Mike Arrington brings TechCrunch to mesh

The mesh conference kicked off with a keynote conversation between TechCrunch founder Mike Arrington and mesh co-founder Mathew Ingram.

Some things that stuck with me:

  • “I know that when I write a post, it’s far better to be first than to be second. Because if I’m first, I don’t have to be witty, intelligent, insightful. I just have to be first.”
  • The best thing that traditional journalists can do is to start wrting their own blogs and to build their own brands. This will protect them against downsizing in traditional media.
  • On Feedback: There’s a discussion on TechCrunch everyday. Arrington gets to set the discussion topic and have first say. Then he watches the comments flow in. He says that he finds the comments to be more interesting than what he has to say.
  • Arrington admits that some of the comments get under his skin. And he enters into the conversation, sometimes with some heat.
  • In fact, we got a real like illustration of this. Ted Murphy of Pay Per Post is attending mesh. He tried to ask Arrington a question. “How’d he get in here?” replied Arrington, who then proceeded to tell the crowd how he feels about Pay Per Post. Pointing to Murphy, Arrington said, “he’s the most evil person in this room.”
  • The future of social networking sites? Three dimensional. Facebook is here to stay. But they will also incorporate elements of the three dimensional experience of Second Life. The future of MySpace is less certain. They could blow it and do a “Friendster.”
  • If you are an entrepreneur thinking of your own startup, you should be thinking of the barriers to entry that will prevent others from following you in and competing with you. In addition to the traditional barrier of superior technology, network effects can provide a substantial barrier to entry. The advantage of developing popularity and a large community of users can make it very difficult for others to follow you in. So, new startups should be looking at having either a technology edge or taking advantage of the network effect.
  • The future of TechCrunch? Video? Audio? Arrington feels that rich media is difficult to create. It takes time to record, schedule, edit and post. It’s also harder to consume. So, right now, text will remain an important part of what Arrington does.