Earth.org enters the great Black Hole of the web
Hopes of continuing the open source travel content project Earth.org appear to have come to an end with the site disappearing into the digital ether this week.
When the site’s co-founders said they were pulling out of the project two weeks ago, somewhat controversially blaming users for not telling their friends about the site and naturally increasing traffic, some believed that the community of writers and users would step in to save the project.
Unfortunately, Earth.org is no longer, amid speculation that the domain name was also sold earlier this last week.
Some suggested the domain was available at a trim $13,000, but enquiries have yet to yield a definitive price.
According to WHOIS, co-founder Mathias Stricker is still the owner of the Earth.org domain. Attempts to contact those behind Earth.org have also failed.
The apparent demise of Earth.org will sadden many who saw the project as a neat collaboration of well-meaning travellers and developers, yet the consequences of launching a content-based business into an already crowded travel planning corner of the web appear to have been tougher than expected.
Kevin May is a senior editor and one of the co-founders at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career in journalism at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and will be publishing his first book - a biography about electronic band, Depeche Mode - soon.