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CrockpotandGravel

Swamplot Shutting Down? Is Houston Losing Its Scrappy Real Estate Blog?

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Houston Chronicle ran a farewell to Swamplot.com yesterday but pulled the article thereafter. I can't find a cached version but this was the link:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/swamplot-closing-down-houston-real-estate-12854083.php


 

The closing was discussed on Reddit where Chronicle's Lisa Gray clarified the article was prematurely published and removed:

Argh: This was my fault. The Chronicle sometimes prepares obituaries ahead of time, so that they're ready right away if and when the time comes. I was editing Allyn's story this morning, and must have accidentally hit "publish." I'm trying to get it off MSN, too. -- Lisa Gray, sheepish, at the Chronicle
 


Swamplot has valuable information but with the new editor, posts weren't timely published. The headlines and demos were published at the same time everyday as it's been for years. The other posts were sporadically published throughout the day and not every hour as in years past. Couple that with no social media updates if ever with links to their recent posts on Twitter and Facebook.

The quality of articles dropped too. Many of the articles came from HAIF, few from the Chronicle or the news stations. Mostly gone were the exclusive or breaking news researched articles that made Swamplot scrappy and valuable.

This is a loss. First Houston Press' published newspaper and loss of their full-time staff, and now this.


Does anyone know when Swamplot will shut down and why?

Edited by CrockpotandGravel
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3 hours ago, CrockpotandGravel said:

Houston Chronicle ran a farewell to Swamplot.com yesterday but pulled the article thereafter. I can't find a cached version but this was the link:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/gray-matters/article/swamplot-closing-down-houston-real-estate-12854083.php


 

The closing was discussed on Reddit where Chronicle's Lisa Gray clarified the article was prematurely published and removed:

Argh: This was my fault. The Chronicle sometimes prepares obituaries ahead of time, so that they're ready right away if and when the time comes. I was editing Allyn's story this morning, and must have accidentally hit "publish." I'm trying to get it off MSN, too. -- Lisa Gray, sheepish, at the Chronicle
 


Swamplot has valuable information but with the new editor, posts weren't timely published. The headlines and demos were published at the same time everyday as it's been for years. The other posts were sporadically published throughout the day and not every hour as in years past. Couple that with no social media updates if ever with links to their recent posts on Twitter and Facebook.

The quality of articles dropped too. Many of the articles came from HAIF, few from the Chronicle or the news stations. Mostly gone were the exclusive or breaking news researched articles that made Swamplot scrappy and valuable.

This is a loss. First Houston Press' published newspaper and loss of their full-time staff, and now this.


Does anyone know when Swamplot will shut down and why?

 

I don't think there is any reason to think Swamplot is shutting down, is there?

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Wow! I also just went to the site and read that. It was a good, long ride. It’s been one of the first sites I visit every morning for many years now. Will be odd without it. 

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10 hours ago, Triton said:

Man.... this is really hard to read...

 

http://swamplot.com/its-time-for-swamplot-to-say-goodbye/2019-03-07/

 

 

 

We should probably move this so it has more visibility.

 

Was bummed when I read it this morning.

 

One the first sites I would visit in my normal routine of site scrolling before starting work.

 

A real shame.

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Sorry to see this too. Swamplot’s been a go-to for a long time. Remember Houstonist?  Another site, long gone. 

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That year when they couldn't get enough editors and shut down for an entire summer (if not longer) was a sign of bad things to come. Definitely enjoyed their photographic timestamps covering new businesses and old, and has served as a historical reference.

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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

We should probably move this so it has more visibility.

 

 

Yea, I was thinking that too when I created the thread but I think "the Media" is the most appropriate since Swamplot was a news outlet.

 

Does anyone know how to easily see the Houston demo reports? I tried and it kept saying page cannot be found when I went to the City of Houston demo dataset. Maybe I'm going to the wrong location.

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Swamplot was one of my favorite sites to check every day. I'm saddened to see its closing. 

Hopefully someone will come up with an alternative. 

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We all owe Larry Albert and his wife a big debt of gratitude for their creation and work over the years.  They spent many hours of their free time curating swamplot for a few pennies of sponsor dollars and they never wanted any accolades.  It wasn't as sharp when they passed on editorial control, but it was still the first thing I read when I got to work every day.

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4 hours ago, Triton said:

 

Yea, I was thinking that too when I created the thread but I think "the Media" is the most appropriate since Swamplot was a news outlet.

 

Does anyone know how to easily see the Houston demo reports? I tried and it kept saying page cannot be found when I went to the City of Houston demo dataset. Maybe I'm going to the wrong location.

 

Is this what you were looking for?

 

https://houstontx.gov/planning/Publications/listsrv/WebeReport.html

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3 hours ago, Response said:

Good riddins! Houston deserves better.

Are you going to provide "better"? Didn't think so.

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This is unfortunate. Really thought they brought interesting articles and projects to the forefront. Great way to learn about the City of Houston and its history.  Kind of wish the owners sold the website. 

 

 

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My favorite comment on the post announcing their shutdown was someone's lamentation "If only there had been more GFR".

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Posted (edited)

All good things do, eventually, come to an end.  Swamplot is one of those good things and I will miss it.

 

I personally wish to thank the good folks at swamplot for over a DECADE of informing us of the good, bad, ugly, and, utterly lovely.  Thanks, folks!

 

 

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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Posted (edited)

It is funny how many people looked at Swamplot between getting to work and starting work, while drinking the first cup of coffee. I thought it was just my ritual.

 

Agreed on the decline in quality. It was also taken over by a few obnoxious commenters, and these commenters were encouraged by "Post of the Day" recognition. That recognition plummeted in quality too after the editorial change. HAIF has also seen some good users driven away by bad ones over the years, but luckily our staff had the courage to dismiss the very worst ones (a couple of whom drifted to Swamplot).

 

Edited by H-Town Man
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Posted (edited)

5 days and no topic? or did I just look in the wrong places.

 

the site is going to stop posting.

Edited by samagon

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15 minutes ago, samagon said:

5 days and no topic? or did I just look in the wrong places.

 

the site is going to stop posting.

The latter.

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On 3/12/2019 at 2:12 PM, Subdude said:

The latter.

I'm looking for threads in all the wrong places, looking for threads in too many subforums?

 

apologies to everyone, including Johnny Lee

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On 3/8/2019 at 3:18 PM, gmac said:

Appreciate the link; however, the info provided seems less comprehensive and timely than Swamplot's "Daily Demolition Report" (unless there's been a sudden inexplicable decline in demolitions)
Are other sources for demolition permits issued available online?
Also, through the years I've noticed buildings that have been demolished without ever appearing on Swamplot's list. Is demolition without a permit a 'thing' in Houston?

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On 3/15/2019 at 11:45 PM, AnTonY said:

Don't worry, people, it's all just one elaborate April Fool's joke!



Let's hope so!

The wording of the farewell, to me, says the site is coming back.

It may come back as Swamplot, a name most Houstonians know and recognize. Ot it may return under a different name.

A far off guess is it merges with Vox Media's Curbed and becomes Curbed Houston.

 

https://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/28473-houston-curbed-hiring-editors


https://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/38768-vox-medias-curbed-finally-coming-to-houston-competition-for-swamplot/
 

https://web.archive.org/web/*/https://houston.curbed.com

 

https://web.archive.org/web/20170302052801/http://houston.curbed.com/

 

 

 

But my money is on a return of some type. 

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From Houstonia

End of An Era: Swamplot Founder Explains Why He Called It Quits

Swamplot’s closure is a loss for the entire city, but it’s a special loss for the site’s community of readers and commenters, whose paths might not otherwise cross. Why end something he spent so many years building? Remaining circumspect about the profitability of the site, Albert says he’s simply ready to do something else. “Swamplot was a side project that kind of got out of hand,” he says. “There are many other things and projects that I look forward to.” His fondest hope is that others will pick up where he left off by starting their own efforts; if they do, he’s offering them his services—to sit down with them and share everything he’s learned since his own launch that long-ago day. As for the fate of Swamplot’s 12 years of archives, and whether somebody might buy the thing and keep it going, there’s currently no news.


The rest of the tribute is here:
https://www.houstoniamag.com/articles/2019/3/19/why-did-swamplot-stop-publishing-founder-on-the-end-of-an-era

 

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