This is a tough one for me personally. That site is a part of my life, an innovation in local media that accomplished much in teaching us about aggregating and curating a local blogosphere. However, the site didn’t meet the economic needs of its owners, Young Broadcasting, who were going through a severe financial season. In that way, what happened to it is a sad reminder that innovations by companies with serious bottom line issues can’t compete with those funded by venture capital.
A part of me dies with NiT, but here are a couple of thoughts.
In today’s fire hose of content known as the Web, we need curators more than ever. The value proposition of Nashville is Talking always was it was one RSS feed that could give you insight into 400. Who will do that tomorrow (or today, for that matter)?
It’s ironic I’m at a conference in New York with local media companies who are discussing ways to make money locally via the Web, and friendship with local bloggers seems to be high on everybody’s agenda. I disagree with those who say we’ve moved past blogging. Broadcasters tend to understand Twitter and Facebook, because they can function very much in a broadcast mode. The problem with NiT was that we didn’t have time to create the ad network that would have sustained it, and that’s simply a matter of timing. The idea was ahead of the ability to pull it off.
I’m really sad to see it go. Yesterday, I was talking with another company in a bigger market about building such a curator/aggregator in his city. So the concept is still very much of interest to people who wish to help grow the personal media revolution locally. That’s a good bet for relevancy tomorrow.
And who knows if somebody in Nashville won’t acquire the domain and resurrect the original model. For that reason, I’m disinclined to say R.I.P.