Did Social Media Save Newsweek.com?

By Jeff Ryan

The old Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” originates from a Chinese proverb that is one of three in severity, the other two being; “may you come to the attention of powerful people” and “may your wishes be granted”. A mixed bag for sure and strangely poignant in our globally interconnected society.

Last week, the Daily Beast and Newsweek announced the merger and creation of The Newsweek Daily Beast company aka Newsbeast. The evolution of the internet has certainly brought interesting times to us all. Global interconnectedness has put American workers in competition with the whole world. The print business model died with the advent of Craigslist, the meteoric growth of on-line advertising and news sites like the Daily Beast and Huffington Post.

The New York Times published a piece in which the new conglomerate’s chief executive, Stephen Colvin, told the paper that “Newsweek.com will cease to exist after the merger, and anyone who types the URL into their browser will be redirected to TheDailyBeast.com.” The staffers at Newsweek.com learned via the Times article that the merger of the Daily Beast, a two-year old online only news site and the iconic 77-year-old Newsweek magazine meant the end of Newsweek.com and their jobs.

What happened next saw all three proverbs come to light. A team of anonymous Newsweek.com employees launched a Tumblr page, titled “Save Newsweek.com – A Defense of Newsweek.com,” above the subheader, “Why we think it would be a mistake to close the award-winning Website of Newsweek magazine.” Within an hour of the launch of “Save Newsweek.com” over 200 comments were posted in support of Save Newsweek.com. Twitter lit up with thousands of tweets posting supportive comments with a link to the site.

Within hours of the Twitter uproar Tina Brown tweeted: “Woah! Newsweek.com’s superb content will live under its own banner and URLs on the new site. Not shutting down, combining.” The staffers indeed got the attention of an important person with a little help from the twitterverse. Will their wishes be granted? Vanity Fair’s Juli Weiner in her November 15th article on the merger noted; “Colvin’s statement and Brown’s tweet aren’t necessarily incongruous. The former suggests that Newsweek.com’s content will be hosted by DailyBeast.com, and the latter just clarifies that Newsweek.com’s content will differ from Daily Beast fare because its URL will somehow include “Newsweek.” Brown’s tweet… one could infer… Newsweek.com will be redirected to a Newsweek.com section of the Daily Beast. Only time (pardon the pun) will tell.

3 Comment

    Great work keep it coming, best blog on earth

    27 Nov 2010 |

  1. Thanks for the post, keep posting stuff

    07 Dec 2010 |

  2. very nice post… thanks for sharing

    12 Jan 2011 |