Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

VentureBeat Covers TechCrunch Conference Following Minimal TechCrunch DEMO Coverage

Posted by Tom Foremski - September 28, 2010

It is commendable that VentureBeat is covering the TechCrunch Disrupt conference this week following on the heels of TechCrunch completely boycotting minimal coverage of the DEMO Fall conference organized by VentureBeat and IDG.

Last week I wrote that rivalry between the publications that cover the startup sector would be bad news for startups. MediaWatch Monday: Media Wars Over Conference Coverage Hurts Startups.

However, there was no coverage coverage of the Techcrunch conference by ReadWriteWeb, which appears to have boycotted the conference.

GigaOm has produced a respectable 4 stories.

All of these media publications cover the startup sector and all have their own conferences.

I made the point that media companies covering their own conferences discourages other media publications from competing for the same coverage. Especially since the content is mostly announcements and a rewrite of a press release.

This also brings up issues of "pay for play." Although each publications claims that their coverage of their own conference is objective it is difficult to prove when there is considerable money to be made in conferences.

Are startups getting the best bang for their marketing dollars?

Several startups I have spoken with are rethinking their marketing strategies and said they will take part in fewer conferences in the future. They prefer smaller events, and media tours where they can present and meet with smaller groups of media and analysts such as media roundtables in restaurants.


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