Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

05 March 2008


I just read a post by Michael Arrington entitled, "When Will We Have Our First Valleywag Suicide?" Here he takes issue with the way Valleywag airs the private lives and dirty laundry of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

SV start-up kids aren't movie stars or divas, whose private lives are aired to the world almost as a matter of course. Most valley entrepreneurs aren't even recognizable names outside the area. And because of the nature of their struggle -- trying to turn an idea into a profitable business model -- they pull long hours, play hard when they can, and likely suffer all sorts of private-life repercussions resulting from workaholism.

"Seeing your marriage woes, DUI or employment termination up on a popular public website (permanently indexed by search engines) is simply more than they can handle," Arrington argues. "They have not had the ramp up time to build resistance to the attacks."

Arrington then points to the ongoing drama of the late Paul Tilley and the so-called "Blogs of Death," and (predictably) asks:
So how long will it be before Valleywag drives someone in our community to suicide? My fear is that it isn’t a matter of if it will happen, but when. Valleywag and Nick Denton, though, will likely look forward to the event, and the great traffic growth that will surely follow.
Arrington ends the post by saying the valley was much nicer to live and work in before the days of Valleywag.

It's no secret that gossip rags are a dirty business. That's what makes them so attractive to hordes of idle eyes. With the ease of publishing afforded by blogs, I'll bet in a few years' time that every industry is going to have one or two of their own.

But suicide is a serious thing. The suicides of two frivolous, flighty kids -- Romeo and Juliet -- have defined tragedy in our literary lexicon. It strikes me as counterproductive to fuel the mob mentality that now plagues bloggers that critiqued the way Paul Tilley dealt with his employees, shortly before his death.

To honestly believe a successful man, who dealt with as many detractors as admirers in his life, killed himself over a few blogs makes a cheap caricature of a complex mind. It really does the guy no justice.

Let the gossip rags do their thing, and if you want to make a better world, try being a more sympathetic person. Don't go on some vicarious vendetta against bloggers. It's not rational; it's poison.