This article was inspired by the birth of a new blog in NYC, the Silicon Alley Insider. --
Everyone here has heard of the Silicon Alley Reporter. Why? Because it was the NY tech press back in during the 90s boom, and because it was run by Jason Calacanis, and because it eventually sold to Dow Jones.
But what about now? During this Silicon Alley Resurgence 2.0, who's covering all the breaking news? The hot gossip? The acquisition and funding rumors? Where's the Silicon Alley Reporter of today -- the dominant publisher for this community?
The answer is, "everywhere you look." While some people long for one industry-legitimizing news source, they must also understand that in the day of easy and free personal publishing the chances of creating one main source of information for the Alley are slim.
It's not like people haven't tried, though.
nextNY's blog was created last year to try and harness the collective and individual blogging of the NY Tech Community. While it's turned into a great way to syndicate personal content, it hasn't matured into a real source for breaking news.
Meanwhile, local PR firm Trylon SMR has been publishing NY Convergence since the Fall of 2006, trying to capture its share of NY tech start-up readership. And while a noble attempt, grazing the home-page finds but one user generated comment -- a sign that it has yet to catch on as the destination for NY tech insiders.
Bill Sobel might also have this problem on the NY:MIEG blog, though his events seem to be well attended.
On an individual level, Allen Stern also has his hand in the attempt to cover NYC, authoring "the new" Center Networks blog since September of last year, writing with a certain preference toward New York City (though much more broadly too).
And finally, nextNY midwife Charlie O'Donnell must come the closest any one individual comes to covering the NY Tech Scene AND having a wider readership, though his personal blog is certainly a personal blog, and could not be considered an industry source.
Enter the Silicon Alley Insider.
Perhaps in the most audacious attempt to be THE NY tech press, Alley notables Henry Blodget (very formerly of Merrill Lynch), Kevin Ryan (ShopWiki, Panther Express), and Dwight Merriman (DoubleClick, ShopWiki, Panther Express) pulled together a team of writers and editors to start covering NY and tech news.
So far, these writers are pumping out dozens of stories a day -- mostly recaps of wire articles written by Blodget himself -- covering a broad spectrum of news. One way the Insider hopes to capture the NY tech community is by opening itself up to "community" writers, which is a model the nextNY blog has been working on for nine months or so.
Nonetheless, this new blog is a welcome addition to the NY tech scene. As recent history indicates, this is a very crowded space as it seems most rely on their Google Group message board or friends' personal blogs for the latest NYC gossip and news. But it's also a space where a dedicated -- and community oriented -- team could pull through and plant itself in the center of this exciting city for Internet start-ups. We shall see.