Is Michael Arrington Building A Digg Killer?


What is TechCrunch Spy? The URL is showing up in our referral logs.

We don’t know what it is, but it wouldn’t surprise us if TechCrunch proprietor Michael Arrington was trying to build a news aggregator, à la Digg, Reddit, Mahalo, etc. Perhaps this is what he came up with when he was on vacation in Hawaii.

Last summer, the company tried to start a tech news aggregator using Reddit’s open-source software, but has since shut it down because no one used it.

Here’s in our referral log:


When you go to the TechCrunch Spy site, it takes you to a sign in screen. The HTML source doesn’t lend many clues, either.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN” “”><html>
<title>Sign In</title>
<meta http-equiv=”Content-Type” content=”text/html; charset=utf-8″>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”css/reset.css” type=”text/css”>
<link rel=”stylesheet” href=”css/main.css” type=”text/css”>
<link rel=”icon” type=”image/png” href=”images/favicon.png” />
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”js/main.js”></script>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”js/prototype.js”></script>
<script type=”text/javascript” src=”js/scriptaculous.js”></script>
<script type=”text/javascript”>var max_items = 50;</script>

<script type=”text/javascript”>var air = ‘false’;</script> </head>
<body onLoad=”$(‘password’).focus()” style=”background: #252525″>
<form id=”signin” method=”post” action=”scripts/signin.php”>
<input type=”password” name=”password” id=”password” /> <input type=”submit” id=”signin_submit” value=”Enter” />

Update: Astute commenter Daniel Pritchett might have the answer: An app called “Spy” that tracks social media conversations. TechCrunch would presumably use this to come up with story ideas or track conversations about its stories on the Web.

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