Caracas Chronicles Reboot: What comes next

Dear Readers,

As Juan said earlier, Caracas Chronicles is at a crossroads.

For the past 13 years – count ’em, 13! – this blog has slugged through Venezuelan reality on an all-volunteer, zero-revenue basis. We’ve tried all kinds of formats and styles, built up a bit of a brand and nurtured an amazing reader community. Considering we did it all on a budget of no dollars (actually, negative-a-few-dollars, since hosting isn’t free!) I’d say we’ve done alright.

But in those 13 years, Venezuela has changed almost beyond recognition. And its media landscape has, if anything, been transformed even more profoundly.

It used to be that there were news “out there” and we could just presume you already knew what they were. Our job was to bring fresh insight and perspective to the table, skewering the skewerable and praising the praiseworthy.

But the government’s growing chokehold over information has upended that calculus: the independent media we used to exist to comment on has all but disappeared. Sites like ours, used to sitting on the sidelines and heckling, increasingly find ourselves heckling at an empty stage.

Things have changed. Our sense is that the all-volunteer/zero-budget model doesn’t work very well in the era of Media Hegemony. Caracas Chronicles needs to be more than a hobby.

The transition from media commentary site into media site will only work if we have talented people dedicated to it full time. And that can’t happen without some revenue.

So over the next few months we’re going to be experimenting with new ways of squaring this circle.

Starting Monday, Emiliana Duarte is joining the blog full time as Managing Editor. Emi is one of those deliriously talented people you’re lucky to meet once in a long while who can just project-manage the living daylights out of pretty much anything.

The cherry on top? She’s a great writer, too.

She’ll be running the site on a day-to-day basis, and she’ll lead the search for a viable monetization strategy that conjugates getting-a-reliable-stream-of-amazing-content with not-annoying-you-the-readers-too-much.

We’re ridiculously lucky to have her.

To guide her, I’m going to take on the role of Executive Editor: my job is to set the overall direction of the blog, and empower her to kick quite a lot of ass in terms of delivery.

(In other words: yes, we'll still have in-jokes in the new Caracas Chronicles...)

(Let the Ilan Chester jokes…BEGIN!)

And Juan is going to stay on as Contributing Editor – running some very cool new projects we’ll be announcing in coming weeks, and of course writing too.

I can’t even say how grateful I am to Juan for taking over the joint over the last year and a half. He led the blog brilliantly through some rough patches as it morphed from purely-personal site to collective blogging platform, and he’s going to be right here blogging, debating, editing (and more!) as we move into the next stage.

For now, we’re going to move cautiously, sin prisa pero sin pausa. The changes may not be obvious on the surface at first, but give it a month or two.

Really, Caracas Chronicles has been dillydallying over this move for way too long.

The time has come to go pro.

Trust me, it’s going to be great!

Thanks so much for your continued support,

Quico T.

Click here to go on to the blog.

47 thoughts on “Caracas Chronicles Reboot: What comes next

  1. Good luck, Even though we may have opposed views in several things (too gringo-loving-blue-eyes-syndrome-tropical-SJW over here) it is nice to see any “local” entrepreneurial activity launched, this in a country where the odious cancer in power nips in the bud most of the initiatives.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Charge by word for each comment?–BB will be broke in no time. As for Ilan, as long as there’s an Avila, he wont really be “going out of business” for good (hope this Blog doesn’t, either).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. BOA as flagship sponsor (con masthead logo a full color), with a finder’s fee for each new ML client? Seriously, though, I wish you luck in generating revenue–it wont be easy….And, Emiliana, you will as always, I’m sure, continue being the greatest (if you can keep away from the snares of Wellborn).

    Liked by 1 person

      • That is why im considering not reading at all. Now CC will churn out posts like “Gender equality and the price of milk” and “CNE imposed a quota and i agree though i´m not pro government” or “Five clues about how Luisa Ortega got that amazing perfect blonde hair and its influence on HR violations”

        When tibi announced her “quotas”, CC became a feminist snoozefest. Venezuela is falling apart and certainly i don´t think Tamara (ahem, Tomás) or MUD´s Sausagefest are relevant topics to discuss.

        Circo. Políticamente correcto y new age, pero circo al fin.

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  4. Writing for CC has been a labor of love- an unpaid labor of love. As even writers need to eat, it makes sense to try to monetize the blog. I suspect that if CC becomes monetized, it will exert more influence and become more of a target.

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  5. Congrats on this step. For sometime the breath of CCs output has been beyond offering a different point of view to producing actual content. Emiliana, Anabella and Audrey have made you evolve into something more … let’s see what that can become. Best wishes !

    Like

  6. Will Daniel and The Devil consider writing for you or will that take away from their blogs?
    I have seen quotes from CC on other publications including one in Guyana, I think it was GT Mosquito.

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  7. I do wish you guys all the best as I thoroughly enjoy the blog in general, especially FT and Jo’s work and ideological jostling. But I have to admit Emiliana is my least favourite writer on the blog. I won’t get into specifics because my intention is not to offend or troll in any way, but if that is the direction the blog is heading in then it’s one I will probably enjoy reading less and less than I have over past 10 or so years.

    Best wishes with the upcoming changes.

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  8. Finally time has come!

    First, kudos to Juan and all of you who have made an insanely effort to keep CC afloat with no revenue at all. I don’t think Ilan Chester’s jokes applym as Quico Toro never left, he could´n t , and probably he never will (I guess).

    Probably you at CC, all very clever people, have discussed endlessly very creative and bright options. But I just can´t help to recall The Daily Journal; are you thinking of occuping the space left by The Daily? I mean, El Universal has a small section of news in english, but a more ambitious news portal in english is needed in order to spread the word about what is going on here. Of course you would need staff, and money to hire them.

    A staff of contributors like Moisés Naim, Ricardo Hausmann, Daniel Lansberg, Johana Hausmann (doing it very well in you tube), Elizabeth Kline, Vanessa Neumann, Rafael Osío and many more would be interesting, I think you can do it guys.

    Money? Well, crowdfunding at the beginning and advertising. I think you have an opportunity here for good advertising because you are a “sort of” brand, the most visited site of Venezuelan “affaires” in english, that is not bad for starters.

    For sure you have already thought this, I’m showing a bit of support that’s all.

    Good Luck

    Like

  9. Tough challenge! Will you become a paid site? I don’t think donations is the right way to go…unless of course folks want to voluntarily.

    Like

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