This rant has been triggered by a post at TechCrunch, which describes Topix.net’s brand transformation.
In short, Topix.net bought Topix.com and in the process decided to re-evaluate their product, brand, etc. According to their CEO, they asked themselves the question: “What do you do when your success … sucks?“. So what changed?
According to USA Today (~ sister company to Topix): “Topix.com homes in on citizen journalists.”
Citizen journalists, you know, people “who post stories and pictures online” (USA Today). Hmm, if they’re painting with such broad strokes, I don’t think they’ve missed anyone I know. Even my parents “post stories” by email.
It looks like all Topix wants is to recruit volunteers to post and moderate posts about their local communities. Why didn’t they say so?
If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.