The End of An Era / by Nate Westheimer

Last week, my friend Dan Frommer announced he'll be leaving Silicon Alley Insider after nearly 4 years of being its most consistent and informed voice about Internet technology and new media. Last last month, my friend Caroline McCarthy announced she'd be leaving CNET after covering The Social part of our industry better than any of her peers for nearly 5 years.

With Dan and Caroline both leaving their respective posts at around the same time, I feel like I've experienced a major marker and the end of an era of the the Internet industry, at least in the way I've experienced things.

For as long as I've been involved in web/tech startups -- literally, for nearly exactly as long as I've been involved -- Caroline and Dan were the voices I most listened to. They are more or less my age, they grew up experiencing Personal Technology and then the Internet more or less the same way I experienced these technologies. They were in Teen Chats in AOL when I was there, got high speed Internet in college, saw Facebook and YouTube emerge as they were leaving or just left college.

As I started my first startup, they were getting their first bylines.

Seeing them move on has made me incredibly nostalgic, and I don't think I'm alone.

For other entrepreneurs I've talked to, also born in 1982/1983 (for some reason there are a ton of them) Dan and Caroline were the voices you could relate to and the voices you cared most about. From what I've gathered from my friends, they weren't just voices I listened too as I built my career, they were the voices of an entire generation of entrepreneurs. I hope they know the positive impact they've had.

As I said, this feels like a mile-marker, not a a goodbye. Both Dan and Caroline will still be around, contributing in new ways to the tech/media ecosystems. I really can't wait to see what they do.

But, it does feel like an end of an era. And so I tip my hat to these to fine journalists. Bravo for the first chapter, and Godspeed on the next.