What do you do after you sell the blog you started in your apartment for millions? Keep blogging. Variety offers a peek at Rafat Ali’s next move following the sale of PaidContent to the Guardian last month: He’s going to try revive Inside.com, a Web 1.0 entertainment trade pub with big ambitions and next-to-no success. Variety:
[Ali is] an Inside.com alum who is reviving the online destination as part of an overall expansion. His site, recently bought by Guardian Media, plans to begin covering gaming and traditional media in addition to digital media, using Inside.com as the umbrella name. The Netco bought the domain name late last year with the expansion in mind.
…Ali is fully aware of the pitfalls of overspending online. He started as an intern at the original Inside.com, working there for 10 months before the Netco was sold in October 2001. In retrospect, he says, “It was a bad business model,” noting that the high costs of the companion print publication and staffing sunk the operation.
Far be it from us to question Rafat, who’s done very well for himself. But we hope he didn’t pay much for the Inside.com url (try using it and you’ll end up on PaidContent.org); we don’t think the name has any resonance for anyone except its investors, and the diaspora of high-profile journalists who put in time there, briefly, during the last boom.
UPDATE: Rafat scolds us for incorrectly describing his plans for the site: “It is not a “relaunch” of Inside.com, as much as trying to give us a bigger platform to scale beyond our quirky names till now. It is marginally helpful that it is a brand name some remember.”
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