Here’s a bit of interesting media gossip: Multiple sources have confirmed to me that the Outline founder Josh Topolsky, who just announced a new site called Input that allegedly has a mission to cover tech news, was at Mashable‘s offices last week talking with some top executives. He supposedly spoke with Mike Finnerty, general manager of Mashable owner Ziff Davis, and possibly others.
It’s anyone’s guess what they talked about, but rumors are certainly flying. Sources with knowledge of the meeting speculated about a number of possibilities:
- One: The Outline is looking for a buyer.
- Two: He may be looking into a content and/or advertising partnership with The Outline or this new publication.
- Three: Topolsky is trying to license the publishing software he uses to other companies, which can mean only one thing: more floating wavy lines on more websites.
I reached out to both Topolsky and Mashable and will update this post if I hear back.
Of course, a meeting is just a meeting, so who knows if anything will pan out. But after it fired all its staff writers, the Outline’s future is uncertain, to say the least. Topolsky is reportedly on a bit of a hiring spree, looking for writers for this new site. I’m sure the laid-off writers were thrilled to read this news. A quick scan of the site this morning shows very few advertisements.
It’s also unclear if launching a brand-new publication (which almost certainly requires new capital) is the best idea when the current one is having some business difficulties. Anyway, these thoughts are all swirling around, just waiting to be answered. If you have answers to any of them, I’d love to hear from you.