WP Daily shuts down

In an incredibly surprising move, WP Daily has closed its doors. In the 8bit post, John Saddington states, “it did not achieve the much larger global goals and strategy of our organization at this present time.”

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      1. Since they seem to have taken the site off-line, no can do.

        Basically, there was a thread on the WP dot Org thread accusing iThemes of violating the GPL by lifting code from Shopp. There was a misunderstanding of how the GPL works by the original reporters, but some folks thought WP Daily overreacted and hyped a non-issue. Motives were called into question, invective was loosed, etc.

    1. I doubt that. The overreaction was just that, as that article was nothing but a “hey, this might be something” post, which was par for the course at WP Daily.

        1. Apologies, not quite what I meant. I obviously didn’t express myself well enough.

          I meant not “One issue caused them to fold” but rather “Getting flak provided the camel that broke the straw’s back”, etc.

    2. If that was it, the reaction is completely out of proportion. Yes, they got criticized, and yes, drama flared up, but “eh, clarification time, it didn’t amount to anything” is a lot more sensible than “we’re taking all our toys and going home”.

      1. Yesterday’s post wasn’t the first incident of drama around something WPDaily published, but it was the last. I’d imagine those involved in the site are rather tired of dealing with all the flak. Sometimes you have to decide when you’ve reached your limit. Obviously they reached theirs. I wish them luck in whatever they decide to do next.

        1. Pretty much everything they did of a more punchy journalistic nature was mishandled by not doing the actual journalistic legwork — getting good sources, asking questions, getting quotes, verifying facts, and running retractions when they got stuff wrong.

          John’s passive-aggressive style didn’t help and probably was a large annoyance to people it may be costly for him to annoy. He’d suggest he was making an exposรฉ and then step back with a bunch of mitigation language. “Is this a conflict of interest?” “This looks like a GPL violation…I’m just sayin'” That kind of thing. I am sure he got a lot of flak, and he deserved to.

          Everything of a purely informative nature that WP Daily did was great and useful, even if it was more trouble to produce than it was worth. I really appreciated their willingness to be critical questioners and maybe even gadflies, even if they executed that role poorly.

          Good critical journalism is thankless and generates storms of reaction even when it is done well. It takes a ton of time and requires protection from money and other forms of influence. All things considered, it is probably not a good side business if you are trying to sell products and services in the same markets you write about.

          I sure hope WP Daily is not gone because someone (or several someones) of significant influence came along and said “I don’t like what you’re doing” and maybe a bit of “so stop, or else.” I can understand why they would, but it’s a shame.

          The shame is that we can only speculate about this — and why? Because of the lack of something approaching credible, quality, neutral trade journalism or even a good gossip-mongering WP news site that won’t quit no matter what. So “what’s really going on” remains rumors and insider circle chitchat papered over with the usual rhetoric about all the love and hugs in “the community.” That’s not a very mature community or market, and lack of maturity inhibits trust in it, commitment to it, and ultimately growth.

  1. Whatever the reason, to simply close with no explanation shows a surprising lack of concern for his audience and, indeed, his own reputation – sadly, the main thing everyone will remember about WPDaily is how it closed. A reputation for hasty decisions and failing to close circles can be toxic when seeking investment or partners.

    He should have written a simple wrap-up post, thank whoever needed to be thanked and, then, left all the articles online – I’m presuming that longtail traffic would continue to cover hosting costs for many years to come. Or he could have sold it – to simply close seems incredibly churlish, a slap in the face for anyone who contributed their time or comments.

    I wonder if the loss of Google Reader traffic was another straw? It strikes me that many of WPDaily’s audience would have been in the demographic that would have been less likely to make the shift to another service.

  2. Cannot believe this move! The critism on Twitter was more why this – already resolved post on the .org forum – got into a post on there. I personally see no point why that should lead to such a reaction.

    Site will be missed of course! Yes, there were things I had personally done in another way, however, John & team did an awesome job! Closing it this way was/ is not worth it.

  3. Part of me is wondering if part of this is due to the imminent launch of John Saddington’s other project, PressGram (an alternative to Instagram that integrates with WordPress). Maybe he didn’t want to try to keep up both at the same time (though wpdaily.co would’ve been a great avenue for publicizing it, so who knows).

  4. As long as there weren’t any agreements with advertisers violated, I say +1 for being decisive and swift. John is obviously a busy kind of guy with a lot of ideas and there is only so much time in a day. Ever had profitable project getting in the way of something bigger? It’s hard but downright liberating to put a hatchet to that thing.

    Maybe that’s not exactly the case here. Just my own theory. In any case, I appreciate the quality source of information that WP Daily was.

  5. WP Daily wasn’t John Saddington. It was 8Bit as well as some other authors. And it was a side line project to their pre-existing business which is creates products (both software and physical products) so as far as what’s next, it’s probably another software or physical product.

    Obviously it became a distraction to their core business. So they pulled the plug. I loved the site, but I can’t blame them one bit. I know i’d have absolutely no time to run my business and a site like WP Daily. I commend them for being able to keep it up as long as they did and do so at such a high level considering it wasn’t their core business.

    1. I don’t blame them for stopping, but I do blame them for completely killing all of that legacy content. It affects more than just them. It was an amazing resource during it’s run, just a very strange way to end it.

    2. I completely agree with you and Brad. I enjoyed reading WPDaily’s posts (at times) and the resource it provided was a benefit for readers. I can understand the need to shutdown and refocus attention back to core needs, but to completely remove the content so abruptly shows a lack of concern for the readers.

  6. I’m annoyed that it is gone abruptly. I was a daily reader… and another news site bites the dust. Have to admit though I really didn’t understand why they were running the site, it doesn’t create a lot of leverage and takes time away from developing products and running the core business. They could have found different person(s) to take over, like to a group that is dedicated to real WP journalism as their core business. Right now it looks like it was taken down on a whim.

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