Those numbers sounded too low, which prompted me to look into it.
They were both featured on other editions of Techcrunch, not the main site. One was on Techcrunch UK, with a short post, the other on Techcrunch TV (way down with a single link in a short story), both before the merge.
To say that it is important to the point of the story to mention that they weren't featured on the main Techcrunch site is an understatement. While the EU and TV properties pre-merger were doing well, the main site is an order of magnitude larger.
I used to work at TC, but I still refer a lot of startups there for stories and have been keeping up with the numbers. You can expect referrals in the range of a few thousand to up to 40k. In terms of the 'startup' space (that is anything funding related, launch announcements, hiring announcements etc.) there is usually no better outlet, since every single venture capitalist, journalist, blogger, entrepreneur, potential executive employee etc. reads the site.
The exception is if you are in a niche which can be better served by other blogs.
Being featured on Techcrunch usually leads to a couple of more blog posts from other sites, and it can usually lead to appearing on Techmeme - which every tech blogger and journalists checks regularly every day.
There is no doubt that with a good product a mainstream media feature will get you more long-term users. Every startup and announcement is different, you need to take all fo this into account when considering where and how you want to release your news.
What I can tell you is that a feature on TC definitely doesn't send referrals in the dozens - I think the post should be updated to clarify that.
Update: I just got a response from the author of the OP on Twitter. When I asked him why there was no mention of his stories being on TC Europe and no links to them, he replied: "I actually did, I'm not sure why but they seem to have disappeared in the editing process. I'll try to get them put back in." and "Btw, both were featured on the TC Europe homepage in the main stream. I appreciate it probably should be more clear."
It is probably worth mentioning at this point that 'the editor' of The Kernel (although he may not have been the editor of this post), Milo, was the same guy who wrote the story on TC referred to in the post. He worked at TC Europe and is now the editor at The Kernel - they somehow talked around this fact in the post without mentioning it.
I just pinged him on Twitter to ask if he removed the references or if they were simply just lost somehow.
Update 2: Further, from the author: "Mm, but this was a while back (2009), Milo has made no secret of being frustrated with TC Europe. I'm writing of my own volition."  and "I don't think missing links was intentional. I had also linked to Jottify and a few other things and they're also missing."
From Milo: (when asked if he was editor on that post): "Hi there. No I wasn't - but I will nip in and make clear"
The links may have been dropped, but there is still no distinction in the actual content that the post isn't about the main Techcrunch site.
note the link is now to techcrunch.com but that is because the sites have been merged
Every time a random blog like this surfaces on HN I make a point of considering the source, by clicking through a few of the other articles. In this and many other cases, scratch the bland surface of the linked post and you'll find this kind of nutty political screed: http://www.kernelmag.com/yiannopoulos/1786/extreme-cognitive...
Arrogance, I don't care about. The shameless corruption, I do. PandoDaily, in particular, is funded by VC firms that also fund tech startups. They're basically buying coverage for their investments- it's taking the system that got Arrington fired and putting it on steroids. It works out great for the investment company, it works out great for their companies, the only person it doesn't work out for is that actual reader of the blog. It's why I will never read a PandoDaily article.
As a slightly more on-topic aside- an app I made was recently featured in the NY Daily News. The results were great- I got some useful feedback from real users, rather than hypothetical users more interested in gossip.
Yep, and that's one effect that I call "community myopia". This is a very wide spread phenomenon and it can be seen in almost every online community: members of a community have problems looking back at the support of their community and criticize it.
Posts from TC/Pando/Anyone affiliated with either shouldn't be allowed on Hacker News. There has not been a single post from either site that is of any use to us here.
They are biased. They are cry babies. They want attention. Stop giving it to them. TC & Pando stories should be banned from HN.
Add.: Maybe it's my introverted nature, but it really seems that this industry is heading to a place where if you aren't a complete arrogant ass without shame who can strut around going "Look at me I'm so cool! Look what I do!", your project won't get any mainstream attention. It makes me sad.
it really seems that this industry is heading to a place where if you aren't a complete arrogant ass without shame who can strut around going "Look at me I'm so cool! Look what I do!", your project won't get any mainstream attention. It makes me sad.
I don't think that's "this industry", I think it's "every industry". And I'm not sure it's a new thing, either.
Other reasons that could explain the low referral traffic: the eNovella post was very brief (and, again, on the European site at the time) while the Jottify mention was literally only one sentence in a brief post that also included 2 other startups.
EDIT2: Just noticed the author of the TechCrunch post on eNovella, Milo Yiannopoulos, is now the Editor-in-Chief of the OP site, "The Kernel" (and author of the 'editor's pick' article at the top of the right sidebar).
Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe it's a hatchet job on his former employer. Either way, I think it should merit a disclosure in the OP's article, no?
I think you're quite wrong on this, about the financial stake part, at least.
Gossip rags' fortunes thrive when there are big stars in the media. No Brangelina, Lindsay Lohan, Suri Cruz, Lady Gaga, etc., means overall less interest in gossip/celebrity news, thus fewer pageviews. So, there's an implicit interest to drum up fervor/attention, including coining attractive-easy branding phrases like, "Brangelina."
Celebrity agents work in tandem with publications all the time, offering them "scoops", such as, "Lindsay is going to be eating at [swank restaurant] at 7PM with her new respectable BF" in exchange for favorable coverage that makes their client look good.
> "People reportedly paid $4.1 million for newborn photos of Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, the child of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. The photos set a single-day traffic record for their website, attracting 26.5 million page views.
There's still a difference between being in a symbiotic relationship with the subjects you cover and the rags that cover you and having a direct financial interest in the subjects (or companies) you cover.
The latter being arguably the biggest journalistic sin.
It would only really be the same thing if (say) Gala has a 10% stake in "The Brangelina Project" or an option on the gross receipts of their next movie.
I'm not claiming that those rags are lillywhite. For example: I know for a fact that reviews are sold for cash.
However, in my opinion that's not the same level of corruption then a "journalist" covering a company in which he has equity.
Well, if the movie industry is advertising in said rag, doesn't that translate into a financial stake? It may not be direct investment, but talking (even negatively) about celebrities is still buzz that draws audiences to the movies those celebrities are going to be in.
Corrupt practices are only possible if they are hidden. Journalists like WSJ's Mossberg are able to maintain their credibility only because they keep it simple by not taking cash or freebies and restating that policy frequently.
If Blog X wants to take cash and freebies and then let me know about it in a nicely formatted web page, that's fine. I can keep reading and make a case by case judgement of their opinions. If not they are playing the game of monetizing their reputation and will one day be asking their hidden patrons for a job, or finding a new industry. Note the key driver in all this: transparency.
No. Time to stop disguising attacks at media outlets as constructive advice.
If the author had wanted to be constructive, the article would have read along these lines: "It's a tough problem to find out what media your audience consumes, and then cater your PR toward that media outlet. Here's how we screwed that up, here's what we did to fix it, and here's how you can avoid making the same mistake".
I've been covered on Techcrunch, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, TheNextWeb, GigaOm, Lifehacker, etc., multiple times, and I can say for sure that this guy doesn't know what he's talking about.
Sure it's not as effective as long time ago when there used to be this thing called "being Techcrunch'd", but it's nowhere as ineffective as that guy pointed out. It doesn't matter if his original statement included the part about "techcrunch UK" or not. His argument is based on his limited experience of being covered on TechCrunch UK which no one even reads, and a little mention from a short story.
I wouldn't say "ditch the arrogant tech blogs because they're not effective", if I've never been really covered by one. If you get covered properly, it still brings in tons of traffic.
Analyst firms and analyst publications are a related business area where some folks might be surprised at the processes and procedures that are used to construct the papers and recommendations.
The analyst data collection process can involve some very bizarre fill-in-the-spreadsheet questionnaires that are distributed to vendors by the firms, and there are sponsored technical reports and sponsored product reviews widely available, to what could be termed a product push poll. More than a little of what's printed in various publications and that's available at various web sites is little more than analyst- or vendor-provided text, too. Reworked press releases.
Informed and impartial product reviews are expensive. Which means they're comparatively scarce at the "free web site" product tier.
Corruption? No. It's a (sausage-making) business. Look for the disclosure statements where required, and generally follow the money. If you're not paying, then you're the product, after all. It's all sausage.
Ironic that this is coming from The Kernel. The editor is one of the most arrogant members of the London tech scene - just look at his Twitter feed. He is one of the very worst offenders when it comes to writing about stuff to try and cause a stink.
If it's the pitching to/grooming of tech blogs, then companies themselves will decide what's effective for them. Number of referrals is surely just one measure. Credibility ("as featured on TechCrunch"), SEO (backlink from TC sounds good to me?), the fact that other journalists read TC, metablogs and so on.
If we're supposed to be ditching reading the blogs, well then folk will do that naturally over time if the quality of content falls.
More than anything, we should probably ditch the idea that one well-placed referral from a powerhouse could be the shot in the arm that might make a service "go viral".
I would guess it matters if you have a product that targets other startup-type people (e.g. some PaaS products), but otherwise I agree, the emphasis placed on it does seem odd. I had never heard of it before starting to read HN, and I still rarely see it mentioned elsewhere. Articles are linked here regularly, but the only TechCrunch article I can remember seeing linked in "regular" circles on the internet (i.e. anything other than startup-specific blogs/sites) was http://techcrunch.com/2010/08/28/women-in-tech-stop-blaming-..., which provoked a bunch of responses.
Whatever you do, if you get traction you are king.
If you don't no matter how much coverage you get you will go down.
The only precursor for traction are users, tech blog coverage wont do anything about it: even consumer gadget blogs are niche compared to the mainstream media, and even then most people care a lot more about gadgets than webapps.
.........unless all their friends are using them, that's when they care, but that's growth which comes after.......that's right, TRACTION.
Let's just assume for the sake of argument that tech blogs aren't inherently wrong/evil/corrupt/worthless/etc.
I don't see why this has to be an either-or proposition...absolute number of referrals aren't the only "good thing" to come out of any promotional activity. Isn't it possible that a prominent mention gets you views/usage from people who are in a position to propel you forward?
Ask an investigative journalist: their 10,000 to 20,000 word, 1-year-opus will likely generate fewer page views than the high school basketball playoff recap. But as long as those viewers consist of politico staff members, agency policymakers, and judicial enforcement people...then absolute number of viewers is not the only vital metric.
You should hit Techcrunch and the likes when you're about to go fund-raising because the audience definitely feels like other startups and VCs. If these are are not your audience you're just wasting your time.
Kind of amusing that this article has such a link baity headline. I was expecting to see more tech blog bashing, which imho is well deserved. Nonetheless, this articles point that you should target journalists in your specific industry, rather than the tech blogs, is sound, but a bit boring.