Citizens of the blogosphere: We’ve been had. The revelations from the dubiously named Twittergate have been about as exciting as watching wet paint dry, and has served only to hype the TechCrunch and Twitter brands. When Michael Arrington first announced there were “hundreds of confidential Twitter documents” sitting in TechCrunch’s inbox, the TC co-founder wrote, “a few of the documents have so much news value that we think it’s appropriate to publish them.”
The impact these “revelations” have had on the reading public have done nothing more than create a pro-Twitter public relations campaign that makes NBC’s Inside the Obama White House look like hard-nosed journalism. Wait, no — I take that back. We did find out that Sean P. Diddy Coombs values his “contribution” to Twitter more than the company’s management does. Admittedly, that is far more shocking than Brian Williams’ discovery that the Obama White House is filled with workaholics on a constant sugar high from eating too many M&Ms. But not by much.
What happened to Arrington’s claim that TechCrunch would post the original pitch document for the much-hyped Twitter reality TV show because it was “awesome”? TechCrunch did reveal a document for a TV show called Final Tweet, but that was not the same document TechCrunch promised its readers.
Twitter’s lawyers may also have had an effect on TC’s zealousness. In TechCrunch’s final revelatory post, Schonfeld wrote that TechCrunch got the “green light by Twitter” to post the documents. That was news to Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, who quickly denied that allegation on Twitter and in a blog post yesterday.
As the Twittergate smoke clears, it’s starting to look less likely the two companies will end up in court over this. Some have suggested this entire affair may have been a PR stunt concocted by TechCrunch and Twitter to raise the microblog’s brand. That’s unlikely given the security concerns over Google Apps, but I think it’s fair to say that Twitter’s not entirely upset over the favorable reaction these “revelations” have received.
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