“Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours.”
–by Porruka, firstname.lastname@example.org, 5 March, 2001
According to the Famous Quotations network, Yogi Berra uttered these words. And in the rough-and-tumble world of the Mac Web, it sure seems the case. Many sites simply dry up, the domains and hosting prepaid, withering out on the vines of the Internet. Other sites finally give up the ghost, merging with another or simply closing. And then there's MacWEEK.
MacWEEK: A destination magazine
Much has already been said about MacWEEK.com and its passing into the MacCentral and MacWorld fold officially on March 5, 2001. There are messageboards here and there where posters both lament the passing and stand stoic as if no gap will be left in the waves. In between, there is the reality that what MacWEEK (and for a time, MacWEEK.com) stood for was something that the Mac market needed.
MacWEEK was a destination magazine. It was a target all its own, the magazine to find in the pile of junk mail. Within its pages (and later, with the rise of the Internet, on its companion Web site) were a whole new set of destinations: names you read first; whole sections that pertained to you and your work; ways to improve your Mac life. There was humor, there was technical savvy, there was how-to, there was gee-whiz.
Then came the storm that was (and is) the shrinking of the Mac market.
Apple famously blundered. Market share tanked. Microsoft Windows established dominance. The Mac-based marketplace contracted. MacWEEK wasn't the only magazine affected by this, but there were a series of, in hindsight, missteps. The shift to eMediaWeekly was widely derided as a blatant attempt to migrate the loyal Mac-oriented user base to a more platform-neutral (or even Windows-centric) environment, ignoring that many of the qualities that make people Mac users would keep this strategy from succeeding. eMediaWeekly failed miserably, at least from the outside looking in. MacWEEK became the Web-only MacWEEK.com and for a while, promised to carry on the tradition of its formerly print namesake. For reasons that those of us who were not there may never know, even this iteration slumped into complacency. MacWEEK appeared to take its readership for granted, and turned its back on those who made it what it was, muddling its focus and scope. No one factor likely lead to this eventual end, but the confluence of many.
“In the long run we are all dead.”
—John Maynard Keynes
Keynes was right. It's not like any of us (personally, professionally or corporately) are immortal. In that vein, MacEdition would like to salute the spirit of MacWEEK, that which should be remembered at its peak, and to offer our best wishes to those who now find themselves out of work. It is a loss to the entire Mac community that there is one less champion of the platform, one less bully pulpit from which even in the declining days, would offer at times information and perspective worthy of the name.
Let us all remember what it was that made MacWEEK great and strive to engage those qualities in those who remain.