About ICN 2.0

This is Inside Cable News version 2.0. Version 1.0 was started in March of 2005 by three people. I joined a couple of weeks later. The first month was chaotic to say the least. There was no focus and, long story short, it wasn’t working. However, as these spur of the moment endeavors frequently turn out, people started losing interest. By May 2005, ICN was essentially me. I assumed full control by June and ran it myself for two and a half years. Even flying solo, it took me some months to get organized and start turning the blog into what ICN 1.0 became.

2007 was ICN’s watershed year. Traffic took off as people started paying attention to what I was doing. But by that point I was a blogging machine; posting constantly about everything cable related. And it was taking its toll. For one thing, my own life, whatever there was of it before ICN, got more constricted. I was getting up at 5 am PST to start blogging and I’d be blogging all day long and as late as 11pm at night. And that included blogging from work. Yeah, we’ve all heard the stories about bloggers losing their jobs because of that. I knew eventually I was going to get nailed for it. And having talked with lots of people in the industry, it was obvious my daytime job would always pay more than blogging ever would unless I quit and really tried to monetize ICN. Even then it wasn’t certain I would succeed in monetizing it. It was too big a risk. Plus, realistically, I’d have to relocate to New York City if I really wanted to make a go of it. That was something that would never happen. I’m a Californian. I think I’ll always be a Californian. I’ve been to NYC twice in the past couple of years, the last time in November of 2007 to visit the cable nets personally, and it’s a nice place to visit but it’s just too high strung for my tastes. Cue Fear’s “New York’s Alright”…

So, being overextended and sensing the inevitable outcome of getting busted at work, I pulled the plug on ICN in February 2008. I didn’t want to do it. I wanted to go out on my own terms. But we don’t always get that option.

For the next couple of months I sat on the sidelines stewing. I had more to say. More to do. My readers weren’t happy. I wasn’t happy. And I got all sorts of offers to come blog for various high profile sites. None of those offers, though tempting, were really workable. ICN always led with its chin. Anyone who has read this blog has seen the occasional corrections and/or apologies. I always wanted ICN out on the edge. Everybody else, with the possible exception of FTVLive, tended to play it safe and not call a spade a spade. This was especially true of the print media press. But when you live out on the edge, occasionally you go too far. It goes with the territory. On balance I was right more often than when I was wrong, but even when I was wrong people would say, “You’re damaging your credibility”. Maybe. But if you’re right more often than you’re wrong, you can afford to be wrong on occasion if you admit your mistakes and if, when you’re right, you’re dead on target.

But that sort of a blog is a bad fit as part of an umbrella organization that depends on advertising for its existence. I just knew restrictions would be placed upon me. I’d get edited. Or analysis would get spiked. And I didn’t want the responsibility of having to worry about pleasing my bosses. The only way I could really feel comfortable was as a solo blogger.

So I brought ICN back. But this isn’t the ICN you knew. This is ICN 2.0. The days of constant updates are over. This blog will be a mornings and evenings blog on the weekdays and as time permits on the weekends. And some of the things I posted on the old ICN won’t continue on the new ICN. I’m going to be more selective. This is partly as a means to keep the blog manageable but also because the old ICN posted everything whether it was really worthy of posting or not. ICN 2.0 will be leaner. And I plan on putting out more analysis on the day’s news cycle than I did before. I’m not convinced the lack of daytime updates is a good strategy. But I don’t have any alternative. So we’ll see how this goes.

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