Is this a rumor? If so, IDG needs to squelch it now

(Update: Saturday night: Rafat Ali at PaidContent.org confirms the following.) Okay, it’s Saturday morning and tech people in California should be out mowing their lawns, or something. However, I hereby invoke the Scoble 24-hour rule* on the following rumor: ValleyWag is, under the law-suit protective title, “rumormongering,” spreading a newsletter report that IDG will announce Monday that Infoworld will drop its print version.

As a tech-centric B2B chronicle of industry happenings, the “Infoweek” brand has long been “web-centric” as well as “print-centric.” So in their industry, the idea may make sense. Indeed, the recently elevated Colin Crawford of IDG has recently been blogging up a storm about the web-centricity of IDG.

Quote:

“For the last few years I’ve been evangelizing a transition from a print centric to a web centric culture at IDG. Events and print are very important components of our brands but there is little doubt that the current rapid growth momentum is with our online businesses. We’re evolving as a media company, responding to the information needs of our users and the desire of our marketers to reach active, engaged technology buyers.”

Even with all that telegraphing, this potential announcement will still be big news in the B2B media world. As the company that “created” (or, at least powered and dominates) the genre of print magazines covering the tech industry, any move IDG makes like this is news.

Before it gets out there too far (the Valleywag rumor is already on the front of techmeme), the IDG folks (and you know who you are) need to get out in front of this.

Update: Keen insight from InfoWorld alumni Matt McAlister, one of my go-tos for understanding the tech B2B “space.” Quote: “IDG has been a deer in the headlights of the Internet 18-wheeler for years. I can imagine this is the first of many similar moves that will happen this year across the whole print market.” My response: Agree, but I think tech B2B is a leading indicator. With 100% of their audience online — and always on — using the same tool to communicate as they do to work, the techosphere may not be the same as, say, an industry filled with people who use hammers or plungers or scaples in their work.

Related (sorta): Tim O’Reilly “spreads” another rumor, that the San Francisco Chronicle is in “big trouble.” Includes this great quote: “We talk about creative destruction, and celebrate the rise of blogging as citizen journalism and Craigslist as self-service advertising, but there are times when something that seemed great in theory arrives in reality, and you understand the downsides. I have faith both in the future and in free markets as a way to get there, but sometimes the road is hard. If your local newspaper were to go out of business, would you miss it? What kinds of jobs that current newspapers do would go undone?”

(Thanks, Lewis, for pointing out that the original title of this post was backwards: “Is this a rumor? If not, IDG needs to squelch it now.”)

Later: Jim Forbes: Another alumni eulogy.

Latest: Saturday night: According to Scoble’s 24-hour-rule*, we’re getting close to the “assume it’s true” point.

*Scoble 24-hour rule: “Never expect bloggers to do fact checking or original reporting. But if a blog (post) survives 24-hours without anyone refuting the facts? That’s when rumors turn to belief.”

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