Category Archives: Circa

Dear Circa

I’ve been flooded with messages of support since we shut down. I asked permission to share these messages from the folks who sent them. I have been so amazed and humbled by how much people really had emotionally invested in Circa. It makes me feel really proud  of what we were able to build and the impact we have now created in the industry.

Here’s a sample of some of the letters I’ve received…


 

To Anthony and my distant friends at Circa News—

It is with great sadness that I started my morning off with the Farewell, from Circa headliner. I won’t torture you by yearning for the what-ifs and the if-onlys; still, I had to write you because I feel oddly close to the team that for so long now has brought me my daily news brief. Your idea was brilliant and you changed the market—there is no denying that. In today’s America we find ourselves at odds with the current event paradox. That is, technology, social movements, crowd-sourced collaboration and the freedom of press make accessing real, unbiased, ugly-truthed frontline news more possible than ever; yet, we amass a naive population that becomes disgruntled and misguided by ‘news’ organizations that are controlled by their advertisers so much so that what becomes the top story on every major news source is more often than not a ‘fluff’ to redirect attention from the real stories and make an aggregate audience fell all warm and fuzzy inside. But you already know this.

I’m not reaching out as part of a last-ditch effort to ignite your passions, sometimes the good fight leaves us hung out to dry. I just wanted to make sure that one loyal fan (and hopefully many more) communicated to you all that Circa News changed my life by allowing me to stay informed without getting overwhelmed. Its succinct story bites made room for more content and granted me the time to become better informed about so much more than was previously possible. I applaud your efforts, and I am truly sad to see you go. For the record, if I were not still a start-up adult paying too high of rent covering someone else’s mortgage, if I had more than 2 pennies to rub together, if I had money to fund a project—it would have gone to Circa. I wish each and every one of you the absolute best in your next ventures and hope to see more journalist institutions take a turn down the not-so-beaten path that you’ve been walking for almost 4 years now. Good luck and God bless each of the members on the Circa News team.

All the best,

Nicole Duffy
Circa reader and advocate since 2012
New Orleans, LA 


(Hey Anthony: I didn’t know if your customer contact email still worked.  So thought I’d send it to you guys here.)

Dear Matt and the Circa Team,

What a truly sad day for journalism and even worse for me.  How am I supposed to get my day going without you guys?!?

I’ve searched across all the lands (and a few oceans) for a way to read the news, have context, breadth in opinions/sources, and be updated on my topics of interest in one place.  Nobody else managed to do all of these things except YOU!!!

Is it too late to say “take my money!!?” I didn’t know you guys needed money.

Will you take subscriptions?  Because I would give it in the blink of an eye.  Oh, how my uncaffinated heart is filled with guilt and regret.

As I stare blankly with red soggy eyes at my lonely coffee machine, spitting out its last cup of I-can-deal serum to go with my favorite news app.  I salute you! (Quietly and totally alone in tee shirt, raccoon slippers, and underwear)

You’ve been amazing !!  You’ve done something meaningful for me.  You’ve been a part of my day every morning for years.

Thank You and please don’t give up on good journalism no matter where  you go!

I can’t wait to see what you guys do next !  Please keep me posted.

Sincerely,

Zin

unnamed

Ps.  Are you selling the app/company by any chance?


I’m not looking for talent. I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for providing readers with an app that brought the best news to mobile devices. I’ve been using Circa since its inception and couldn’t have been happier with it. Your dedication and professionalism brought us stories with accurate and relevant information about the stories we care about.

Circa has always been about brass tacks. Informative, to the point and, most of all, unbiased reporting. I had never even considered utilizing any other new outlet. You were the best. I have no doubt that the talented staff at Circa will find excellent opportunities.

I would like to, again, say thank you for all that you have brought us. I hope you are proud of what you built because it truly is something to marvel.An honest news service that never failed to deliver.

Thank you for what you have given us,

Sincerely,

Ron Bodamer (Loyal Circa reader)


You’ve broken every important news story to me over the past few years, first on twitter and then here. You do awesome work. Keep it up!


 

Before I (sadly) delete this app? …(for now)

I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed and followed your app.
I am a graphic designer and learned of circa through school! In design school we spoke of UX and UI in regards to your app. You are a precedent and an inspiration and will not be forgotten. I hope to read circa again someday…(it was part of my daily routine).


Dear sir or madam,
Please overlook the format of this email, but not the content.
The moment I read the feature story of Circa’s farewell, my heart lost a beat.
I simply couldn’t believe this is happening but there is nothing I could do.
I’m a journalism student and I think Circa is the BEST news reading app I’ve ever used, the off-line reading, no ads, the scrolling design, divided sections, following stories…everything is just so perfectly done.
I deeply admire the journalist group that dedicated to Circa, I hope things can be better one day, and it will be better.

Looking forward for you to come back.
Best wishes.

Yours, Sameen


I have enjoyed your news organization more than any other and hope that you can salvage it. I am willing to pay a subscription price to continue reading.

If that is not possible, then many thanks for all the enjoyable and real reading and many good wishes to you and all your staff.  You will be missed!

Sent from Alice Treska


Hi Anthony,

I have been using Circa for more than a year now and have loved it from the first time I used it. The fact that Circa required no purchase and never shoved advertisements in my faced made It that much more enjoyable and professional. I read my wire daily, expanding my knowledge and general awareness of the modern world. Thank you so much for such a wonderful app, I, and I’m sure many others, found it to be an awesome experience.

Sincerely,
Nate


Anthony –

I must say I was extremely disheartened to find out that Circa is shutting down. Circa was one of my top sources for meaningful, concise and extremely relevant news. It is an unfortunate time that we are living in where investors would rather fund pointless social apps as compared to something with a potential to disrupt the way we think of “news”.
I am not sure where you are in the overall strategy of your product or whether what I am going to say will even make sense. However, I want to put my thoughts out there.
Ever since I took the course of Digital Transformation at Carnegie Mellon, I always wondered how print media will ever sustain with the disruption that technology has brought about. In one such of my reflections, I wondered if there was a way to enable these “archaic” organizations with a standardized platform, where they can focus on content creation, leaving someone else to worry about content delivery.
My thought was to build a platform with standardized interfaces that each news outlet, potentially across the globe, can leverage to post content. Users can subscribe to each on a need basis and Circa could still provide relevant analytics-driven recommendations. Cost-sharing models could be built in where each outlet gets a percentage when a user clicks through their content, with Circa getting a cut of each “transaction” so to speak.
The reason I share this with you (and maybe you can forward this on to the rest of the team) is because I think you have the resources and a platform that could easily expand to provide these capabilities. The other reason, maybe more importantly, is because I am a risk-averse person who might never see this through to fruition.
I hope you have a great future ahead, with Circa or otherwise.
Thank you,
Dinesh R Dixit

Dear Circa,

You were the BEST news company/app ever! You’re on my iPhone front page! I loved the “Follow Story” feature. There has to be a way to save Circa! This is the worst news. I was honored to be asked a few times to participate in your betas and feedback (I didn’t because I work for Apple and wasn’t sure if they still allowed that; rules change). Thank you for all the super hard work you put into Circa. I definitely always felt it was the highest class journalism and app out there. And, I was soooo excited when it came to Apple Watch! Circa, you will always be in my heart. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Liz Henning


Dear Mr. De Rosa,

Please accept my sincerest condolences on the loss of this project’s current incarnation. My friends and I greatly enjoyed Circa’s meticulous attention to detail, ergonomic design, and utmost impartiality. We hope that Circa will live on through its dedicated team, wherever you may go.

Yours truly, and thanks again,
Max Matiauda


Circa Team,
Thank you so much for everything. As a college kid always on the go, I fell in love with Circa from its launch date. The quick, bite sized and objective pieces of info were so appealing to me.
I will be for forever grateful to the writers, developers and entire team. I am very saddened to see you go!
Best of luck with everything you do and thank you again.
With all my love and gratitude,
Alex Kierlanczyk

I am sad to hear Circa will no longer be supported.  As an avid reader, Circa quickly became my first “go to” location for news.  I really enjoyed the content, the user experience of the app, and the way in which similar stories were suggested if I wanted to learn more.  And then I would tell my friends about it.Thank you for the team’s leadership in serving so many readers.  I can’t imagine how difficult the transition would be for the team.  Please know that the team delivered an outstanding user experience,

My best,
Naseem
Philadelphia, PA


Some selections from Twitter:

https://twitter.com/danielrruf/status/615178162654347264

https://twitter.com/OcGay/status/614937060625944577

 

 

 

Farewell Circa

(click here to skip to the list of Circa employees looking for new opportunities)

Here’s the short Circa version: We tried to do something very different, we took huge risks, we built a product that spawned a whole new category, and we enjoyed every moment of it, at least until the money ran out and that sucked.

Care to know more? By all means, read on:

We got some stuff wrong, but there’s a hell of a lot we got right. There will be a time and place for me to expand on that, today is not that day. I’m delighted to see we’ve inspired many other apps to do part of what we did or attempt to. It’s great that we’ll see various elements of Circa live on through them.

I want to thank this team:

Arsenio, I am so lucky to have worked with you and have someone so willing to work hand and glove with editorial. That’s a rare thing in our business. You’re a rockstar, I hope we cross paths again. I also loved the chance to work with your amazing team: Tim, Travis, Chris, Michelle, Ashley, AJ, Brian, Darren, Adam, and Frank.

John Maloney, you know how much you did for this team. You are selfless. Without question, you have been a rock and fought the good fight to try to get us over the finish line. I’ll never forget that. I am your brother for life.

Matt, you gave me an amazing opportunity and you’re an incredible product designer. The industry is still trying to catch up with you. I know you’ll continue to do amazing things.

David, our founding editor, who mentored me and taught me the very unique way we do things here at Circa. Without you, I would be nothing. You’re killing it at Al-Jazeera. I am indebted to you for teaching me and giving me the skills to have continued what you created here.

Adrian, Daniel, Greg, Evan, Andrew, Ted, Chad, Lenika, Nicholas, Peter, Abraham, Amelie, Alli, Nallur, Kevin, and Lisa.  Who fought their asses off and have unique skills that few others in our industry can boast of. They’re now free to take those skills out to the world and give your newsroom superpowers.  Startups are hard, they’re not the safe passage for anyone. News is tough enough to then have the unpredictability of startup life tossed in for good measure. I respect and admire these folks for putting their heart and soul into this.

Christine, our incredible designer. Your work speaks for itself. Someone will be very lucky to have you bringing your magic to them soon.

Jessie, our operations rock. Without you, the ship doesn’t sail. Thanks for keeping us on track and making sure the trains run on time.

Finally, I want to thank the majority of our investors, who believed in us enough to write a check. There are some investors making it difficult to get our team paid for services rendered. Be assured I won’t stand by idle if they’re not made whole.

I can vouch for all the people above, but I worked as Editor In Chief and can uniquely speak for the skills of the team I led below. I’m providing short bios but can get into more detail about what I think their strongest skills are. Please do get in touch soon if you want them, there’s actually a lot of demand and I’m happy to see that. I also linked their emails to their names here if you want to reach them directly.

HIRED! Daniel Bentley – Senior editor at Circa (Hired by Fortune)

HIRED! Adrian Arizmendi – Tends to focus on political matters. Has a great grasp on policy and the intricacies of legislature. Would be a great fit on a team covering congress and/or the 2016 race. Based in San Francisco. (Hired by Al-Jazeera)

HIRED! Evan Buxbaum – Deputy editor, helped lead our team during PT hours and also ran weekends. Good manager, can lead a team of multiple people and has an excellent eye for detail. Tireless. Based in Seattle. (Hired by New York Post)

Andrew Bossone – Led our Middle East coverage and helped manage our team during the overnight hours. Excellent grasp of foreign policy, especially in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. Based in Jordan. (Doing contract work but available for a full-time gig)

HIRED! Ted Trautman – Primary copy editor. Great eye for detail. Jack of all trades when it comes to subject matters. Great disposition, easy to work with. Based in San Francisco (Currently working on a book!)

HIRED! Chad Catacchio – Led our Asia coverage, especially Japan. Especially strong when it comes to science and sports. Based in Beijing now but soon returning to Massachusetts. (Hired by Enervee)

HIRED! Nicholas Deleon – Lead Tech Editor. Wide grasp of all matters related to technology, both on the business and product side. He managed to cover nearly all the important stories for us in this space by himself. Great disposition, very easy to work with. Based in New York. (Hired by VICE Motherboard)

Peter Wade – Jack of all trades subject matter wise. Helped relaunch our Tumblr and grew our audience there significantly in a short period of time. Staff writer, pitched in as the defacto Social Media Editor for Circa. Comfortable covering a variety of topics. He has written for and managed social media at numerous digital news publications including Fast Company, SportsNet New York and The Daily. He also maintains his own news, media and pop culture Tumblr at BrooklynMutt.com. Based in Washington D.C.

Abraham Hyatt – Has a great grasp on criminal justice matters. Also has a background covering tech and business. Based in San Francisco.

HIRED! Amelie Meyer- Robinson – Foreign policy focus, good grasp on Europe in particular. Based in San Francisco. (Hired by Twitter)

HIRED! 
Alli Maloney – Covers a wide variety of topics, high output, performs well under pressure. Well versed in women’s issues. Based in Ohio. (Hired by New York Times, Women in the World)

Kevin Ponniah and Lisa Yallamas – Based in London and Australia respectively. Staff writers, good grasp on Asia + Southeast Asia matters.