology news source that advocates for truth and justice under the Verizon flag. And yes, there are much more exploitive companies. Price gouging data is petty compared to swamping the world economy with subsidized corn or dumping toxic sludge into the Mississippi. But it’s the principles at stake and the posturing that truly hits home.
This is not to discount TechCrunch’s forays into social commentary. Most of it is smart, if a tad naive. The major problem? It feeds the mentality that corporate campuses know best. That society can, or should, be “fixed” by a gaggle of spoon-fed suburbanites who touch their faces too much and don’t know how to use a can opener.
So why is TechCrunch expanding into such stories? The readership. These are predominantly people who either make too much or too little eye contact. Who are positive a solution is just a “disruption” away and that today’s economy reflects actual demand or justice. The organization’s “events” belie such cynical pretense. They know their readership are alienated and quite often lack sophistication in the social sciences or humanities.
Worst of all? Most of TechCrunch’s articles are self-evident. It’s no secret that state organizations abuse, carte blanche, grants for the poor. That bikes are on the upswing. That congress is controlled by individuals and entities who’d rather maintain the status quo -which, y’know, led to their power in the first place.
My only conclusion? That TechCrunch is actually, *gasp*, proselytizing. Now don’t get me wrong. Social dynamics are more easily mapped than ever before. I mean, after all, why is TechCrunch covering social dynamics in the first place -at least aside from the longstanding traditions of sci fi and futurism. The truth? Most TechCrunch readers are far more concerned with the latest buyout than the latest congressional bill.
The news source, in turn, is not actually catering through their social or political stories. Instead, it is trying to raise awareness…if only to set a trend. This is probably Verizon’s doing. At least it’s a benefit they gain from leniency. Letting angry kids, economically speaking, write about what they want at least shoves the bots into awareness. It shoves them into a calling. No more is the competition purely monetary -there is a social dimension. The precedent set by Bill Gate’s foundation is certainly an element of that…though the overall message is economic.
Paradigms of success need to change before society does. TechCruch is doing nothing to abet that. Yet it opines about “the state,” “the people,” and da bikes. Perhaps it should first rectify Marx and Friedman.