Let me preface this post by saying, I hope this isn’t an indicator of how the Bring ReadWrite Back campaign ultimately goes. Nonetheless, it’s not looking promising at the moment. ReadWrite was founded by Richard MacManus in 2003 (that’s actually the same year I founded BestTechie), he sold the site a few years back to a company called Say Media, and then more recently the site was sold again to Wearable Word (a wearable tech incubator). I’ve always been a fan of ReadWrite but unfortunately it seems there may not be enough fans to keep the site going.
Late last week, ReadWrite launched the #bringreadwriteback campaign, an effort to bring the site back to its roots and produce high-quality tech journalism. And instead of relying so much on advertisers they would rely on their audience to help fund the site, hence the IndieGoGo crowdfunding campaign that they will launch on July 7.
Anyway, this morning I decided to check-in on the buzz surrounding the ReadWrite campaign. I did a few Twitter searches and not much came back, I was thinking to myself “this can’t be right.” So I went over to Topsy and did a search for the main hashtag: #bringreadwriteback, hit enter and was shocked by the results. 39 tweets. thirty-nine. That’s since this past Thursday (6/4). I still didn’t believe it so I went over to twitter.com/search and did another search for the hashtag, this time I manually counted the tweets. I counted 46 tweets. Even accounting for tweets I missed due to search terms, it still doesn’t seem likely we’re dealing with a large volume.
You can see there was a very small spike on Thursday when the original tweet about the campaign was posted but that’s it. Honestly, I took a look at who was doing the tweeting and it was mostly other tech journalists. So you could say it just bounced around the tech journo ether and never really escaped. Take a look at this graph below.
Now, they do have a month to continue to rev it up as the crowdfunding campaign doesn’t start until July 7, but I have got to believe it’s slightly disheartening to see this as the original response.
It’s tough being in the media business right now. Trust me, I get it. I think ReadWrite needs to be a bit more creative about their pitch here, simply saying they want to bring the site back to its roots and produce high-quality tech journalism really isn’t enough. I get they may not want to share their ideas at this point, but really, I’m not sure they have that luxury. Tell us what you want to do, be specific, and if it’s a really good idea people will likely back you to make it happen. Best of luck!
PS: Dave Winer had some interest ideas in his post from Friday.