About a week ago, Tom Watson posted an item about the 10-year anniversary of @NY, the first-ever Internet newsletter in New York City that was founded by himself and Jason Chervokas. The newsletter initially went out to a subscriber base of approximately 300 people and was meant to chronicle the Internet subculture as it evolved in the city. Eventually, the @NY newsletter grew to a circulation of 100,000 and was later sold to "empire-builder" Alan Meckler. Watson explains the excitement of those early years:
"As anniversaries go, this one isn't significant to many people besides Jason and me: we founded @NY that summer of 1995 to chronicle what we thought was a great story that needed to be told. The usually under-employed class of writers, designers, artists, photographers, editors - and their pals in sales - had created a tiny but fascinating new class of entrepreneur in New York City, leveraging the commercial dawn of the Internet browser to create a new medium. We came to the story during the preceeding year or so, attracted by art-based Websites, by email lists of interesting young people, and by the parties."
"All along, the idea that user-created content - conversations - was the life's blood of the Internet guided our reportage. And that pose was clearly out best: tested by time, it has proven solid as a rock. @NY's legacy is a tiny one outside of a small circle of people. But it was entirely emblematic of its times, and, in retrospect, part of a the movement of citizens media we're all participating in now..."
While Corante New York may not be as hip, as cool, or as popular as @NY, we like to think that we too are trying to chronicle the same tech culture in New York. Maybe 10 years from now, we'll also have a chance to look back in the same way... Congrats, Tom and Jason, and thanks for blazing the trail as an Internet pioneer in the city!