Tech blogs, they are a-changing

It’s a bit of a strange time for the digital publishing world, and tech blogs in particular, as they seem to be going through the kind of upheaval you’d be forgiven for presuming was a print monopoly.

So far we’ve had Techcrunch acquired by AOL, shortly followed by most of the best reasons to read Techcrunch rapidly leaving, and we’ve seen Paul Carr is launching The New Gambit, which is an e-reader/tablet subscription only ‘Economist as written by The Daily Show’.

We’ve recently had ReadWriteWeb acquired by SAY Media, which was preceded by Marshall Kirkpatrick announcing he’ll still be posting on the site, but is stepping back from other activities to build his own startup (which is one that sounds particularly exciting.)

Meanwhile Guardian News and Media has announced it is selling ContentNext, the parent of PaidContent.

On the gadget side, The Verge arrived, formed by the former core of Engadget.

And today at some point we should see the arrival of The Kernel, the new project from Milo Yiannopolous.

The only constant is change

It feels like there’s a trend for incumbent owners/publishers to be trying to get out now as revenues are unlikely to skyrocket – especially when you compare web publishing with location-based apps, social games, or winning Euromillions. And we’ll have to wait through the transition period to know whether those venerable old grandfathers of digital are worth sticking with.

Meanwhile, those who were senior figures and who’ve wanted to create their own products and businesses have struck out to try just that.

And somewhere there are some brilliant, exciting and interesting new titles and blogs out there – the biggest challenge is locating them at an early stage, and it’s a challenge which no one still seems to have cracked despite all of the content discovery, language analysis, and other mechanisms for sharing content. It’s still mainly about the existing names and the content they are producing – so if you have any recommendations for new sites and blogs, please do share them…

Personally, I think there are still some big gaps and opportunities for digital content on the web, along with the latest gold rush for mobile, tablet and e-reader publications. If not, I wouldn’t still be fascinated with trying to establish my own titles as a viable business which can grow and one day support a staffed business. But there’s not a tech news blog among them for various reasons.

But what is crystal clear and is being proven yet again is that the era of years of stability in any form of publishing have gone forever – print is subject to continued transformation and decline into a different method of survival for some titles and formats, whilst the move to digital brings only more challenges and a need for continual evolution. I suspect the two keys to success are being able to cope with constant changes under your feet whilst also accepting the fact that digital publishing is a longterm business which can be profitable, but isn’t goldmine. Although when it comes to blogging, I can point you in the direction of a million eBooks which would try to convince you otherwise…

Comments

  1. And literally 2 minutes after posting this, I check my RSS feed and the top article waiting to be read is the news Techcrunch CEO Heather Harde has resigned! http://venturebeat.com/2011/12/16/techcrunch-heather-harde-aol/

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  1. […] interesting discussion when he posed the idea that the Golden Age of Tech Blogging is over (A theme I’d covered earlier with a less provocative headline – curses!) We both broadly agree on the topic, although I think we’re probably both […]