Friday, February 23, 2024

Vice and Engadget “Content”

Bruce Dixon:

We create and produce outstanding original content true to the Vice brand. However, it is no longer cost-effective for us to distribute our digital content the way we have done previously. Moving forward, we will look to partner with established media companies to distribute our digital content, including news, on their global platforms, as we fully transition to a studio model. As part of this shift, we will no longer publish content on, instead putting more emphasis on our social channels as we accelerate our discussions with partners to take our content to where it will be viewed most broadly.

Via Nick Heer:

The way Vice has “distributed [its] digital content […] previously” is by having a website. That it is not “cost-effective” to run a website is creating rumours that it is about to be shuttered without any real effort at preservation.

This is a real shame; Vice had some of the best privacy and security coverage in the industry.

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai:

There will never be a website like Motherboard.

A product of a time and place that will never be replicated. And for all its faults (and there were millions of them), Vice was smart enough to let us thrive on our own.

Brian Merchant:

Just incredible. The CEO of VICE is giving up on one of the most popular global media brands, firing its journalists and shutting down in order to “transition to a studio model” which means… what? Posting brand stuff to Instagram?

VICE has always been a mess, but this is such a sad and ignominious end to a place that for all its many faults, produced some excellent work and a very talented stable of journalists who deserve a hell of a lot better than this.

Ernie Smith (via Hacker News):

It’s confirmed. The Vice website is shutting down.

See also: Samantha Cole.

Mia Sato (via John Gruber):

The nearly 20-year-old tech publication Engadget is laying off staff and restructuring editorial teams today with a new focus around traffic and revenue growth. The changes are designed to give the outlet a stronger emphasis on commerce revenue, while removing key editorial leaders from its newsroom, including its editor-in-chief.

Engadget, which is operated by Yahoo, will lay off 10 employees, according to people with knowledge of the situation who say staff were “blindsided” by the decision. In addition to cutting staff, the editorial team will split into two sections: “news and features” and “reviews and buying advice.” The news teams will focus on traffic growth, while the reviews teams will report to commerce leaders.

Via John Gruber:

The sort of executive who calls what their own publication creates “content” is exactly the sort of asshole who thinks talented editors and writers can be laid off while increasing “velocity” and the quality of the work.


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Vice has been firing actual journalists while paying its management million-dollar bonuses for years now. How could that possibly go wrong, I wonder. Must be the web's fault.

Time for a new business model: Scrape social media and pirated books. Feed it through a large language model. Publish it as original content. Make $$$! Who needs journalists to do in-depth reporting anyway? It fits right into the postmodernist Zeitgeist: truth is just a matter of opinion. Just check your "facts" with Gemini, made by Google, whose motto used to be "We organize the world's information".

The market will sort it out.

@Kristoffer Poe's law. I honestly can't tell. :)

Where else to source a story as that of The Shed at Dulwich and read about the final demise of Tripadvisor's pretence of truth? will be sorely missed.

@Sebby, you were right, I was being sarcastic.

Now that I'm on my computer I'll give the answer this topic deserves.

It's sad to see the results of late stage capitalism. It's a painful time to live through. I hate how the google search results page is garbage nowadays, but I hate the broader effects of lsc even more.

It was brought into painfully clear focus this past weekend. Me and my wife went to London for a quick big city weekend thing. Just the one night.

We stayed with a friend whom we met 16 years ago trough some couch-surfing network on-line. At that time that was the normal way to stay at privately owned residencies. AirBnB wasn't a thing. FFW to today and why would you let ppl stay for free when you can earn a buck?

So, journalism becomes "content", tech companies over hire-and-fire and their stock prices go up. I google specific brand products and get a carousel stuffed with the competitor, Apple and Amazon force price increases through their taxes and lock-ins.

So I'm glad for sites like this, or The Guardian, or that I can work on a game for the Playdate and if I ever finish it I can sell it where ever I want, however I want, or hope to get it published on the actually curated first party store. I'm glad that there are plenty of free open source text editors I can use, and for the excellent Aseprite that I bought on the cheap from the Humble store and then installed on my PC and Mac and added to Steam AND downloaded using a torrent client.

We live in capitalism, it's power seems inescapable -but then, so did the divine right of kings.
- Ursula Le Guin

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