A Web 2.0 Resurrection for The Industry Standard

Six and a half years after The Industry Standard magazine unceremoniously stopped publication, an iconic victim of the dot-com bust and its sudden ad revenue evaporation, a new publication bearing the same name has been launched.

With its new online-only venture — still in beta — IDG is hoping the new Industry Standard will fare better than its predecessor by staying lean and adding gambling, of a sort, to its mix of tech news and blogs. Readers are being asked to bet on the chances that certain IT business-related events will occur, such as the acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft.

The Standard describes this feature as a “prediction market, intersected with a reputation-based social network” that will serve as “a virtual proving grounds” for content on the site and elsewhere.

In a launch-related message posted on the site, Derek Butcher, the magazine’s general manager, said The Standard will rely on sponsorships for ad revenue. Intel is the launch sponsor, as made clear by the “sponsored by Intel” label on every page.

In his message, Butcher said the original Industry Standard “helped define an era” a decade ago, something he hopes the new version will do as well.

“The ‘Net economy is alive and well, having survived the boom and subsequent bust,” wrote Butcher. “Still, there are obvious echoes of a time when often anything seemed possible and sometimes nothing seemed logical. The new Industry Standard will certainly treat the growing volatility of our economy as an important part of its coverage, and endeavor to become a trusted source for reliable information and insight.”

Prior to going belly-up, the original Industry Standard employed about 400 people. Should this latest incarnation suffer a similar fate, there is likely to be far less human suffering involved. Butcher noted the publisher, with the new Standard, has “abandoned the traditional media model based on a large editorial staff in favor of a new paradigm that values the commentary from thought leaders and the perspectives of our community.”

Butcher, who could not be reached for comment, most recently worked as vice president and chief technology officer of InfoWorld Media Group. Prior to that he was senior engineering manager at Disney Internet Group.

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