catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

Margo Moves On

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Just a few months ago Margo Kingston was dreaming of a "rapidly growing and increasingly important independent media." Tonight she’s calling it quits.

Margo’s Webdiary began as a weblog on the Sydney Morning Herald’s site. But, as she told Radio National’s Richard Aedy "Fairfax wanted to turn it into one of their standardised blogs to save money on hosting etc., and pack it with ads." That wasn’t what Margo had in mind for her site. So, in late August this year she gave up her contract with Fairfax and went solo.

The re-born Webdiary was an experiment in public journalism and everyone, including Margo, knew it was a long shot. The idea was to run the site around a core of paid staff with contributions from citizen journalists — the Webdiarists. Contributions would be edited, comments would be moderated, and the site would eventually grow to support a handful of full time professional journalists. But to make the model work Webdiary needed money… and it never arrived.

Tonight, in a post titled ‘Thank you and goodbye‘, Margo writes:

Webdiary will close at midnight tonight. Thank you to everyone who contributed and helped me try to make it work. Unfortunately I couldn’t get funding in time to stop me going broke, and certain events have proved to me that my skin is not thick enough to survive in this game.

When I decided to go independent I thought long and hard if I could accept failure in what was always a high risk venture. I decided I could, and I will.

Webdiary’s closure marks the end of my career in journalism. It’s time to move on.

The comments thread to this post shows just how much Margo’s work has meant to readers, contributors and her colleagues. Before I took up blogging I contributed to Webdiary. And I’ll always appreciate the support I received from Margo and other Webdiarists. So to Margo – you’ve done a great job, thanks and good luck.

PS. Webdiarists plan to keep the site running.

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Written by Admin

December 7, 2005 at 11:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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