Tuesday, October 28, 2008

gone into the ether

Digital Railroad has announced that they have run out of capital and are shutting down within 24 hours. According to the announcement that I received, archives will be unavailable after tomorrow. My work is all backed up already, but lost are hundreds of hours organizing and working with clients, as well as a sense of continuity and security. It is a sobering reminder of how ephemeral this whole internet experience is. And somehow it feels oddly freeing.

I am sad to see them fail. They did a lot for their photographers and I think their hearts were in the right place. Evan Nisselson and his team personally opened up a number of opportunities for me and I am grateful for that. If there ever was a model that sought to make an agency level platform that was available to anyone who wanted to use it, it was DRR. It has been hard to watch them struggle. Their fate to some degree is our fate, at least to the extent that a profitable business model might be possible where the platform is open to all comers. I don't see that happening again soon. Anything similar will have to be profitable based on user fees. Rob Haggart's Photo Folio may be the new model.

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