As a result of the stupid-ass embargo culture, I found out on Twitter this morning that ReadWriteWeb has been acquired by SAY Media. I don't know anything about this company, so I have no preconceptions. They say we're going to get a site redesign, and that sounds great. I look forward to seeing the wireframes.
We were told of a surprise 7 a.m. meeting midday yesterday and given no more information than that. I was certain acquisition was at hand, but I could not imagine by whom. Now we know, I think.
I'm excited. I love the spirit of our team, I think it's full of great writers, and I'm glad we'll get a chance to grow our platform. I mean platform not the way tech blogs use it — meaning something involving computers and stuff — but in an older sense. I'm at ReadWriteWeb because it's a group blog full of strong voices. We have our own takes on things. That's what I want out of a site, and I think it's what readers want, too.
I'm thrilled that Dan Frommer will be joining us. I look forward to learning from him. It sounds like the team will be expanding, too. If we get more comrades as crazy as we are, you can look forward to a good time.
I hope this deal means that SAY finds value in our voices. If that's the case, I'm flattered. Honored, even. I've only worked for fledgling organizations before (save for a one-year stint in the Providence, RI school department, but let's not talk about that). Working for a bigger company will be a new experience, and I love new experiences.
I read Erick Schonfeld's post about the deal with some interest, and I agree with his analysis. In order to be a free media company with a big reach, you have to be an ad company, too.
That's okay with me. It might make your journalist's nose itchy, but so be it. As I've said on Twitter before, I have foresworn the title of Journalist in this position. I'm a storyteller, or at least I aspire to be. I tell the story of the Internet and how it connects humankind. Of course I'm responsible to be fair and accurate when writing true stories. But we're in service of the future, not the present. That's not journalism; it's an agenda.
There are agendas inherent in writing about technology. I think they're good agendas. We write in favor of the Web Itself and for the best possible technology for accessing it. It's the platforms, if you will, that matter to us, and the best things built upon them get covered. That's the difference between tech blogging and PR; our allegiance is to the future, not to any product.
So if I can keep doing that, that's great. Honestly, I don't really care about the technology in and of itself. I'm not a Technologist. I'm not an engineer or a developer. I'm a writer. I care about the story. As long as the story is good and people are listening, I'll keep telling it. I look forward to seeing how SAY Media can support good storytelling. Here's the story SAY and Richard, our Commander-In-Chief, are telling about the deal:
I think that's a pretty good story. I'll keep listening. If the story gets boring, I'll be bored, too. I don't let myself stay bored for long.
UPDATE 12/16: I've had more chances to see SAY's way of doing things, and I'm profoundly impressed. Check out this bold blog post from SAY's president about why they wanted us. I'm so much more excited now.