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Web Watch, R.I.P.

Frank Ahrens

If you wondered why Web Watch was missing from Sunday's paper, and even if you weren't, we've decided to end it.

Web Watch's history describes the recent history of the Web. It was created to serve as a TV guide for the Internet -- to tell you what's on, what it's like, if it's any good.

As times changed, and Web content exploded, it became impossible for Web Watch to carry out its first mission. If it were like TV listings, imagine pages and pages of listings.

Leslie Walker authored the column for some time, smartly altering it to focus on user interfaces, such as AOL, and cool new applications. Mike Musgrove contributed, as did Rob Pegoraro.

When I took over the column a year ago, as user-generated content was changing the face of the Internet and mainstream media, I wanted to use Web Watch to tell the story of how the Web is changing us.

MySpace, YouTube, Facebook and a zillion other sites and networks were creating new stars, for good and bad, and I wrote about Emmalina, LonelyGirl, Lazydork and others.

But now that we've started this blog, and I still write stories for the newspaper (you remember that, right?), filling a weekly column -- and making it good -- is getting tough.

At the same time, as The Post and other papers wrestle with declining circulation and ad revenue, we're working hard to do what we do best and constantly reevaluate if we should be spending time, resources and newsprint on things that may have outlived their usefulness or that we can't devote enough time to.

So you'll notice some other coming changes to The Post's Business section, in addition to the demise of Web Watch, such as the trimming of the stock listings last week.

The good news is, all the quality stuff I was able to do in Web Watch I can do on this blog. And one can make a strong argument that such content makes more sense on the Web than in the newspaper, anyway.

The Web is changing media by the minute. Web stars -- such as former Rocketboom girl Amanda Congdon -- are moving to mainstream media. In her wake, more and more innovative Web stars will appear.

So when the next Emmalina or LonelyGirl pops up, you can still read about them. But it will be either here, on Post I.T., or in the newspaper as a feature or news story.

By Frank Ahrens  |  November 20, 2006; 7:30 AM ET  | Category:  Frank Ahrens
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Comments

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Amanda is not leaving the web.

Posted by: Steve Garfield | November 20, 2006 9:59 AM

Frank, I noticed right away. I'm sorry not to get another dose of your prose along with Rob on Sunday but will look forward to your insight here instead.

Posted by: Belleblonde | November 22, 2006 5:25 PM

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