The classic web-dev resource Webmonkey taught me how to build my first homepage. Now, after ten years, Lycos will shutter the site and all its content. Webmonkey's editor sent the following message to the site's contributors, warning them to stop all work on Webmonkey and rescue their published pieces before Lycos deletes them. This message was leaked to Valleywag.
Subject: The Death (again) of Webmonkey
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 17:00:22 -0700
i could just say "SSAI" but allow me to elaborate. as you may have
heard, Conde Nast (owners of Wired Magazine) have purchased Wired News
and the wired.com domain. here's the news bit:
now, i'm an employee of wired news, which means that i work on conde
nast properties (wired news) as of this week. webmonkey, being a lycos
property, is off of my desk now. i've asked around about the details,
and i just got word that lycos is mothballing webmonkey. no new
content, no new employees. they say it's "just for now", but
considering that they were never willing to spend a dime to provide me
with any resources for anything relating to site maintenance or
improvement, i can't imagine they'd start doing so now.
chances are, lycos will do a completely new site at the domain and
take all of the old stuff offline. this sounds like a really bad idea,
but they've already done the same with Cocktail, RGB Gallery,
HotWired, Netizen, Suck.com, and Animation Express. so, it's not that
big of a jump to consider that they'll eventually do the same to
Webmonkey. this is the third time webmonkey has "died" (1999, 2004,
2006) and i have a feeling the third time's a charm. one month short
of its tenth birthday!
i advise you all to make PDFs of everything that you've written for
webmonkey. it may still be online in six months, but it just as likely
may not. if you take the article and run it on your site or your blog,
lycos might send you a cease and desist letter. but quite frankly, i
really don't think they have anyone that will be checking. i've been
handling the policing of all of the content thieves for the past
couple of years, and i know that nobody else was doing it. just please
don't say i gave you permission to run your webmonkey article
somewhere... because (for the record) i never said that.
the gravy train has run off the tracks and the conductor has fled into
the woods. if you're currently working on an article, please lift up
your pens and stop writing for Webmonkey right now. the budget is
frozen and there's nobody at lycos who will be able to handle posting
the articles. i hang my head in shame as i write this, because i
really didn't want to have to tell assigned authors that their
assignments won't be running. but those is the breaks, as they say.
please let me know if you have any questions about any of this. also,
i'll still be working at wired news doing web dev news, but we haven't
decided if i'll be reporting on news, editing how-tos, doing software
and book reviews... it's still all up in the air. the blog will live
on, but it probably won't be called Monkey Bites as of august.
if you're interested in writing for wired news, let me know, give me
story ideas. i probably won't be fully folded in to the wired news
process/CMS/etc for a little while yet, but i'll still take pitches.
why not, right?
i wish you all the best.
so, send me questions if you have them! talk to you all soon.
PS: i apologize for the form letter. please tell all of your friends
and co-workers who are former monkeys about this... emailing every
single author is going to take a really, really long time.
RIP Webmonkey 1996-2006