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

Techcrunch Suffers Serious Loss: Eric Eldon

Posted by Tom Foremski - January 10, 2014

EricEldon

Above, Eric Eldon in Dublin, 2012.

I'm a big fan of Eric Eldon because when Techcrunch was suffering credibility issues from the antics of co-founder Mike Arrington, his appointment as Editor calmed things down. He helped refocus the editorial team on its roots, which is excellent product reporting. 

Product reporting is a subset of tech journalism that interests me very little. I've written many times about my dismay at the demise of tech journalism, which has dissolved into mirthless reports about the size, weight, and pixel-density of mass consumer products. 

But this will all be a temporary phenomenon. Product reporting will shrink in 2014 because the best stories will be  people-tech stories: how tech transforms, and is transformed, in people's lives. 

People are interested in people. And advertisers and marketers should re-learn this simple fact. 

People won't buy any tech products, or use services, if all they see is a list of tech specs and features. Steve Jobs always showed how people were using Apple products, he understood that people are interested in people.

In his parting note, Eric Eldon talks about the future of Techcrunch because "I am privy to what's in the pipeline," he tells us.

He writes that demand for tech product stories has been melting the servers at Techcrunch but there's a need to tell other stories.

How can the tech industry use its incredible power to do good? (I mean beyond the good it already does with the products it creates.)

How can it benefit all people in the world, most of whom still live in poverty? ... The global scrutiny is only going to increase from media, from governments, and from normal people who just want to know what's going behind their favorite apps and devices.

I couldn't agree more. But good luck in shifting the editorial focus from product reporting at Techcrunch. That's what it does best and it should stick to that.

That's what its readers want, they'd rather read product news than real news -- an unpleasant experience much of the time. 

I wish Eric great success in his next venture. Maybe it'll be with Pierre. I'd love to cover Silicon Valley for the Omidyar Media Group (OMG!).

- - -

It's Never Too Early To Say Goodbye | TechCrunch

CES: How Did Tech Journalism Turn Into Product Reporting? -SVW

2014: How Can Tech Help Create A Meaningful Life? -SVW

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