I just learned that AOL is going to be shutting down The Unofficial Apple Weblog (affectionately known as TUAW). The Verge broke the news. Of course, Twitter is full of well wishers.
I was struck most by those saying this was the "end of an era." Not long ago, I wrote a piece on the layoffs at Macworld. That was truly the end of an era. This feels different though. It feels more personal.
Macworld was renowned throughout the tech industry. Even those outside the tech-o-sphere had heard of Macworld, either the magazine or from coverage of the Expo. TUAW always struck me as a hidden gem of the Apple community.
For over ten years, TUAW was a constant presence in our lives. In my office, we would frequently discuss their advice columns, their liveblogs of events, and even how to properly pronounce "TUAW." Is it "too-aw?" "twow?" It doesn't matter. It was great.
I don't know anyone outside of the tech enthusiasts who would know TUAW by name, which is a shame. And while Macworld still continues in a new form, TUAW will disappear entirely, and with less fanfare than it deserves.
The Apple community felt a deeply personal loss today. For us, it really is the end of an era. I understand that TUAW, Joystiq, and others will be rolled into Engadget, but not every employee will be kept on. I wish all the best to everyone, and hope they find a great place to land.