Essays on Technology and Culture

On a Project Post-Mortem

Recently I made the slightly difficult decision to shut down a personal project of mine; “Apple Outsider” a satirical Apple rumor/news site. Honestly the decision doesn’t break my heart, as my heart wasn’t really in the project to begin with. I had hit the wall with Apple Outsider a good while ago, even before the iPad announcement. While I did try to breathe some life into it about a month or so ago, I realized I was in way over my head.

The difficulties I ran into were small in number, but large in scope. The first was volume. The original intent was to match the Apple news sites like [](MacRumors) or [](Apple Insider), reporting on the same essential events they did with a humorous twist, such as obviously false information, fake spy shots, deep personal gossip on the major players at Apple, etc. These sites however push out multiple high-content value posts per day. Keeping up would be very difficult. I intended to pre-write a significant quantities of articles but when doing so, I ran into the other problem: lack of material.

Folks, the tech world is a dry, dry place—[current freakout over the iPhone prototype aside]( It is damned hard to find humor opportunity in a rumor about the impending patch for iPhoto or when the next OS update is supposed to come out. Major events and announcements come rarely and while it’s easy to pole fun at the endless rumor cycle, it’s usually the same damn jokes over and over again, which is no fun. The gossip was to fill that hole, but how many jokes can you make about Steve Jobs’s secret personal life anyway? I did enjoy working in Highlander references into the Apple/Google feud but that ran out of fire fast.

I also found out that to stay current on Apple news and rumors would be a full time job in itself. Working a full time job, and not having eight hours to day catching up on Apple minutiae leaves a lot of gaps. How was I supposed to keep up? Other parody sites, like [The Onion]( have full-on teams of writers to maintain its massive output—as well as a broader focus. A one-man show simply wouldn’t be able to cut it. In the end, I’m glad to let Apple Outsider go. It’s one less albatross around my neck keeping me from other projects, plus one less domain to renew each year.