Next Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, will mark the end of one of the most important journalistic tech industry web sites, Dow-Jones’ All Things Digital. Those of you who have been following this drama in recent months know that its disappearance will only be momentary. Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who have run the site and associated conferences as an independent unit (but with no equity stake) are parting company with News Corp. after failing to reach agreement on a new contract.
The site, with its crack team intact, will re-emerge with a new name and new corporate investors, including NBC Universal, at the start of the new year. But the end of its six-year run is worth a moment of reflection. (Walt and Kara seem to agree; ATD is offering a series of posts (here’s the first) with summaries of and links to some highlights.
Many of the ATD crew has been friends, colleagues, and competitors, some for more years than any of us want to admit. But when ATD started in 2007, it brought to the web the journalistic standards of The Wall Street Journal with the timeliness, aggressiveness, and attitude that befitted a post-print publication. It quickly became the go-to site for, among many other things, Kara’s exhaustive (and occasionally exhausting) coverage the decline and, maybe, rebirth of Yahoo, Peter Kafka on media, Ina Fried on mobile, and Arik Hesseldahl on the enterprise.
It will be very interesting to watch what changes and what remains the same in the new ATD. Equally interesting will be what Dow-Jones plans to do to fill the giant hole left by the departures. It clearly has major plans, and has been hiring a lot of staff.
(So long and thanks for all the fish. The picture of the dolphins, originally from icanhascheezburger.com, is from the allthingsd.com home page.)