Today the New York Times has a fascinating article about a Chicago man's brilliant idea to become the Arianna Huffington of dead trees.
The Printed Blog will print a weekly edition on 11 x 17 paper to be distributed around town.
The Printed Blog will publish blog posts alongside other Weblike content, like user-submitted photographs and readers' comments. The paper will be printed on three or four 11-by-17-inch sheets of white paper and laid out like a blog instead of in columns.
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.
We at City Pages have already been experimenting with "Reverse Publishing" by reprinting the best Blotter blog entries in the weekly print edition, and this guy seems to be onto a similar idea, but without having to pay any of the "content producers."
Although it's a bad market for everybody, especially media, there's still a market for local advertising, according to the NY Times:
As pay newspapers lose readers to the Internet, where they can read the same articles without charge, many free papers have held their own.
"The free newspaper business model is still very workable," said David Cohen, a founder of Silicon Valley Community Newspapers, a group of free weeklies south of San Francisco that was sold to Knight Ridder in 2005 and is now owned by MediaNews. "There's a huge readership that wants the local news, and local businesses tend to increase their advertising in bad times because they have to capture people's attention."