a “pleasurably tactile experience,” interrupted

by twit

so close!

image via Rhodia Drive

From a PBS interview with the founder, Joshua Karp:

In theory, the paper would be able to cater to the demographics of each neighborhood and the readership would become the editor (he would then be able to sell cheap, hyper-local advertisements)

so close!

The idea is to print not one uniform issue but to allow the readers in each of the paper’s distribution neighborhoods to vote online on which blog content they prefer.

um… you have to read it online, then vote for it, so you can print it out and read it again? or take your chances that the local social media community has found blog posts that you want to read?


He said that when he floated the idea for the project to a few friends last year nearly all of them shot it down.

I was going to joke that this publication is going to last three weeks, but then I read this:

I asked Karp about the funding — most notably, who would cover the printing cost — and he admitted that the publication’s future likely hinged on whether he could find venture capitalist funding over the next few weeks. He said that he’s committed his own money to the first three issues, but if The Printed Blog is ever to become a daily publication, distributed in several major cities, it will need much more financial backing.

I thought it was Slog being funny when they mentioned he thinks editors should be eliminated.   Although according to the New York Times on January 22, 2009:

Users will eventually be able to log on to its site, theprintedblog.com, to choose which blogs they want in their edition, and editors will decide which posts make the paper. A city the size of Chicago could have 50 separate editions tailored to individual neighborhoods.

and actually:

By publishing articles written by bloggers who are already diligently covering topics as varied as town politics and local fashion, Mr. Karp can slash one of the biggest expenses of a newspaper: reporters.

Fortunately, Andrew Keen can explain why reporters can’t be ‘slashed’ from the process:

Local publishers once employed an editorial staff to organize and curate local information. The Web 2.0 model is represented by Web sites like craigslist, Wikipedia and Yelp that aggregate unedited user-generated-content thereby “disintermediating” professional editors, fact checkers and journalists. The consequence is an anarchy of annoyingly unreliable and disorganized local information.

I am confident that the next big thing on the Internet — Web 3.0 if you like — will be a layer of professionally curated information sitting on top of the amateur Web 2.0 layer. Rather than slithering into the democratic swamp of crowd-generated content, smart local publishers should focus on their core expertise — the organization and curation of information by professionals.

with emphasis added.  Edward Fouhy echoes the point:

But what’s clear is that citizens are inventing a new form of locally based and financed journalism while preserving the values of accuracy, objectivity and independence.

after describing REPORTERS starting online papers.

Then there’s Rick Rodriguez, and his prediction:

Among the best bets for adhering to traditional journalistic standards will be smaller, already-established newspapers that can expand their local influence.

It is too bad that newspapers are scaling back and shutting down all over the place.   They shouldn’t be, but maybe in Web 3.0, the reporters and editors will pick up the slack…


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