I regard Mathew Ingram as one of the most important, insightful commentators on digital media (and not just because we often agree). I hope he continues blogging under his own banner or gets snapped up quickly by another media outlet that recognizes the importance and value of his voice.
An awful day for journalism — it seems Gigaom is closing. What @om and his team did there has been an inspiration to so many others.
— Dan Gillmor (@dangillmor) March 10, 2015
More on Mathew shortly, but first a salute to Om Malik, the founder of GigaOm. I admired what he built and salute his entrepreneurial spirit. Like Dan Gillmor, I am sad that this venture appears to be ending. (I didn’t use the word “failed,” because Om succeeded journalistically, and because he had a nice nine-year run. When afternoon newspapers closed in the 1980s and ’90s, I didn’t say they failed. Like GigaOm, they succeeded for years. Life cycles of successful ventures may be shorter in the dynamic digital age.)
I was pleased to meet Om over breakfast last year at the International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. I hope I told him how much I admired the business he built. What I remember best about the conversation is Om’s great story about how he came up with the name GigaOm for his business. I won’t retell it here, because it’s his story and I won’t do it justice (if you have a link to somewhere he’s told it publicly, let me know and I’ll link to it).
March 11 update: I didn’t originally address the business aspects of this in depth because I don’t have much expertise in the area of venture capital. But I highly recommend Danny Sullivan’s post comparing the VC approach with what he calls the “Sim City” approach of bootstrapping a company and growing slowly, which is working for thriving Third Door Media. (And, he notes, other digital media companies are thriving on VC investment.) There are multiple paths to lasting success. Back to my original post’s salute to Mathew Ingram:
I also met Mathew in person at the International Journalism Festival. He was a keynote speaker at the 2013 festival and I was a panelist. We had been digital friends for a few years and both were pleased to finally meet in person. It was in joining Mathew and his wife, Rebecca, for breakfast last year that I met Om.
Rather than gushing my admiration of Mathew at length here, I want to show by links to some of his posts that have caught my attention through the years (and some of mine that have cited his work). Mathew would approve of a tribute in links, I’m sure, because one of my dozens of links to him was in my 2012 post about linking that linked to his post about whether linking is just polite or a core value of journalism. (It’s a core value; we haven’t won that fight yet, but we will.)
So here’s my curation of the Mathew Ingram links that meant the most to me:
We were collaborators (with several others, edited by Craig Silverman) on the Verification Handbook.
In 2012, I said this about Mathew:
On the rare times that I beat him to blogging about a timely issue, I tend to read his post later and conclude that he said what I was trying to say, but he nailed it. And I can’t count how many times he has blogged about something I was meaning to blog about, and I just decided he said it better than I could, so I just tweeted a link to it with an approving comment and checked that off my list of stuff to blog about.
Earlier in 2012, I praised Mathew and Dave Winer for pieces they wrote about the folly of paywalls. (Mathew has been more persistent and eloquent than I have in pointing out how shortsighted paywalls are, likening them to choosing sandbags over more substantial flood protection measures.) I also cited him in posts about new revenue holding greater promise than paywalls, Digital First Media’s “abysmal” first attempt at paywalls, a post on the ridiculous notion that whether paywalls work has been settled, a roundup of paywall commentary, a piece about the New York Times’ paywall and a piece debunking the notion that paywalls ensure quality (or that free access hinders quality).
When I complained about how Twitter’s options to leave media cards or conversations out of embedded tweets don’t work, Mathew shared a hack with me to post clean tweets. That’s the most recent of several posts about Twitter that mention or link to Mathew. Other notable ones:
- My 2012 post on livetweeting funerals cited Mathew’s post about livetweeting a friend’s funeral.
- Last October, Mathew was one of the people I cited responding to Dean Baquet’s guest post on my blog:
Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) October 07, 2014
- My original blog post faulting Baquet for his Twitter silence referred both to a post by Mathew and to a discussion on Twitter of which he was a key player.
- A 2011 post on the evolution of storytelling linked to Mathew’s post about whether Twitter is a replacement for journalism (No. duh!).
- A 2011 post praised Mathew for a post suggesting that newsroom social media policies tell staffers what they should do on social media.
- A 2010 post jumped into an argument Mathew and others were having on Twitter about the merits of anonymity or identity in website comments.
- When I asked in 2010 for advice to journalists using Twitter, Mathew was one of those who answered.
Often I have just linked to Mathew’s posts because we write frequently about the same topics (and he usually beats me to it):
- Last month, I linked to his post about the New York Times’ effort to focus on digital platforms in its daily meetings.
- Also last month, I linked to his post about how important a voice journalism was losing in David Carr’s death.
- When I wrote in January about Andrew Sullivan’s departure from blogging, I linked to Mathew’s piece on Sullivan and how blogging has evolved.
- My post on the New York Times Innovation report linked to Mathew’s post on the same subject.
- In a 2013 post about Jeff Bezos, I updated to link to Mathew’s post on Bezos.
- In late 2012, when I knew I wouldn’t be able to comment quickly on the Tow Center report Post-Industrial Journalism, I referred people to Matt’s post.
- In my 2012 post on Poynter’s new Guiding Principles for the Journalist, I cited Mathew’s post on unfolding breaking news coverage. The year before, I cited his curation of tweets from a Poynter-hosted discussion about what should be in the new principles.
Mathew’s mentions of me
I think I have cited Mathew’s work more often than he has cited mine (as I noted earlier, he jumps on hot topics quicker). But he has linked to this blog and mentioned me frequently in his posts, too:
- I’m mentioned four times in posts about Digital First Media or Journal Register Co.
- Mathew mentioned me in a post about TBD’s launch. He didn’t mention me in his post on TBD’s demise, but that’s OK. It was a good post and I appreciated it.
- He commented on the branding discussion Gene Weingarten and I were having. (Gene has appeared in this blog frequently, but I think Mathew has received more overall mentions.)
- Mathew mentioned me in a post on Tim McGuire’s beliefs about journalism and the future of media. (Tim’s another source cited frequently here.)
- Like I’ve cited Mathew on paywalls, he has cited me twice.
- He also has cited me in a post about Twitter (as I have cited him).
Some closing tweets
Mathew and I have tweeted at and about each other frequently. I won’t try to curate them all here. But I did find one I liked from 2013, and a few from yesterday.
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) May 2, 2013