.net pulls the plug

The blogosphere exploded today at the news that .net magazine, the publication that many of us began our careers reading, has pulled the plug on its online offering.

The print magazine will continue to publish, but netmagazine.com is no more.

From now on, much of .net’s news will be published via Creativebloq.com, a site just a year old (and owned by the publishers of .net, Computer Arts and 3D World).

Established in 1994, .net has been running online since 2010 and it’s unclear exactly what has prompted this move. We know that a variety of newspapers have declared online publishing unviable and moved their content behind paywalls. Whilst we have no way of confirming, it seems highly likely that .net was losing paper sales to its online offering.

Whether .net can be successful in its new home remains to be seen. And it seems strange, given their relative brand values, that creativebloq should absorb .net, rather than the other way around.

According to .net’s twitter account, it was simply no longer viable to keep running:

Reality check: @netmag is run by 5 people and @creativebloq has 6. We are moving over as much as we can, but also do print, digital, confs..

500 .net articles have been transplanted to their new home, but that is less than 5% of the articles netmagazine.com was previously hosting.

So what does this mean? Well, for readers, you’ll no longer have access to 95% of the archive of .net articles; for anyone who has ever linked to a .net article, your link is now broken, unless you were linking to one of the lucky 5%; and for anyone who ever wrote for .net, your article is probably gone — hopefully you kept a print copy.

The ultimate irony is that in the end, a magazine that has spent twenty years devoted to the web, was unable to make it work.

Do magazine’s have a place online or is print best? Will .net prosper, or fade away? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Featured image/thumbnail uses plug image and desk image via Shutterstock.

  • Darren Azzopardi

    The ultimate irony…? Are they still on the internet…oh yes they are…so really a magazine that’s dedicated itself to the internet, web design and all things great have really just made a natural progression…Wether they cease to make the printed version or create a paywall, they have a right. I don’t know how many people are behind .net but they deserve to do what they feel, time’s not free and just by acknowledging they couldn’t shift all the articles over successfully shows how many man/woman hours went into it.

    Rather than reading an article about, well, is it about…a moan? Why didn’t you contact them hear their reason, at least dig deeper then writing the obvious…

  • Michael Musgrove

    Any decision that involves sunk costs like this has to have been thought over thoroughly(I hope) .net has been around a long time, and Creativebloq seems sound, so I’m sure there were justifiable, quantifiable reasons. Since I wasn’t at those meetings, I’ll never know. But I guess time will tell.

  • Jeff Boulton

    I’m a longtime subscriber to the .net magazine. I enjoyed access to the premium content, unfortunately this is lost – no more pdfs. :-(

  • thefairystamp

    I actually thought, that this was about to be happening. Her website wasnt even responsive – So, you could see, that the team didnt really have any capactiy of iterating the website itself.

  • MikeH

    This does seem like a strange move. I personally cancelled my subscription to .net as I was finding that the issues were simply piling up every month unread. It was a fantastic resource when I was starting out in design and development, but I can’t justify the cost any more. So many similar articles and tutorials can be found online, and for web work it’s far easy to download or copy code than refer to the printed page. It does make me wonder how long the printed magazine will continue.

  • http://www.creativebeacon.com/ James George

    This is a shame. I really think they should stay online. Many people would pay $5 per month, maybe even more, in order to read their posts and access their website. They need to look at the big picture. After printing costs, they won’t make as much money if they’d just kept their online site and charged a reasonable subscription fee. I’d pay it, and I’m sure tens of thousands of others would, too.

  • James

    I wouldn’t mind as much if creativebloq actually had a nice site. Their UI is just horrendous.

  • PitchStock

    It’s a shame indeed, a historic site.