Another News Site? Will this one last?
Today marks the launch of a new WordPress news site, called Torque. And if you follow WordPress kinds of things, you might ask yourself if the world really needs another WordPress news site. It’s the question that often follows a second and maybe more important one: will this one last?
That question, one of longevity, comes from the fact that other news sites, like WP Tavern and WP Candy, had business models that were unsustainable. And WP Daily closed down just months after rapidly gaining traction and over 80,000 pageviews a month.
Added to that is the recent announcement of several new WordPress podcasts that left people wondering if there was enough of an audience to support all of these news resources. Or if there even was enough news to support all of these outlets?
A New Model Emerging
In recent months we’ve seen WP Tavern, now owned by Matt Mullenweg, step back into regular publishing. We’ve seen Post Status refresh their site and get support from the Theme Foundry. And anyone who looked at WP Daily closely, noticed it was sponsored by 8Bit.
In these cases, the model we’ve been seeing is one of sponsorship, and it’s a model that makes sense. With the guarantee of financial support, the news engine can move forward.
But in the case of WP Daily, it wasn’t finances that drove the close. After all, 8Bit continues to do incredible stuff. Instead, it was a question of distraction. They chose to focus on what was core to what they were doing.
And so the second part of the model emerges – where we see dedicated staff, like Jeff Chandler working on WP Tavern. And as you read the letter from the editor on Torque’s site, you’ll see that Michelle has been hired as a full time editor for the magazine.
So with funding and full time staff, we can answer the question of longevity.
But is there really enough news?
What I love about Torque is that it’s more like a magazine than a newspaper.
So I don’t expect that it will compete directly with news sites that publish several times a day with the latest in plugin news. After all, I don’t know that there’s enough news for that kind of reporting beyond the short snippets WP Daily used to publish.
But what I what I do expect, and I’ve written a couple of articles for the launch, is that it will develop it’s voice as one that provides insight, challenge and leadership to the community.
After all, I don’t really care about the latest plugin that let’s you create custom post types in a new drag and drop fashion. But I do want to hear and read the kinds of articles where we debate if golden unicorns exist. That’s a discussion that helps everyone.
So is there enough for a news site? Or several? I don’t know.
But I think there’s enough for a news magazine. And that’s what I think Torque is going for.