But since last Friday, GOOD appears to be a little less of the former and more of the latter. Most of its editorial staff (6 of 9) was fired, including Friedman. Two more accepted buyouts.
The move came a day after the launch party celebrating GOOD’s summer print issue. Adding insult to injury, a few days later GOOD released a video thanking its 200,000 Facebook followers that featured the former staffers.
So what’s the reason for the mass dismissal and what does it mean for the company? According to Poynter’s Andrew Beaujon, who’s interviewed several of the fired editors, the firings were not about financial pressure.
The main reason seems to be that cofounders Max Schorr, Casey Caplowe and Ben Goldhirsh’s vision for the magazine has evolved over the last year (which, incidentally, is the length of time that Ann Friedman had been on board).
Rumours of turning the site into a socially responsible Reddit have cropped up, but were denied by GOOD’s Chief Technical Officer Douglas Sellers who wrote that “GOOD is looking to pivot from being a purely editorial platform to a platform that combines both our editorial leadership with an empowerment of the community.”
In the same statement, Sellers remarked that “GOOD was founded to do as much good in the world as possible and doesn’t feel like simply publishing content is going to accomplish that goal as much as it would like. We need to mobilize and organize a larger community of people than we employ.”
Which might explain last August’s acquisition of social network service Jumo, founded by Facebook cofounder Chris Hughes. A new beta site, “the platform for 21st century citizenship” and Good Finder (a community-based news aggregator) also signal that big changes may be ahead for the small company.
Casey Caplowe also said in an email to Beaujon that what’s left of the team at GOOD is “aiming toward a relaunch of the site later this summer.”
So where have all the GOOD people gone? According to a Tumblr post on June 5th, GOOD’s laid-off staffers will be collaborating on a one-off magazine titled Tomorrow, that will be “about what’s next, what’s on the cusp.” It’s still in its nascent form, so keep your ear to the ground.
…And if you’re looking to hire, Ann Friedman gives names and endorsements of the former staff here.