[Editor’s Note: Mr. Beale of MacWEEK.com has been given an opportunity to comment. As of publication time, he has not commented on this issue.]
The Unkindest Cut
By Porruka, firstname.lastname@example.org, 3 July 2000
The Macintosh community has lost a valuable source of historical information now that MacWEEK.com has decided to close the doors on the Knife Boards, the message board system behind the Mac community’s long-standing rumormonger, Mac the Knife.
Given MacWEEK’s recent shift in strategy (see MacWEEK’s A Message from the Editor, from February 7, 2000), changes were expected. The site has indeed changed, turning its focus more from the Mac professional to the general Macintosh consumer market in addition to allowing (now sister) publications like MacCentral to fill the useful content void.
In fact, Stephen Beale, who took the helm of MacWEEK.com and penned the missive linked above, notes:
As you probably know, MacWEEK originated many years ago as a print-based newsweekly for Macintosh managers. In 1998, the magazine moved entirely to the Web, from which it has provided daily news coverage, popular columns, international dispatches, QuickLinks to Mac news on the Internet, and, of course, Mac the Knife, our very own stainless-steel clearinghouse for industry rumors.
So, changes were expected.
However, Mr. Beale took great pains to list the highlights of MacWEEK.com, calling out features of the magazine by name: Quick Links and Mac the Knife. Quick Links is still around, albeit updated with less frequency in recent months and drawing from a smaller range of sources; worse, Mac the Knife appears headed for the digital graveyard that is an un-updated web page, a broken link, an unavailable archive.
According to the HTML source, the Mac the Knife column was last updated on February 14th, 2000, just seven short days after Mr. Beale’s editorial. Even then, the column was generally regarded as sub-par, likely penned by a staff member in an effort to fill an empty space rather than to expose, enlighten or entertain.
The Mac the Knife archive has been mostly unavailable for months, despite notifications to Mac Publishing requesting it be corrected. There are many possible scenarios for this, but none of them favorable: The articles may no longer exist, there may not be sufficient manpower to pay attention to this issue, there may not be sufficient desire to rectify the situation.
Mr. Beale also points out:
Our mission now is to beef up MacWEEK’s news coverage – and spruce up the design – while retaining the best of what the site currently offers. You won’t see the changes immediately, but it will soon be apparent that this is a new and improved MacWEEK.
As columnists, columns, and historical content disappear from the virtual halls of MacWEEK.com, we can only be saddened that these elements have been not only disabled, but removed, and not considered part of “the best of what the site currently offers”.
To Mac the Knife, the Knife Board, and all the historical information encapsulated within:
We’ll miss you.