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September 11, 2015

Freelance journalist sends interviews aggregation website to ‘digital Dignitas’ seven years after launch

By Dominic Ponsford

Freelance journalist Rob McGibbon, best known for his celebrity interviews, has announced that he is spiking his web venture Access

McGibbon launched the interviews aggregation and archiving system in January 2008. It offered a free platform for all media organisations, as well as individual journalists and broadcasters, to showcase their interviews content.

He said: "I will be taking Access Interviews to digital Dignitas at the end of September. I actually feel very sad because the website had so much potential and I had big dreams for it, but this is for the best. Her end will be most peaceful."

McGibbon, who writes a weekly interview column called The Definite Article for the Daily Mail's Saturday magazine Weekend, devised Access Interviews in 2006. He was encouraged to pursue it by Nikesh Arora, Google's then European boss, after McGibbon pitched the idea to him during a Press Gazette interview .

"It's fair to say that Nikesh was indifferent to my pitch, but he advised me to follow Google's philosophy: don't be motivated by making money, just go for it and create great products that people will love. Success will follow, he told me.

"I embraced the spirit of that ideal back then – and I still do now – but the reality is that I did create something that was loved, but that alone wasn't enough to bring in any cash.

"I spent a small fortune on technical costs, but the biggest investment has been my sweat capital. I worked very hard on the website for years, but there is only so long that you can support things for free. The time has come for me to reign in my philanthropic activities.

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"I am very proud of what we did with Access Interviews. It was a complicated website to construct at the time and the tech team has been consistently amazing. I'd also like to thank everyone who has supported us and enjoyed using it. If anyone needs to save the links to their archive, then please do so before the end of the September. After that, the pages will disappear.

"I truly believe that something will come out of the ashes of this venture. I currently have two new web projects in development, but I admit that this time I am a bit more focused on the business model before launching anything.

"For now though, the digital dream is dead. But long live the dream!"

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