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Virtual TechCrunch Disrupt: Success on Day 1

Virtual TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 launched yesterday, the flagship event from Silicon Valley tech edit’s biggest brand. Overall, it went well — so much so that it’s hard to imagine F2F events ever again being produced as they were before the pandemic.

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Profile: Alex Wilhelm, TechCrunch

Alex Wilhelm is back at TechCrunch. Four years away have changed him. “I’m in different physical shape these days,” he says from his WFH studio in Rhode Island. “I’m a lot thinner. I don’t drink anymore. I’m a less aggressive, kinder person than I was. And I know a lot more.”

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A Progress Report from TC EC Editor Danny Crichton

We get a lot of questions about TechCrunch Extra Crunch. Who reads it? How is it doing? Should we pitch it? So we checked in with TC EC editor Danny Crichton, who was happy to guide tech PR in how things were going, and how best to serve his new franchise. 

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Tech PR Advice from TechCrunch

TechCrunch Extra Crunch this week posted a pair of articles containing admonishment and advice for tech PR pros. The top portion of the posts does appear for free in regular TechCrunch. The full text is available only to TC EC subscribers. We hereby excerpt (in fair-use fashion) what our readers most need to know.

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TechCrunch Extra Crunch: Overview

TechCrunch this week introduced TechCrunch Extra Crunch, a premium subscription tier that brings extra content and services to the publication’s most passionate readers. Tech PR gets new opportunity to pitch startups without needing a news hook. (See related analysis.)

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TechCrunch Extra Crunch: A Tech PR Guide

Does TechCrunch Extra Crunch present extra pitch opportunity? The one-word answer is yes. But in the vast majority of instances, tech PR pros will pitch the publication just as they have since its founding in 2005.

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The Block: Trustworthy Crypto Edit Led by EIC John Biggs

The Block “is not an enthusiast site [for crypto],” says new editor-in-chief John Biggs. “We’re not rah rah rah all day long like other sites.” The 12-year veteran of TechCrunch is now a full-timer at The Block, a thoughtful crypto publication that’s coming up on its first birthday.

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The New TechCrunch Design

The new TechCrunch web platform, launched in beta this week, will keep you reading more of what you’ve chosen. And it stands to change how you think of stories and pages. TC’s edit direction remains the same — companies, technologies, founders and investors. It’s still about breaking news and smart analysis delivered wryly.

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For Years, Forbes Ran A Shadow Web Site That Tricked Advertisers

What a terrific scoop from the WSJ’s Patience Haggin: Forbes for years operated a shadow, tiny-traffic web site — at — that housed advertising bought to run on the big-traffic site. Advertisers paid for the real site but were placed on the spammy shadow site. After WSJ broke the story, Forbes took the shadow site offline. One quote from the story: “Imagine if a car dealership slapped a Lexus sticker on an economy Toyota and sold it to you as a Lexus.”

Publishers Using Gen AI To Improve Their Own Search

Digiday’s Sara Guaglione has a great scoop on how several publishers — including the FT, Forbes, Business Insider, The Guardian and others — are using gen AI tools to improve their own search engines. One publisher told Sara that site search historically is “not a widely-used function.”


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