Examiner.com, the site for which I’ve (primarily) written as the National PC Games Examiner since 2008, will be shutting down July 10th, 2016. I was just notified of this via email on July 1st.
This is very abrupt and unexpected, but I guess all good things must come to an end.
What it means for me
For me as a freelancer, in the near term this just means I’ll be focusing efforts to write for other sites and here on my own site. In many ways this is a great thing. I own this site and pay for it, so there are no auto-play ads, videos, popups, and other bullshit that plague sites like Examiner.com.
Also, because this is a WordPress site, I have virtually unlimited freedom to post anything I want to post. And it will look better doing it. I can also post more off-the-cuff bloggery stuff (such as my entertaining Reinhardt “Play of the Game” from an Overwatch session).
It also gives me absolute authority. I can expand what I write about to…well, anything. (I’ll still mostly focus on games and technology.)
And it will look better, too. I have far more creative ways I can create and post content on a WordPress site than Examiner’s limited content editing tool allowed for.
Currently, I’m working on a way to archive off all of my articles from Examiner.com so I can bring many of them over to this site. I wrote hundreds of reviews over the years, and many of them are still perfectly good ‘evergreen’ content I’d like to preserve. Plus it will give me a steady stream of content to (relatively easily) begin building out this site with.
Without Examiner.com as a ‘sponsor’ it might make getting into shows like E3 and PAX (as media) a bit more difficult, but we’ll see how that plays out. I’ve got time to try and build traffic here and expand efforts to other sites now. And I’m still very well-connected as a press/media/friend to many folks in the industry–i.e. I’m a well-equipped and well-connected freelancer. (And if you’re looking for one, let me know…)
So I’m not losing a job here, or even a viable income source. (I made very little money writing for Examiner.com over the last 8 years.) It was mostly a labor of love/fun, and as a way to transition from a freelance magazine writer (back when you could actually make decent money doing that) to an online/Web writer. I learned a lot for the experience, and I may learn more from this latest turn of events.
Unfortunately, actual Examiner.com employees will be unemployed as of yesterday. I’ve been through layoffs in various day jobs before, so I know it sucks.
So here’s hoping for the best for all of us.
For those who have hundreds of articles they need to archive I suggest using a web archival tool like httrack http://michaelghurston.com/2016/07/how-to-archive-your-examiner-com-articles/
I’ve actually been playing around with it, but have yet to figure out how to get it to work optimally using its rules. I may play with it more though.