I’m back (sort of)

May 26, 2011 — 18 Comments

I haven’t taken a proper break yet post sale of The Inquisitr, but I’ve taken a few days off reading and sorting a few things out. My plans to sit on a beach for a couple of weeks have been delayed to late July, so although I’m still in semi-retirement for the time being, I thought I might start writing here again on duncanriley.com far more regularly than I have for years.

But what about?

Twitter is for the more mundane things in life in 2011, so I won’t bore you with that side. I still have to deal with a number of personal issues but being able to not work and not worry about money for the months, even if I play it conservatively, years ahead, helps a bloody lot.

I guess it comes as no surprise to anyone who read the press release on The Inquisitr sale that I’ve already worked out what I’m doing next. I have no intention though of disclosing what that is. I own over 100 domains, so if anyone wants to play detective, you won’t find an answer. I could be going into anything from porn through to online analytics, but it naturally won’t be any of those things.

I will confess three things though

1. The Inquisitr will do much better without me, and I hope and indeed perhaps know that it will thrive under new ownership.

Because of my personal life distractions (not the least was having to deal with a divorce and custody issues) I haven’t given it the time and attention it really deserved for some time. That site should have been pumping out 12-15 million page views by now had I been running it more hands on (and I’d expanded the content as was in my original plan)

2. I really need a break. I had a semi-break post b5media, but never actually stopped working in a proper sense. Bar a week in Cairns and a couple of work related trips to the States (with a coupe of side trips) I haven’t really stopped working properly online since 2005-2006ish.

3. I was starting to become a bit bored by The Inquisitr, although this wasn’t the reason for the sale, it was profitable and ran itself, what more could you ask for in a site.

I want to address point three though in more detail: it’s not that I disliked the content on the site at all, indeed even today The Inquisitr produces high quality content, particularly in tech areas and sport, that people often ignore. Even the celebrity content (although not always to everyone’s taste) was often first rate and we were always quick on stories.

But I knew what worked, and the content that worked best wasn’t particularly in areas I was passionate about or held a great deal of interest in personally. But one example: our biggest day ever came from me writing one post on the Royal Wedding, then me subsequently live blogging it.

I am taking it easy for a while, but in the mean time I thought I might start to write here about blogging, my thoughts on the industry, its ethics, and even managing a site. It will be (I would hope) both interesting, and will help me get my head around my next project…without disclosing what it is naturally.

I’ll only say that I’m naturally going to return to online publishing, and I’m going back to my roots. Something I can dig my teeth into so to speak, and a new challenge (and anyone who knows me knows that I thrive on new challenges.) Whether it works or not time will only tell, but time to prepare and plan is something I now have plenty of.

Stay tuned for more, and thanks to everyone for their support and well wishes.

I can honestly say in the last few months (between the personal issues and the site sale) that I am truly humbled by the support I’ve received. I may have had a reputation as being a bastard who upset people at a time (think TechCrunch) but I take solace in knowing that many of you may actually find some value in me.

Duncan.

18 responses to I’m back (sort of)

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  2. I for one look forward to you ‘blogging’ more, mate I like your strong and well worded opinions. And you know, I’m also curious as to what’s next??

  3. “I am taking it easy for a while, but in the mean time I thought I might
    start to write here about blogging, my thoughts on the industry, its
    ethics, and even managing a site.”

    I’m hoping that you take it easy for a good long while – you’ve earned it.  But selfishly, I’m looking forward to reading your posts on the industry, its ethics, and managing a site 🙂

    Matt

  4. Glad to see you’re getting a bit of a break, but don’t let these spammy commentors ruin your blog (see below).

    Maybe you can pass along some of those tips on getting 12-15 million pageviews per month, now that you have more time on your hands.  We had over 400,000 yesterday which was our best day ever.

    I think I have an idea of what your next project is based on some other things you’ve posted and the few subtle hints above.  Good luck with it!

  5. Chris, to get page views, we obviously need to blog about the next royal wedding (or perhaps about a particular brand of purse).

    My blog does not have page views in the millions or the hundreds of thousands, but on a small scale I’ve also noticed that my most popular posts aren’t necessarily the ones that interested me the most, or even the ones that took a lot of time to write. I have the luxury of not relying on my blogging for my income, which gives me the freedom to write about whatever I want. A separate set of pressures arises when your blogging must put food on your table.

    Duncan, I look forward to your next project (perhaps “How to drill holes in the great firewall of Australia”???). You assembled a fine writing staff at the Inquisitr, and I also look forward to their future contributions.

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  8. True…, I am one of many that find some value in you. So…, welcome..

    Rattan

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  10. thx Matt and I hope you’re keeping well

  11. Chris
    a 400,000 day is awesome x100. The Inquisitr barely ever dropped below 200,000 a day in its last 5 months with me on board, but it only on a really good day pushed those figures, so it’s a great achievement.

    I may well do so. Certainly feel free to ping me at any time on email. My inbox is finally under some semblance of control; that said I’m still wary of it 😉

    best
    Duncan

  12. John
    the point on the Royal Wedding perhaps should have been more defined: topical events rank well. We had our second biggest traffic spike on the Japanese Tsunami for example (I think for memory we put in 2 +500,000 pv days.) Topical always sells…and there are verticals within a topical event anyone can cover. I remember reading tech sites that covered things like the online/ blog reaction to the tsunami for example. Topical events have their angles, and a niche site can often find one.

    In terms of what sells vs passion, I hear you 100%. That said, when I started The Inquisitr I wanted to break the mold of niche verticals, and back in those days you’d never see celeb content next to tech (outside of major old media.) I achieved that, and the amount of Inquisitr style clones (I believe to this day we proved the concept and everything else followed…in the end I lost track of how many sites were doing a mix of content similar or identical to us) is testimate to it.

    That said, I had a particular passion when I entered blogging in 02/03 and I’ve never lost it. I am going to, at least in part, revisit that. I’ll give a clue: I’m going niche again, after the likes of Mashable, TechCrunch and the others went wide. I believe in the scale model, and I know it works, but I think the money, particularly given the state of the US economy, is in niche, high yield verticals with high CPM’s.

    Would love to do an Australian site (let alone one that attacks Conroy and the firewall) but I’ll run out of money eventually and that wouldn’t pay the bills 🙂

    As for Inquisitr writers (thx for your compliments there…I had a damn fine time and I’ll never forget it) you may see me working with some of them again in the future, but with the proviso that I’ve promised not to poach them from The Inquisitr (not in writing, but my word is my word.) They’d do it on top of The Inquisitr if they were to come onboard

  13. thx, and you’ll find out soon. Targeting a late August launch 🙂

  14. hm… interesting! thansk!

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