Last week, a friend gave me a heads up about a new publication called The Printed Blog being distributed for free at El stations around Chicago (also in San Francisco). Intrigued, I poked around and found this NY Times article diving into further details.
The Printed Blog site states the following:
As our society moves towards individualized information, The Printed Blog has the courage to respect our readers. We recognize the value of what individuals have to say, we publish the information they create, and provide them with the information they demand.
The concept is pretty simple but also quite revolutionary. Founder and Publisher Josh Karp has created a free publication solely comprised of blog posts and user-generated content. Eventually, the goal is to print the publication twice a day and distribute to 1,000 readers. The key is that editions will continue to grow and evolve with highly localized, targeted content based on the input of each geographic community of readers.
Currently, 300 bloggers have given Karp pemission to reprint their posts from which Printed Blog editors choose what makes the cut. The model seems ambitious, creative and well-suited for current trends that find us all thriving on our niche interests and sources of information on the Web.
I’m curious to see how The Printed Blog fares in terms of content. As noted in this U.S. News & World Report post as well as in Steve Johnson’s post, the content of the first edition focuses heavily on sex and sensationalism with a very light touch of news. Potential competitor RedEye has always gotten it right by providing a mix of aggregated news and entertainment to help balance interest amongst the 25-40 demographic. It will be interesting to see how the The Printed Blog adapts it’s content with future editions.
In any case, I can only hope Mr. Karp will be making his way over to this Feb. 22 forum that is devoted to pulling together Chicago journalists to open up a very real discussion about the next step for media outlets.
Regardless of whether you favor or dislike this model of journalism, you have to admit – Mr. Karp is taking community response to another level and trying a new model of journalism. It might not be spot on at the moment, but it’s a push for adapting to the changing news landscape and that’s commendable in my book.