PF: So tell me, why is it winding down? Why is it over?
RD: Well, that is in many ways not my question to answer. My attempt at an answer is that, um, there are venues for this sort of thing now, more than there were. The kind of writing that’s published here, you can find other places, I suppose. But I think it’s also just that the people who made it …
PF: They’ve grown up.
RD: Yeah, they’re doing it, you know?
PF: Yeah, I know what you mean. My thing starts when I’m 22, right? By the time I’m 30, I’m basically done with it — I’m talking about Ftrain — and then I went on and kind of professionalized it, and it took a while, and the Web was earlier. There were very few jobs doing that sort of work.
The idea of a writer who wrote online: except for a little bit of Gawker, it just didn’t exist; not for a living. So, right; so you want to move on. You did the thing, and now there is the sense of “I want to switch into archive mode,” but there’s no culture around that. There’s no policy.
I actually was about to do that. On my blog, I was going to just put a big sign up that said, “This is now in archive mode.” And a friend of mine just actually went, “No,” like she got really upset... I’ll sell her out, it was Gina Trapani. Who did Life Hacker, and is now at ThinkUp, and a really sort of well-respected person, but she and I used to … We’d like walk around Prospect Park when we were in our early 20s, and talk about the Web and what it all meant. And when I said, “I’m going to put this in archive mode,” it made her sad. Like, she was just like, “Oh no, you’re going to take away continuity.”
You know, there’s no series finale, there’s no real closure with that. I’m still probably going to do it.