Follow-up to today's piece
Thursday, June 6, 2002 by Dave Winer.
As you might imagine, today's piece stirred quite a few pots, more than were necessary or appropriate. There's a suitable retraction and apology at the end.
Ralph Brandi sent a pointer to a Dan Gillmor post with a partial explanation of the outage that was the example in the earlier piece. I still strongly believe that the outage should have been explained to readers, and had it been, I am sure it would have been corrected. In other words I stand by the story. But I should have included a link to Dan's post so readers could judge for themselves.
I have more thoughts on this subject, but that can wait for another day. Thanks to everyone for the thoughtful comments. Learning a lot here.
I had a long talk with Andrew Orlowski at The Register, re this statement: "The publication is dying because they've lost almost all of their advertising. Now they probably would be going through tough times now, no matter what, because the Internet advertising business is very troubled. But they're being hit harder. The theory is that advertisers, once they get pricked by an article they don't like, withdraw their advertising."
Andrew called, and followed-up with an email in response. He said:
1. There have never been more ads at The Register - click around the site. Most folk complain there's now too much advertising :)
2. We've a lower head count than at any time since 1999. That's fewer mouths to feed
3. We've never had a US sales operation before, thanks to our partnership with Tom's Hardware Guide. That's another stream of revenue.
4. Non-ad revenue has never been higher - thanks to our recruitment pages, the research and shopping partnerships.
5. Sales are going up not down, and they're substantially higher than last year. It's hard to find another publishing company that can say that. It's tough out there for sure, but we're prospering.
6. Rumors of our demise aren't new - I've heard them from envious journalists since beofre I joined. And commercial rivals use this is as black propaganda. We're still here.
7. You've met both me and John Lettice, but we must be pretty boring guys. That's OK. It's better than being called ugly, and you didn't mention my atrocious teeth :)
First, I'm glad to hear that The Register is doing so well.
Further, I apologize for saying that it wasn't, and retract the statement.
I had two sources, but there's no excuse for not having checked with The Register.
I screwed up, and I sincerely hope my piece did not hurt The Register.