Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 03/30/2007 - 12:33.

Read here about a novel newspaper concept.  Called BOSTON NOW, it will be a free paper which gets its content from local bloggers.  Circulation will start at 150,000.  Bloggers will not be paid to start – but will get their material out to a larger audience than just their blog might hit. Eventually – in six months or so – the publisher intends to begin to pay blog contributors in some manner.   The paper will carry full stories or snips of the blogs, with the idea being that if a particular blog topic grabs you, you can later go on line and read the entire article.


How do you think this idea would work in Cleveland?  What if BrewedFreshDaily, Realneo, University Circle Blog, GCBL, CuyahogaCountyPlanning, NRA(just kidding - but it will be up to the editor), Port Authority and other blogs had a daily print presence?  For a very comprehensive list of local blogs go to Cleveland vs The World and check out the blogroll on the RH column.   Taking topics from the blogs on this list and printing them daily would make a pretty interesting read.  Think enough people would pick up a free paper to generate enough ad revenue to pay for the printing of the paper with a little money left over to pay staff, etc?


The print concept does provide a means for distributing web content to those on the other side of the digital divide – and the idea also attempts to maximize the efficacy of the human effort which goes into blogs   by taking material that is already written – and distributing it to more people.  What’s wrong with that?


This free paper idea will work better in Boston  (if it works at all- there are many with  reservations)  than it would in Cleveland because there are more public transportation riders in Boston than in Cleveland - the free paper give-a-way is concentrated around  bus and subway stops and coffee stores.  People need to get out of their cars – before they get to work – to pick up a free paper.

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Not surprised to see this rising in land of the Phoenix

Alternative newspapers are some of the most important intellectual outlets and economic development engines in America - everywhere I have lved and visited around America (and Canada) the first thing I look for is their real community newspaper - in New Orleans we have Gambit, in Austin the Chronicle, San Francisco has the Bay Guardian and Weekly, Miami has the New Times, Toronto has NOW, and Cleveland has Scene and Free Times... and the Lakewood Observer is transforming life and news in Lakewood... I consider these more important than the chain newspapers. One of the most developed such newspapers is the Boston Phoenix, so I am not surprised to see another innovative approach to news coming out of that unique corner of America - keep us posted on how this comes together... is there a URL and name for this Boston innovation?

Disrupt IT

Same comment - different context

I just posted to a string about the Breuer building on something that fits here - and the interconnectedness is what is most important. See the other posting here - read the shared comment below:

Submitted by Norm Roulet on March 31, 2007 - 2:05am.

You got it, Susan - we need to activate and empower an army of well supported citizen journalists and the content they creat needs to be every where - good technology and print. And the community needs to interact with that with things like making sure everything is on the calendar, and people are getting organized - carpooling - and it is all right. We can do that with a combination of the technology power we are building and the publishing power the founder of the Lakewood Observer has developed. I've been talking to him and suddenly realized we can work together to bring realneo and lots of other bloggers to print, and pay - see

Disrupt IT

Advertising sales personality needed

Thank you for including University Circle Blog among the blogs that might have something worth while for a larger audience.

A big part of a newspaper's creditability is advertising. Unfortunately advertising can also turn a newspaper into a commercial slave. A newspaper is very tricky and very money intensive to be published and distributed. To be possible and effective a newspaper requires enough monetary mass even if the writers are not paid.

I sometimes wonder why Cool Cleveland hasn't really taken in substantial advertising. While Brewed Fresh Daily has display ads, CC does not. Both have few ads. While I've both edited for publications and sold advertising for them, generally editors are not advertising sales people. It takes a specific mindset to call and call and call repeating a pitch over and over and over. I've done this succesfully for causes I believe in and for a short while sold magazine subscriptions (with a fraction of the proceeds going to the Special Olympics) for Dial America, until my cummerbund became too tight around my waist. While I can sell, I'd rather write.

I'm going to watch Boston Now as much as can be done from afar. I'm curious to see how they organize it to suit more general readers instead of activists, and how they organize their advertising online and in print. My interest in PHP and Drupal stems out of my interest in how to place advertising online. Online advertising is a trick that still alludes almost all newspapers.

Thank you for introducing RealNEO readers to Boston Now.