I’ve gotten out of the habit of posting here about the beginnings or endings of freelance gigs–I didn’t mark the start of my writing for the Disruptive Competition Project a year ago (in part because I wasn’t sure that site’s funding would get renewed for 2013), and I barely mentioned the conclusion of my work at CEA.
But since my sole outlet for the first few post-Post months was Discovery News, it seems worth observing that yesterday’s post about Google+ image-recognition marked the end of my contract with D News.
I have no hard or even bruised feelings about that. Discovery tried branching into personal-tech coverage by bringing me onboard, but we never developed an audience to justify the generous rate Discovery had offered me. (It could not have helped that for a while, I kept trying to shoehorn in wonky policy stories.) Instead of asking me to linger on, still out of place, at a lower rate, management granted me my unconditional release.
Since my output at D News was cut back from five or six posts a month over 2012 to only two a month this year–while I’ve since added other clients–the financial hit is manageable.
Now I’m just appreciating my better moments there: for instance, playing with a goofy robotic ball, breaking news about car2go’s deal with D.C., legitimately using “free beer” in a headline, and being one of a minority of reviewers to call out the infuriating keyboard on Samsung’s Galaxy S III.
The roughly 500-word limit on Discovery’s posts helped me write more concisely after years of assuming I’d have 800 or more words to play with, while its practice of running large pictures atop each post pushed me to take better gadget photos. And the site’s content-sharing deals led to my work being reproduced on Fox News and Mashable.
Finally, Discovery was a good name to throw in when requesting press passes–say, when I covered the Tweetup NASA organized for the last space-shuttle launch. My STS-135 media badge remains my favorite press credential ever.