Congratulations to Mike Arrington on hiring Erick Schonfeld as co-editor of TechCrunch — extending his hand to the Business 2.0 writer and editor as he stepped from the wreckage of Time Warner-owned magazine, which has gone down in flames. Erick seems like a solid writer and a pretty good blogger too, and should be a great addition to TechCrunch.
As Ashkan Karbasfrooshan also discusses here, this is just another in a series of dots connecting the decline of magazines — particularly tech-related magazines, although celebrity-oriented mags aren’t doing all that well either — and the rise of blogs. As Ash points out, Jason Calacanis and Nick Denton both gave the process a big push with Gawker and Weblogs Inc.
Om Malik gave things another boost when he left Business 2.0 to run GigaOm. That spurred editor Josh Quittner to give all of his writers blogs, in an attempt to blend the immediacy and community that blogs generate with the relatively stale environment of a monthly magazine. He even tried to compensate them based on the traffic they generated. And now, Business 2.0 is no more.
The inescapable fact is that if you’re interested in anything remotely time-sensitive — technology (and particularly the Internet), news about celebrities (where TMZ.com and PerezHilton rule) and even sports or investment-related news (Marketwatch) — then some kind of blog platform or Web-based magazine just makes more sense than print.
It’s not that the two can’t co-exist — they can, and Business 2.0 may have given up the fight too soon — but the Web is the most important part now, instead of just an add-on or afterthought. Tony Hung wonders whether TechCrunch will still be a blog, but in many ways it and GigaOm and the Gawker and Weblog sites are hybrids. Maybe we should call them blog-azines :-)