A message from Erin Bury about the rebirth of BetaKit

erin_bury

When BetaKit launched in February 2012 it was to fill a hole we thought existed in online startups and technology reporting. While there were publications doing a great job of covering the startup world (The Verge, PandoDaily, TechCrunch, TheNextWeb to name a few), much of the coverage was of the behemoth tech companies like Apple and Google, or gadget reviews, or the dreaded snarky posts on everything from nap rooms at AOL to what Michael Arrington likes to eat for breakfast.

After Sprouter was acquired by Postmedia in 2011, founder Sarah Prevette and I decided to launch BetaKit to take a more journalistic look at emerging technology news from around the world. We had a few hard and fast rules: no snark, no big company news unless it directly affects startups, and no hastily-published breaking news posts with one sentence of actual content. We aimed to provide thorough, interview-filled pieces on everything from big data, to social gaming, to mobile payments.

After launch our team (which included talented writer Darrell Etherington, now at TechCrunch, and a team of contributors from around the world) quickly made BetaKit a fresh new voice in the tech journalism space. I knew we were on the right track based on the emails, Tweets, and feedback I got from readers and entrepreneurs, not to mention the fact that our little publication made it to number 32 on the Techmeme leaderboard and forged partnerships with the Washington Post Social Reader and Pulse news reader.

When Postmedia made the decision to absorb BetaKit into its FP startups section it was obviously disappointing, not only for our team but for readers who relied on BetaKit for their news, and entrepreneurs who saw it as a viable way to get the word out about their product or service. While I won’t say much about their decision, I can say that I do feel BetaKit filled a void, one that still exists in particular in Canada.

So naturally when MobileSyrup editor-in-chief Ian Hardy approached me to say he planned to relaunch BetaKit as a Canadian-specific startup/tech news publication I was thrilled. While BetaKit originally had a global focus, I think there’s a huge opportunity to just focus in on what’s happening in our own country. The success here in the past few years has been well-documented – companies like Tungle.me and Rypple acquired, accelerators like FounderFuel pumping out the next generation of great companies, and startup hubs like Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver giving NYC and Boston a run for their money.

From my conversations with Ian, I know we’re on the same page about what BetaKit should become. It will have the same journalistic take on the news that was its signature, and will strive to be the go-to news source for startup news. It will likely broaden its focus to include how bigger tech companies are affecting startups and the Canadian tech scene in general, and focus more on accelerators and Canada-specific programs and initiatives.

While I won’t be returning to my post as Managing Editor (I actually start a new position today as Managing Director at digital agency 88 Creative – more on that move here), some of BetaKit’s former contributors will now be writing for the revamped version, and I will be an ongoing contributor.

I know the publication will thrive, and I speak for the entire former BetaKit team when I say we wish them luck. There are very few homegrown resources for tech/startup news in Canada, and I’m confident BetaKit can rise to the top.

Image courtesy of Marketing Mag

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.

  • liordegani

    Awesome to hear, Good luck Erin!

  • Nosha7

    As much it is great that Betakit is coming back, I’m very disappointed for two reasons…

    ONE: On March 18th Betakit abruptly stopped “broadcasting” news and there never was any concern to notify its readers/followers to what was happening! I find it highly disrespectful!
    And given the impression that the readers are simply numbers!

    TWO: And as you said “… BetaKit filled a void …” I deeply believe that too, I was an avid everyday reader, Betakit did in fact distinguished itself from every other technews already mentioned in your message. Now your core business is Canadian Startups? … Ok!

  • Ali

    Incredibly disappointing news. I was really excited that you guys finally managed to get unchained from the nasty corporate idiots who shut down one of the best startups tech blogs in recent times. But sadly not having a global focus will once again shoot you guys into obscurity.

  • macewen

    Glad you guys are back at it.

  • vinaeco

    really wish BetaKit would come back with its original global focus.. but perhaps get it right firstly focused on the Canadian scene then evolve/extend to other geographic markets, similar to how TheNextWeb does this, so the reader can preserve their local focus if they like