Monday, July 09, 2007

The Dead Herring?

We could be on the cusp on the end of an era in online industry / ecommerce publishing. Valleywag, the Silcon Valley gossip and insider blog, has been running a series of posts in their Deathwatch collection on the possible death of former must read Red Herring. The latest posts from Friday talks about contractor staff being pulled, potential eviction and more. Previous posts looked at missed publications and serious cash flow issues.

Back in the bubble days this was the top venture capital and tech business publication there was. It was required reading for anyone hoping to stay informed on trends in capital flows, business models and competitor activity. I recall issues that were hundreds of pages long. So big that the binding could not hold them together, with pages falling out all over the place. It broke all the big stories and for markets in Europe and particularly Asia it allowed you to look into a virtual time machine to see what the business models of the eFuture (ie in the US) were going to be.

Will be sad to say goodbye if the deathwatch proves true but not unsurprising. The magazine is a poor comparison to the bust days. Now it is a sad looking flip through magazine that it little more than a pamphlet. The stories have all be broken before on Techcrunch, Valleywag, alarm:clock, GigaOM and Paidcontent.

UPDATE - the news is getting worse and worse for new economy business magazines. The NY Times is reporting that Business 2.0 may be joining Red Herring in the magazine emergency ward and will be soon shut down. Falling advertising revenues and stagnant circulations are the reasons quoted - though in truth these are the symptoms of the changing media consumption discussed above. Om Malik who has written for both Red Herring and Business 2.0 is very sad about the possible closure of the magazine. He has an interesting post on that and his experiences at Red Herring here.

UPDATE 2 - 1 August Valleywag is reporting that Business 2.0 may be back from the brink

UPDATE 3 - 4 Sept TechCrunch is reporting that it is all over for Business 2.0. October will be the last issue and Time will not sell to another publishing house

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