Mike Arrington's TechCrunch is a useful site, but sometimes reading it can take some time. Enter Matthew Glueckert and Jason Wilk. Their tinyCrunch rips off -- sorry, repurposes -- TechCrunch posts and those from other blogs, and shrinks them into 2 to 4 bullet points apiece. Then they sell ads against it. Neat trick!
LiveCrunch, which has been around since December, is basically doing the same thing, albeit with a broader palate of sources, and claims 1.5 million page views since December. TechCrunch is logging 2.1 million unique visitors a month, per Quantcast.
Wilk and Glueckert tell us they tried to contact Arrington before launching the site, but got no response. They did, however, speak to TechCrunch UK editor Mike Butcher, who contacted them to get a broken link to their site fixed and said it "looked like a cool site. " They think that means they've got tacit approval. We've asked Arrington what he thought about the site earlier this month; no response.
We'll take a guess about what we thinks: He probably doesn't care. Condensing and excerpting other people's work is SOP for blogs, from Huffington Post to Gawker to, em, Silicon Alley Insider. And of course, TechCrunch. So aside from the obvious enfringement on Arrington's brand, how upset can he be? Most important: TinyCrunch links back, and links are valuable political capital.
Wilk and Glueckert say the "tinyCrunch" name was a way to build traffic (duh). Now they say they'll change it, and launch more verticals in a bid to create a "newswire for blogs," under what they're calling the "tinyComb Network." But best to walk before you run: Shortly after we talked to them yesterday, their site went down. As of this morning, it was still down.
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