End of an Era in Mobile Tech Blogging as JK Isn’t Running Anymore

This is a bit of a personal post mixed in with some news. Some of that news is old news, some of it is new. So, let’s cover the news part first.

Earlier this year James Kendrick, founder of the blog jkOnTheRun, left that site. Earlier it had been acquired by the GigaOm network. Unless you have been hiding under a rock you probably know that JK has found a new home at ZDNet and continues covering mobile tech from there. That’s the old news. The new news is that you’ll no longer see the famous jkOnTheRun logo and slug line on the blog that used to bear its name. You haven’t seen James blogging there since December.  Kevin Tofel posts that the blog is undergoing a facelift and GigaOm is working to tie it more closely to its Mobilize conference and will continue covering mobile tech with that new focus. So, the blog now bears the title Mobilize. When jkOnTheRun became acquired by GigaOm in 2008 we all cheered and congratulated James and Kevin. Of course that was change then and this is change now.

All well and good, and as Kevin says the only thing constant on the web is change. If you live long enough and pay attention while doing so you realize that change is indeed constant.

The good news is that JK continues to have an outlet for his passion of covering mobile technology. But in many ways the retiring of that jkOnTheRun logo marks the end of an era. At least it does for me. Yeah, now I’m getting to the personal part.

jkOnTheRun was one of the first mobile tech blogs I followed and JK was one of the guys who I always turned to hear or read his opinion. I still do. Whether it was reading posts on the blog or listening to the podcasts with James and the late, and still dearly missed Marc Orchant, it was always a blast. I always looked forward to those podcasts as I did the Mobile Tech Roundup podcasts with JK, Kevin Tofel, and later Matt Miller. I learned a lot from all of that reading and listening and the beauty of it is I was always entertained while doing so. MOTR still is in my podcast queue though James isn’t a part of that anymore.

But it wasn’t just enjoying the talents that were shared on jkOnTheRun and the podcasts.  James and Marc actually helped me out when I started blogging. They offered great advice, corrected me when I made some bonehead moves, and even invited me on a podcast or two back in the day. Those were crazy days. Not only did we all cover Tablet PCs, mobile tech, and other news, but we kind of covered each other as well.  We often delighted in ribbing each other in a blog post or podcast or two. I ribbed JK continually after somebody (it may have been me) christened him the All Father of Tablet PCs, and I was merciless when Kevin joined up with JK saying that the two of them were actually the same person because no one had ever seen them together at the same time. It was all in good fun and we all shared some good laughs.

We all still cover the same beats we did back then, but we all cover them differently these days. And of course some of the folks who were blogging about Tablet PCs aren’t blogging anymore and there are a slew of new folks covering what has become that scene. That’s where that change thing comes in. Differently isn’t a bad thing. It’s just a different thing. If anything the difference is that we’ve lost a little of the personal and personality fun and games. But I’ll tell you what. If you follow JK at his new home, (and you should be doing that) you’ll notice that JK’s personality is still ever present in his coverage, and that’s what makes him unique and worthy of your attention.

So, while this change has actually been taking place since December or so, I think this final change marks the end of an era in mobile tech blogging. But the beauty of it is, it also marks the beginning of something new.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.