blog bon voyage
Another one bites the dust: Houstonist website quietly folds
After five years of hyper-hip content, urban info blog Houstonist quietly folded on Friday. Along with continued layoffs at the Houston Chronicle, the publication's closing is yet another indicator of the melancholy media zeitgeist, or what Houstonist editor Marc Brubaker calls the "general plight of maintaining a journalistic publication in today's economic climate."
Poor advertising and readership statistics are attributed as causes. Indeed, by its closing, it appeared that American Apparel was the only party interested in plastering their languid, mostly nude models on the website. In his good-night letter on the site, Brubaker said the site's parent company first told him of the ending plans a few weeks ago.
Houstonist's demise comes as a surprise in comparison to its sister city blogs, all operated under the umbrella of Gothamist, LLC. Founded in 2003, the network operates 13 websites in four countries, from Shanghai to London. While Houstonist is biting the dust, NYC's own blog Gothamist has been recognized under the "Best of the Web" list in Business Week and was named "Blog of the Year" by Wired magazine.
Over its lifetime, Houstonist's most successful niche may have been its music coverage. Some of its other regular features were "Flickr Photo of the Day" and a daily city-wide news roundup.
The former contributors aren't disappearing into blog oblivion, though. Catch Mary Jane Poorman at her new blog, aghastronome.com, and you can find former writer Brittanie Shey at the Houston Press. Brubaker is expanding his webspace real estate with H-Town Rock, which includes an archival wiki centered on Houston music, while promoting his photography and two music projects: Prairie Cadets and Postmarked.
There is a chance that the blog will be resurrected in the future, Brubaker says. Until then, the posts will be archived and the Houstonist will stand quiescent.