This morning I woke up to the flood of Apple Watch and MacBook news in both my Facebook news feed and Twitter timeline. Among the hundreds of news stories, one particularly caught my attention, and upon further reading, left me shocked. GigaOm, one of the most respected tech news and analysis site based in San Francisco, just announced it was closing down.
What shocked me more was the fact that it was apparently winding down for the lack of funding. I mean, seriously? How can a well-respected site like GigaOm run out of funds? Is that what the tech journalism is heading to?
Being a passionate tech writer myself, I plan on making a career in tech journalism knowing that it’s not the best career in the world, certainly not as good as programmers and developers. But I choose to write for real people instead of write for computers and machines simply because this is what I’m more comfortable at.
However, the GigaOm closure news is making me second-guess my plan. As someone has commented somewhere, it’s sad reality that a site like GigaOm — which produces lots of useful and insightful content — has to shut down while other sites with you won’t believe what happens next continue to live on.
I wouldn’t be as upset as I am now if the shutdown was due to any personal or other reason. But lack of funding?
Someone on my Facebook just wrote that this is why you shouldn’t focus on just advertising when it comes to media. Granted, advertisement still remains the most popular way of monetizing web content. It won’t work if you don’t have tons of visitors. GigaOm didn’t seem like it was losing visitors. Its most recent articles about Apple Watch has been shared enough times on social media and prompted people to write comments — an action that’s difficult for every publisher out there.
Even with that many visitors, why did GigaOm shut down? Is this the beginning of the end of insightful tech journalism? Should we, the newbie in tech writing who want to have a career in tech journalism, be worried and change course to write about something else — perhaps Kim Kardashian’s behind?
The sad news is, I couldn’t even if I wanted to. Writing about Kim Kardashian’s behind does nothing meaningful to be happy about the work I do; whereas writing about technology, making people familiar with how the technology works today and how they can use it to improve their lives has some degree of meaning to it to be satisfied with my work.
Like with anything, the future remains to be seen. No matter how much I rant about it, I’d probably have to stick to doing what I think I do best. It’s the reason there are journalists, photographers and media professionals out there despite the slow death of the industry. I certainly hope that a sustainable business model comes out before the whole media industry contains nothing but news about certain people’s oversized behind.
What’s your take on the GigaOm’s sudden closure?
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