ENGADGET GUTTED

Engadget is looking to “increase their velocity.”

Ten people at (Engadget) are losing their jobs, and the editorial staff will be split into two sections. A memo says strategy will focus more on traffic and collaboration with sales and SEO

Founded 20 fucking years ago by Peter Rojas, it was then bought up by AOL in 2011, which eventually became Yahoo, which has a stellar track record of destroying everything they touch.

From Engadget GM Sarah Priestley (via Daring Fireball):

“[The changes] will allow us to streamline our work, increase our velocity, and ultimately deliver the best content to our readers.”

I love how the new leadership of these once-beloved brands are hell-bent on winning the race to the bottom.

GOODBYE, VICE.COM

From the Wall Street Journal (below copied from 512 Pixels, as the WSJ has a paywall):

“It is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously,” Dixon told employees in the memo. He said the company could partner with established media companies to distribute its content. “As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on vice.com.”

And before this:

A domain name and hosting aren’t overly expensive. Put out something that folks will pay for and maybe earn a living doing it.

The glory days are over. Time to get back to making good shit with some friends and hoping for the best. 404 Media is profitable after just six months. Jason Kottke is making it work.

“The market didn’t reject Pitchfork: Condé had a captive audience, and never bothered to make a pitch.”

Pete Tosiello 

Newspapers were subsidized by ads decades ago. Classifieds meant local alt-weeklies could exist. Banner ads paid the bills for websites, until they didn’t.

Then came the corporate interests, the “smart” VPs with their business jackets and jeans outfits.

They came in, had their $400 lunches, made their money, and walked away just fine.

Like I said, “Maybe centralized kingdoms of power and influence aren’t the answer.”

DON’T GO BACK TO THE CRAP

I love this so much from “How Tiny Desk Concerts Became a pop culture phenomenon.”

Folk artist Laura Gibson felt deflated after her 2008 South by Southwest show in Austin, Texas. The Thirsty Nickel bar allowed noisy 6th Street revelers who didn’t purchase tickets to enter, and they had no interest in listening to the soft-spoken artist.

“Mid-set, I was like, ’Why did I drive all the way down to Texas … What am I doing with my life?” Gibson remembered. “I felt like ‘I really just want to go hide somewhere and cry.’”

Two folks from NPR were in attendance and offered Larua to come to their office and perform, and it became the first Tiny Desk Concert.

Laura had to go out and do something and it sucked. Yet she did, plowed through it, and it led to something else.

I think a lot of us had some great fun and success with social media back in the day, but then it sucked.

Laura (I hope) didn’t have to go back to play another shitty venue to keep her career going. She just moved forward, like I see a lot of other artists doing, leaving behind social media.

Yes, we made our connections, had some wins, but “going back to a shitty venue” isn’t how we’ll get to the next level.

(via Kottke)

TIMELESS VALUE

This video is lovely. It was an absolute warmth and joy, and exactly what I needed this morning.

What I love about this video is near the end, Sam Abell meets the grandkids of some of the people I photographed in Japan 40+ years ago.

“By far the most meaningful are the human connections that I’ve been able to make as a photographer.”

Gorgeous video, and one I’m sure I’ll watch again someday soon.

SPACEPORT

Travel through space and futuristic dimensions while working from your computer terminal with this excellent release from Martin Stürtzer.

BLOGS AND MP3S

Here I am in 2024, reading a post linked from Kottke.org, and listening to my music files using an app called Swinsian.

Back in my music blog days I got a lot of samplers, pre-release CDs to check out before anyone else.

One of them was rough cuts and demos of ‘De-Loused In The Comatorium’ from The Mars Volta. I remember this on a CDR, shipped in a padded mailer. That was in 2003, before I moved to NYC. My goodness, this is a gem.

Bands used to post demo MP3s on their websites, too. I have a handful of those, too.

I’ve also got some files that don’t play, which I think maybe are tied to the iTunes store? Thankfully I don’t have too many of those.