Wow, Lycos did not make too many friends this week. It started on Wednesday when Lycos Finally Sold back Wired.com to Wired Magazine and Conde Nast. Even when I worked at Lycos, I never understood how that relationship worked and why Wired.com was independent of the magazine. Then, as a result of that sale, it was released that Lycos will shutter Webmonkey, the classic web development site that influenced and helped out so many developers in the early stages of the Internet era.
The sale of Wired is something that should have happened years ago for the simple reason that the site should be alighed and owned by the magazine of the same name. I don’t have too much of an issue with that. But the shutting down of Webmonkey is just a sad situation. Lycos never, ever gave it any resources whatsoever in all the years it owned it, and let it die a slow and painful death. It was only the resourcefulness of the folks out in the SF offices who kept it going as a labor of love and passion.
With Lycos’s new focus on “customer generated content” (i.e.: lets scap money off bloggers and other users), you would think they would have kept WebMonkey and re-invigorated it. I mean, they could have used WebMonkey as an aggregator of developer articles and tips/tricks published all across the web via RSS feeds and such, kind of a combination of A List Apart and del.icio.us. They could have positioned it as a one stop shop for development articles.
But management at Lycos was never too visionary. At one time, they had Jeff Veen, Doug Bowman, and numerous other highly talented innovators and visionaries in the Interactive space under one roof and they failed to put them in positions to succeed. And you wonder why that company is now roadkill on the information superhighway!?!