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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

That’s not the precise language Matt Waite uses in his piece for Source, but it gets at the point: Know when it’s time to pull the plug on a web project, and plan ahead for that moment.

Quoting developer-preacher and LA Times newsapp developer Ben Welsh, “there is nothing geeks love more than starting a project.”

But what about letting one die?

Newsroom projects, like all our loved ones, are hard to let go. Every one of them starts with great enthusiasm. You have a great idea. You’ve got a team together. You’ve got a vision and some goals. Let’s do this thing!

Fast forward. It launches and people love it. Users use it in ways you never thought, the story has an impact, things are working great. Compliments flow. This is awesome, right? Everyone loves this part.

Usage curves on most news projects go like this. Zero to launch to most-trafficked page on the site to the long…steady…slide…to background noise.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
What to read next
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John Wihbey    
When journalists factcheck politicians (or don’t), how to flag bad behavior on social media, and getting past slactivism: all that and more in this month’s roundup of the academic literature.