Its own timely demise
I shuttered Timely Demise today, 18 months after conceiving it, 16 months after launching it and three months after I generally lost my taste for publishing melancholy.
By most measures, the site was a success. I gained a ridiculous amount of knowledge about retail trends and the mechanics of restructuring. I received some fun press coverage. I developed a regular readership that, as of this writing, is still tuning in for news.
Google News added me as a source. I got the inestimable Choire Sicha to be my guestblogger. I began receiving anonymous tips, including one from an angry creditor pointing me to his debtor's bankruptcy. And I had one actual news scoop hand-delivered by a company's public relations firm.
I knew all along that this would be a tough subject to cover neatly. After all, I work for and with retailers; how can I be associated with bad news? So I tried to keep the blog objective and matter-of-fact, and that was usually enough. Yes, I know it had a rough name and a difficult topic. But at launch I felt a bit of provocation was appropriate for its moment in time. (See also: It Died, among others.)
Mostly, I found it all fascinating, as did my readers. I am much wiser about retail now than I was a year and a half ago. I suspect we all are.
A few months back, I registered timelyrevive.com with plans on shifting my focus toward expansion and profit statements. But I found that much harder to track from Timely Demise's dedicated angle, which focused on consumer-level impact and not corporate maneuvers. Stories of 90-year-old corner stores closing make for better (and more trackable) journalism than Applebee's #1997 opening in the local mall. I began running short on news.
So, three hundred and fourteen posts, five hundred fifty thousand page views, and eighty-nine dollars in ad revenue later, I'm hanging up my tough-news journalist's hat. We'll see if I can brew up something new--and more upbeat--for 2010.