Jim

Check out this new online pub: The Paris | SF

In editor, innovation, News, publisher, startup, venture on April 9, 2009 at 3:09 pm

I ran into Jes Alexander, the publisher of The Paris | SF, in a LinkedIn.com discussion on the future of news. I was intrigued by the format of the model for The Paris, l’Herald de Paris: essentially, a free newspaper online. But built from scratch instead of on the back of an existing print version.

Alexander also runs Irreverent Homemaker, an online magazine.

I can’t tell you how successful these products are or will be, but I’m fascinated that folks are trotting out new online ventures with original content underneath the din of ad revenues plummeting, publication staffs being laid off, newspapers crashing and burning.

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  1. Good news for the industry? Shows we won’t just give up …

  2. The ad revenue will return, and with it paid content writing for professional journalists. Traditionally, an economic down-turn is the best time to start something new. We’ve been doing this for almost 6 months at l’Herald de Paris, and it just keeps growing. The Bay Area needs a reliable print news source .. so The Paris|SF was born. Our plan is to keep growing – into every market that loses its broadsheet media, because people deserve the right to a cohesive, reliable, bias-free print media.

    Newspapers are crashing and burning because they are built on a publication model that is about 600 years old, which is exactly why we started, instead, from scratch. We hope we’re providing a new paradigm for the industry, with our efforts.

  3. We may be pathologically incapable of stopping.

  4. I do think the advertising market is changing in a way that any publication will have difficulty keeping up with. Advertisers seek measurable results, now. They want to pay for performance.

    Which is not entirely unwise, perhaps. So much of what we’ve been selling has been hogwash. Not everything can be a Brand Name; people can only remember so much out of the clutter. What works for Coca-Cola is not necessarily right for that guy who makes Web sites, or the brake and muffler shop.

    So I think you’re going to find more and more businesses that used to advertise in newspapers and magazines looking for other means to sell their wares — even mom-n-pop businesses.

    That said, all advertising is not equal and it does have its place in almost any business’ marketing arsenal. Hopefully, folks will realize this.

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