I had dinner with Bob Carrigan, President of IDG Communications last night in Cary, NC. We caught up — Bob was my boss of bosses back in my brief IDG tenure at CXO last year — and he asked what I thought about AOL’s move to drop the garden walls and go free. Bob is ex-AOL and a keen follower of the company, so we got into a discussion about cost walls and ad inventory and eventually the discussion turned to Jason Calacanis’ move to revive the Netscape brand as a Digg-like news site.
This got me to thinking of old 1990s web brands and their potential for a second chance. Examples? Wired News getting reunited with Wired Mag after one of the dumber divorces in dot.com history. What about the archives of the Industry Standard? Matt McAllister at Yahoo — also ex-IDG, where he was the online GM at InfoWorld — and I talked years ago about reviving the Standard, which Matt managed. I was chatting with a colleague at lunch and recounted the famous “process is for people who step out of the shower to take a piss” line that I found in a great and hysterical column at the Standard in ’99. I’d love to link to it, but it is as if the entire archive has vanished, poof, into the dustbin.
Thanks to Bob for the iTunes gift of the Boston bluegrass band, Crooked Still. Bob is a mean banjo player, an instrument I flirted with in my youth but gave up due to incurable left-handedness.