The news that TUAW is being shut down came as quite a shock to me, having missed some of the rumors floating around the Internet about AOL's possible plans.
Those of you who pay attention to author's bylines on posts will probably notice that I haven't posted here in quite a while. While I've been with TUAW for many years, I've spent the majority of my time working behind the scenes maintaining our virtual newsroom, which was comprised of a chat room, some automated bots to monitor posting activity, and various tools to make the team's blogging lives easier. I had actually made a resolution to get back into writing more this year, but unfortunately it seems that won't be happening here.
For me, the demise of not only TUAW, but several other blogs (both AOL and elsewhere) marks the end of an era. I started reading TUAW back in 2005, just over a year after it launched. And, like many of you have graciously said in the comments, reading became a part of my daily routine. I especially looked forward to the smattering of tips, tricks & how-tos that were posted, as I would often find new ways to do things that I hadn't thought of before. At the time, most Apple blogs were less focused on Apple's next move (though that was still a theme) and more on teaching readers how to make the most out of their Apple product.
Today, there are still occasionally some really good tips posted out there, but as anyone who builds or runs websites can tell you, running a large website (yes, even a blog) at scale is not cheap. Sure, you can host a blog on any of the number of hosting sites out there, but once you start getting a significant following and staffing up to provide content to your readers, money becomes a factor. Because of this, many blogs have become more corporatized and have generally had to "follow the money" by posting about all the latest Apple news, because with today's real-time culture, those are the kinds of stories that draw in new traffic.
But I've felt -- and of course, I'm probably biased -- that we at TUAW have stayed true to our original mission of just bringing readers insightful, helpful tips, stories and opinions -- even when there were more "newsworthy" things to be writing about. I've noticed many of you have had similar comments on posts or on Twitter over the past few days. It is both humbling and inspiring to see how many people's lives we've been able to touch over the years, both in very small and even sometimes significant ways.
I personally am grateful to have been a part of the TUAW community, and to have worked with the wonderful and talented writers we've had (both past and present). I've seen some amazing thoughts and ideas come from those who have graced our pages, and I can't wait to see what they'll be doing next.