From my print days.
I’ve thought about this before, but the logistics seem daunting. You can print and distribute blog posts as a newspaper. Print is dying in the West, but it is still pretty powerful in the developing world. Internet is still non-competitive in the Third World because not enough people have access. Print media can still travel to more poor, rural people and reach more eyeballs. This article discusses an interesting bridge between the two – republishing blog posts in print media and distributing on the ground.
The Printed Blog, a Chicago start-up, plans to reprint blog posts on regular paper, surrounded by local ads, and distribute the publications free in big cities.
â€œWe are trying to be the first daily newspaper comprised entirely of blogs and other user-generated content,â€ he said. â€œThere were so many techniques that Iâ€™ve seen working online that maybe I could apply to the print industry.â€
The Printed Blog will publish blog posts alongside other Weblike content, like user-submitted photographs and readersâ€™ 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.
Advertising remains printâ€™s one great advantage over Web publications: advertisers will pay much more for print ads than for online ones. Mr. Karp aims to sell 200 ads an issue. The Printed Blog will charge $5 to $10 for classifieds and $15 to $25 for business ads that reach 1,000 readers.
Mr. Karp expects that each issue, to be distributed twice a day to 1,000 people, will eventually have enough ads to earn a profit of $750 to $1,500 a week. (In comparison, Mr. Cohen said that a typical weekly edition of one of the free Silicon Valley papers that reached about 20,000 people would cost about $10,000 to produce, with an operating profit margin of 11 percent to 15 percent.)
Of course, JPG Magazine was based on a similar user-generated model and it recently failed.
In my experience it’s distribution and not cost that makes or breaks any magazine. So, time will tell. In Sri Lanka I think the best upscale distribution is what Harpo’s has been doing, distributing mags with pizzas. Outstation the best distribution is for Kit and other prepaid cards, but people make real money on those. I’ve also heard that Lion Beer has an impressive network.