As a longstanding Search Engine Watch viewer and subscriber, a longstanding fan of Danny Sullivan in his role as observer and prognosticator of the search scene, and a past speaker at SEW conferences, I kinda feel an affinity for the growth and (what used to be) adolescence of this space. But recently I’ve come to feel I’m looking more at old age or irrelevance.
I don’t know how many owners have gobbled and then digested SEW, but it has been a few. The site was originally released in 1995. It was bought by Mecklermedia in 1997, the last time an official history of the site was published, though it flew under the banners of the same Alan Meckler owner in Internet.com, INT Media Group, Jupitermedia and ClickZ. The most recent purchaser is by Incisive Media, with the transaction occurring in August 2005.
I just got my most recent SEW update (#209 to be exact). What I found is that it has unfortunately evolved to be a compilation of blog listings. In going to the main SEW site I also see clutter, ad cram, poor refreshes and inattention to the standard metrics and search engine evaluations that used to be SEW’s claim to fame.
Perhaps this is the way of the world. Things change faster; sites get bought and re-purposed; yada, yada. After all, who remembers that Lycos was the first search engine to go public in July 1994 with a mere 54,000 URLs listed shortly before SEW was inaugurated?
And, maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Perhaps SEW will return tomorrow or next week to its older standards.
But, I suspect not. I think I will move my attention to more comprehensive RSS feeds (targeted by me to my specific interests) and allow the marketing marvel of just a few years back of monthly email updates to go the way of other mass-media dinosaurs.
At one of these points I’m going to think about and write what the implications are when K-species become r-species with lightning-quick generation times….