I mentioned yesterday that I had enjoyed the site True/Slant and was sorry that, after its acquisition by Forbes, it was closing down. I said that the theme of the era for journalism was "experiment, experiment, experiment" to find out what works and what doesn't, and that I was "sorry that True/Slant will go down as an illustration of what didn't work, rather than what did."
For the record, a reply from a True/Slant vet:
I really appreciate the regard you expressed for True/Slant in your blog post.
But as the site's homepage editor, I have to differ with your point that, "True/Slant will go down as an illustration of what didn't work, rather than what did."
If your sole metric for "what did work" in a news start-up is whether or not a company went from its first round of investment to being in the black, then yes, we're an example of what didn't work. But then, so is just about every other news start-up on the block, too.
One our original investors, Forbes, took a look at the work that we did, including the technology we developed and the ideas we implemented, and concluded that the experiment we started would be better sustained internally. In that regard, I would argue it makes us an illustration of what did work, rather than what didn't.
Noted. I am in favor of (just about) everything that everyone in the news business dares try, and I hope that Michael Roston is right in saying that Forbes is using this as an example to build on. I'll watch to see what they do.