So what is it we are unleashing here? And how will the upheaval be received? Web site redesigns and corporate rebranding efforts are always a bit of a crapshoot. You can invest money in a new logo, a new Web platform, and new consultants, but you can’t guarantee that that ethereal brand transformation will necessarily take hold in the minds of your audience. Indeed, even if your company succeeds in redefining your brand, you might alienate your old loyal audience in the attempt to win yourself a new one.

On the other hand, if the “old” audience isn’t doing you any good, then you might not have much to lose anyway. One can argue that, given the state of the online news industry, upheaval is good, and the time for Hail Mary passes is upon us. But it has to be someone’s job to ask the nagging question, how should we define success? A site can be deemed successful if it attracts enough page views to sell enough ads to stick around to die another day. Or we could define success in journalistic terms alone; in that case, quantity will never trump quality.

Lauren Kirchner is a freelance writer covering digital security for CJR. Find her on Twitter at @lkirchner