Anne Thompson reports that she will no longer work for Variety but she will maintain her blog there (if she’s being laid off I don’t understand how she keeps the blog). Thompson writes:
On a recent trip to the wine country, I bought four bottles at $9.99 apiece of the Gainey Vineyard’s latest label: Recession Red. Little did I know that I too would be hit by the diving economy. Today I got slashed from the ranks of Variety staffers along with some 30 people, most of whom had been there a lot longer than I have. I feel for all of them. I have enjoyed working with these smart movie-loving writers and editors: it has been a great ride. I will miss them and wish them well.
What will continue is the Thompson on Hollywood blog. Variety and I are in talks about continuing to host the blog, but I am also fielding other interest. For the past few months I have been actively involved in a web start-up which is in stealth mode; details will be available soon. And I will continue teaching film criticism at USC and hosting Sneak Previews at UCLA Extension.
The web startup in stealth mode is what I’m interested in with her passage, though I’m sad to see that she and others have been fired from Variety and that times are really that tough. At any rate, Sharon Waxman will be starting a new Hollywood insider blog (thewrap.com) that is expected to break two big stories a day. She will be doing original reporting and probably not a lot of linking. And now I shall give my words of advice for any journos heading out into the blog world. After the cut.
Forget having a life. Forget your health. Expect old age to set in faster than you knew humanly possible. Be prepared to panic on a daily basis for a variety of reasons. Be prepared to grab technology by the balls and squeeze. Be prepared to be scooped, be prepared to be stolen from.¬† But other than that, there are some nice things about being your own boss. You can curse at random. No one can tell you that you can’t write fuckfuckcockshitcuntfuckshitcockballs. You can write whatever the hell you want any time you want. You probably won’t, though.
If you’re not a newsbreaking site, or original reporting site, it better to be entertaining and friendly so that your readers feel like they’ve found a comfortable place to hang out. RSS is the way to go, always, always, always. Drudge doesn’t do it but he’s about the only one who can afford to not do it.
Less is more. I am one to talk about this since I clutter up the main page so horribly. But readers on the web want the news fast and up front, right at the top. The eye has to know where to go. But remember the golden rule: content is king.