Calacanis, Arrington Talk TechCrunch50 On TechTicker

TechTicker’s Sarah Lacy interviewed Jason Calacanis and Michael Arrington about the upcoming TechCrunch50 conference. The first two segments are up. In the first segment, Lacy talks to the two about the origins of the conference and why they are so determined to end payola in tech events.

The conference is back on Sept. 8 and now dubbed TechCrunch50 for the 52 companies debuting at it. (Don’t ask.) It’s being held the same day as Demo this year and tech folks are choosing sides carefully. For a two-year-old conference, TechCrunch certainly has some big-name loyalists. Among its panel of experts are Marissa Mayer of Google, Marc Andreessen of Netscape, Opsware and Ning fame, Mark Cuban, Chad Hurley of YouTube, and some of the Valley’s most powerful investors. Not bad.

Center stage are the startups. Both Calacanis and Arrington are known for rubbing some people the wrong way, but even critics admit these are two guys obsessed with helping fledgling entrepreneurs. They don’t charge companies to present and spend hours with each one, helping founders hone their pitches.

In part two Lacy dives down into one of the trends we’re seeing with this year’s applicants: next generation virtual worlds. This is already big business, and tech advances are letting users do and see more with less bandwidth.

Segments 3-4 will be on TechTicker Friday.