The Contributor platform, which hosted more than 100,000 bloggers during its lifespan, predated social-media platforms, like Twitter and Tumblr, and offered an outlet for unknown writers to make their voices heard.
The reason for the site's demise is a common one: It could no longer remain profitable in a difficult advertising environment.
Last week, the company halted all future work with Mario Testino and Bruce Weber, both accused of sexual harassment, and announced new policies, to be disclosed in full by the end of January.
That Peter Thiel was able to take down the internet giant by backing Hulk Hogan's lawsuit was terrifying to those who work in media - and those who depend on it. How safe is the press if a wealthy man can successfully attack those publications he feels threaten him or he deems unfit?
The problem is that Facebook built much of its current feed through teaching brands and outlets to cater to its algorithmic code, bolstering its business with advertising and sponsored content. The monetary repercussions for publications and brands that have come to rely on the site as part of their revenue will have a negative temporary effect.
In typical Trumpian fashion, presidential lawyer Michael D. Cohen announced his lawsuit on Twitter. The move brings into focus the administration's repeated attacks on freedom of the press.
Editorial teams will come to rely more on third-party tools that help journalists write articles that are visual-first, interactive and data-driven. This move will shift outlets' metrics of success, with teams likely focusing more on KPIs that show meaningful reader consumption.
Hearst is hoping to plant its feet firmly in technology's future, too. The company has been experimenting successfully with content on both the Echo and Google Home.
With so much journalism moving to digital-only production and easily searchable, a tricky situation arises. What will ultimately be more important to the public - preserving the public record and freedom of speech or protecting one's reputation should an unsavory piece of information surface online?
The company doesn't necessarily need the print title to maintain its position as a brand, nor does it have its enigmatic figurehead. 'Playboy' is considering expanding licensing options and move online.