The founder and former owner of the trendy camera and camera gear website DPReview has gone public in shaming Amazon’s CEO.
As we and others previously reported, Amazon is in the process of shutting down the famous, enormous and very popular website DPReview, which it bought from its founders in 2007.
For apparent reasons involving overall cost cutting, the online retail and cloud services giant, with over 149 billion in annual revenues and $13 billion in operating income (as of 2022), has decided that DPReview was just too much of a burden to keep running.
Apparently, it’s also too much of a bother to even keep up as an archived site.
For these reasons, DPReview has declared that it will stop publishing new content as of April 10th and will close down completely at some point soon after that.
As the site’s announcement ominously states, DPReview “will be available in read-only mode for a limited period afterwards.”
Picking a posture that shouldn’t be too surprising, the site’s founder, Phill Askey, has publicly decried this decision and called Amazon CEO Andy Jassy’s decision “a waste”.
Askey founded DPReview in 1998 and successfully ran the site for roughly 10 years, making it into one of the most popular web destinations for all things camera-related.
In 2007 however, he sold the site to the retail giant. He then stayed with the company as an executive for a further 3 years until leaving in 2010.
A detailed opinion by Askey about the site’s imminent shutdown was curiously delayed. After DPReview’s declaration, he only tweeted “I’m obviously devastated to hear this news which has come as a complete shock. I’m a little lost for words at this point.”
— Phil Askey (@philask) March 22, 2023
He then stayed quiet until now finally elaborating much further in a recent LinkedIn article in which he tagged Amazon’s CEO:
“DPReview has 8,800 news articles, 1,300 reviews (including 180+ video reviews), 160 opinion pieces, 160 interviews, 1,700+ sample galleries almost all created by dpreview staff stretching back to 1998.
From the community, easily the most active and passionate in any category there are over 47 million forum posts and the challenges system has over 1.1 million photographs.
It is the number one result for any photography-related search (and has been for almost its entire life).
I truly hope that Andy Jassy can see what a waste tearing this team apart and burning all this content will be, and what a huge loss it would be to the photography community and the Internet as a whole.”
DPReview is of course going to be shut down anyhow, but it definitively is strange that its Amazon-appointed administration has made it flatly clear that they have no plans to leave the site up as an archived copy.
Doing this would cost even a small company relatively little; for Amazon, it would be a completely insignificant burden.
This is especially true in this case since the large volume of photos and other media stored with the site over the last 23 years are all kept on Amazon’s own cloud servers anyhow.
Fortunately, fans of the site’s reviews won’t be losing access to its trove of content. This is thanks to third-party efforts like the Internet Archive’s WayBackMachine.
Another organization doing the same is the Archive Team, which is apparently archiving all of DPReview’s content from at least the last decade or so.