When I interviewed MNspeak founder Rex Sorgatz in spring 2007, he commented on his 2006 sale of his placeblogging site MNspeak to the Bartel family, owners of The Rake (and, formerly, City Pages): “My lingering concern with the site now is actually that they haven’t changed anything (except adding more ads)… I hoped someone would invest in it, push it in new directions, invent new stuff.” Last night, those long-awaited changes have occurred — and MNspeak is no more.
A note from Matt Bartel announces that MNspeak and TheRake.com have been combined under the name SecretsoftheCity.com, a tagline long used for The Rake. While the comment-based content of MNspeak gets the center column of the home page, little of Sorgatz’s work remains (not even the name; I’d think there’d be brand equity in MNspeak). And, since few design or functionality upgrades were made after the sale, that’s probably a good thing.
The content — articles like we used to get from the print version of The Rake, along with the kind of quirky rapid-fire one- or two-line blog entries we grew to love at MNspeak — should be far more robust, and the crisp design calls attention to the content more than to itself. While a few tech glitches remain to be worked out, it’s a change for the better.
Max Sparber remains the editor of “Today’s Talk.”
Update: Erica at Fresh.mn has more.