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<nettime> The Beauty of Ruins: Where's Wordsworth When You Need Him?
Mark Dery on Fri, 17 Aug 2001 23:02:30 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> The Beauty of Ruins: Where's Wordsworth When You Need Him?

Lo, how the mighty are fallen.

First, WIRED, Day-Glo bible of out-of-control capitalism, disappears into
the gently smiling jaws of Conde Nast, a hopelessly top-down corporation run
by suits who Just Didn't Get It. Then, neo-bio biz guy Kevin Kelly concedes,
after much recollection in tranquility, that revolutionary manifestoes may
not make good business plans. Now, The Industry Standard, The Wall Street
Journal of the economy of ether, goes belly up.

But before we get all schadenfreude-y and all, let's remember that the
agonies of the ruling class are always magnified on the way down. VCs and
overnight dotcom zillionaires may be hurting, but we're not going to trip
over them, crashing out on Wall Street or Redwood City sidewalks. (*Are*
there sidewalks in Redwood City?) As always, the low-wage, no-skill
service-sector grunts are going to feel the real pain.

----- Original Message -----
From: The Industry Standard <TheStandard {AT} boing.email-publisher.com>
To: Media Grok <mediagrok {AT} thestandard.email-publisher.com>
Sent: Friday, August 17, 2001 10:02 AM
Subject: MEDIA GROK: Goodbye

> =====================================================================
>                         THE INDUSTRY STANDARD'S
>                           M E D I A  G R O K
>             A Commentary on What the Press Is Reporting and Why
> =====================================================================
>                                         | http://www.thestandard.com |
> Friday, August 17, 2001
> * Goodbye
> Today we turn our dagger around and point it at ourselves.
> As goes the Internet Economy, so goes the magazine founded to cover
> it. Yesterday the Industry Standard announced that it is ceasing
> publication. The magazine's Web site said the company will "maintain
> its online editorial coverage while it seeks a buyer," but only a
> skeleton crew of six to 20 employees will remain. The parent company,
> Standard Media International, is expected to file for Chapter 11
> bankruptcy protection shortly.
> The company indicated "we remain hopeful that our assets will be
> sold," but you have to worry about a press release in which the word
> "hopeful" appears so prominently. Non-Standard press outlets took a
> firmer line, as evidenced by the Washington Post's headline: "Industry
> Standard Gives Up."
> Many of the Standard's 180 or so employees learned the news via
> nontraditional means, since most of the magazine staff is on what the
> Wall Street Journal described as a "forced paid vacation" this week.
> (The forced permanent unpaid vacation for almost everyone begins
> Tuesday.) The Journal laid out the dizzying rise and precipitous fall
> of the magazine: Last year's revenue was $140 million, the company
> threw lavish parties and conferences, the magazine won many editorial
> awards. But ad sales are down 75 percent this year, and the magazine,
> which needed less room after several rounds of layoffs this year, is
> said to be stuck with $60 million in lease commitments alone. There
> are no severance packages, though the Washington Post pointed out that
> employees may keep their laptops and mobile phones.
> Why now? Outlets agreed: no more funding from primary sponsor
> International Data Group and other investors. Several outlets
> chronicled the Standard/IDG relationship and gave conflicting reports
> of why the money faucet was turned off.
> A couple of competitors had trouble hiding their glee. The Los Angeles
> Times quoted the reaction of Jerry Borrell, editor in chief of Upside:
> "No! No way! Unbelievable!" But according to the Wall Street Journal,
> "Technology bankers hailed the publication as one of the most
> reliable. 'They don't drink the Kool-Aid over there,' one banker said,
> meaning that reporters and editors hadn't bought into the excesses of
> the dot-com mania." Actually, right now, a swig of Reverend Jim's
> favorite drink might hit the spot. - Jimmy Guterman
> For more information on the future of Media Grok, visit
> http://www.guterman.com/
> The Industry Standard Suspends Publication
> http://www.thestandard.com/article/0,1902,28744,00.html
> Industry Standard Parent Files for Bankruptcy After Fruitless Financing
> The Industry Standard To Stop Publishing
> http://news.cnet.com/news/0-1005-200-6895482.html
> The Industry Standard No Longer
> http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-00006691-aug17.story
> Industry Standard Becomes Latest Casualty in Dot-Com Bust (registration
> http://www.nytimes.com/2001/08/16/business/media/16CND-STANDA.html
> Industry Standard Lives Up To Its Moniker, Suspends Publication
> http://www.plastic.com/article.pl?sid=01/08/16/2239239
> Publisher to Close Industry Standard As Ad Slump Claims Another Victim
(paid subscription required)
> Industry Standard Gives Up
> http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21819-2001Aug16.html
> Industry Standard stops publishing
> Edited by Jimmy Guterman (guterman {AT} vineyard.com).

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