10 Zen Monkeys is out with a post chroniciling the latest in the Nick Douglas / Valleywag “change in employment” situation and they do a pretty good job giving us the story so far.
Douglas responded to their request for a comment but only with a short on the record statement:
My only on-record comments are:
“I still like Nick Denton.”
“I’m wide open for job and gig offers.”
Nick himself has also issued a statement at Valleywag saying that he is indeed open to lunch (prefers Italian and suhsi and especially wine).
So what will Douglas do?
10 Zen Monkeys speculates that maybe Douglas was going to do a deal with Rocketboom or Amanda Congdon but dismisses both after tracking down Andrew Baron and Amanda Congdon.
They also point to Nick Denton speculating that Douglas may be going to Wired.
As for Denton’s side of things. He’s still being pretty tight lipped about Douglas although he seems to have at least rolled back the decision to take Valleywag in the direction of the Courier font. As one Valleywag reader, Blackjack, commented yesterday, “IBM just called from 1955, they want their Courier font back.”
So the site seems to be in an easier font to read today and Denton says that he is creating a mirror site of Valleywag in the old layout for those who would prefer it. Nick responds to the rest of the criticism here. As far as comments on Douglas though, Denton is leaving it up to Douglas to give the story, “It’s up to Nick Douglas to explain, as much as he wants to, and I think he may be making a farewell post, or jumping into this comment thread. And you can quiz him.” Which of course subsequently has happened.
So the million dollar question still remains.
What will Douglas do next?
Dave Winer’s name keeps coming up. He says a little bird told him that Douglas was going to get into video. Although Andrew and Amanda could always be lying of course, let’s explore the other video options that could be out there to Douglas.
All of this of course is just wild speculation. I have no knowledge of what Nick’s up to. But… if he is going to work in video there are a couple of other avenues that could be considered.
1. Nick makes the jump to actual broadcast TV. One of the things I’ve been noticing a lot lately is that Hollywood seems to be creeping into the Valley. At the GigaOm Xing party in San Francisco last month I spent some time talking to a couple of guys from the Hollywood crowd. They had flown up here and talked about Hollywood being interested in figuring out how to filter out the best of user generated video for mainstream TV. It’s also interesting to see folks like famous producer/director Jerry Zucker, from Airplane and Naked Gun fame show up at the Vloggies the weekend before last. Hollywood certainly seems to be sniffing around, and the right tech celebrity gossip show could be just the thing for them.
2. PodTech. Since hiring Robert Scoble, John Furrier has been building a powerhouse video network. PodTech already has the snarky Geek Entertainment TV. But could they, would they, push the envelope enough for a Nick Douglas style show? I love PodTech. I love doing photowalking shows over there with Scoble — but is PodTech the network for a gossip video? I will say that Scoble mentions Valleywag a lot.
3. Revision3. In September I wrote about Revision3 being the future of TV. The Revision3 team is already collecting some of the hottest shows on the internet. They are the highest profile cutting edge video blog network out there right now.
4. Nick goes independent on YouTube. Now this would truly be the interesting angle. It would have very little cost. Nick’s got a reputation at this point big enough to launch his own show. Why should Nick share the wealth with a network on an ongoing basis when he can build independent content himself. By staying independent this also gives him flexibilty it structuring future distribution deals while building up his popularity. Eventually when he found the right VC money he could launch at his own site, move the show over there. Note to VCs, I’d give Douglas a call and see what he’s up to.
5. Nick becomes a catalyst for a blog network to break into video. I would have thought Weblogs Inc. an interesting play. Calacanis could add video to his empire and distribute it though Netscape and the Weblogs Inc. channels. Of course this already seems unlikely as Douglas already has had a snarky exchange with Calacanis over Calacanis calling Douglas “Little Nicky.” Of course… what if that snarky little exchange though were *actually* planned. Think about *that* for a minute.
Still, Douglas has gone after Calacanis before and Calacanis has an awfully large ego and even if there were potential there the ego thing could be problematic. Then again, business is business.
6. CNET. Unlikely, but should be mentioned. Two problems here. The first is that CNET has had their own business troubles and probably wants to deal with those without a Nick Douglas distraction — they probably would also worry about the reputation of CNET News being tied to a gossip video blogger.
7. Wired could also get into video which might be behind Denton’s comments. Certainly pushing video content through Wired’s distribution channel could be interesting.
More likely than not Douglas really truly actually has not made up his mind about what he will do next — which is why if I worked in venture capital or video I’d probably be taking him up on that lunch offer.