Bringing Online Print Offline

NewspaperNewspapers and physical forms of reading material have been around for centuries, and I am sure that there are many people that still base their morning routine on a cup of coffee accompanied with the local newspaper.

However, with more and more people logging on to the web from virtually anywhere (I actually logged on at my local laundromat last week) and more and more newspaper and print companies striving to convert to online versions and cut their age old print deliveries, are the days of daily printed newspapers and magazines moving behind us?

Image: Honey, You’re Always Reading that Paper by Randy Son of Robert

Well, there is one company that is trying to do just the opposite, and still finds the thought of reading a physical form of reading material pleasurable. Therefore, they are trying to bring interesting, user-generated content offline.

The Printed Blog is an independent media outlet, founded by Joshua Karp, that plans to publish twice daily via print. Content is entirely based on reader’s votes and their geographic location.

The Printed Blog’s plan is to, as opposed to the “one-size-fits-all” newsprint model, print hundreds, and eventually thousands of decidedly localized editions that are based on what a community decides is the most important to them.

The papers will be distributed to neighborhood pickup points in A.M. and P.M. editions, in hopes to create reader comments with a rapid turnaround and a paper that functions like a news or web feed. They have tapped into the world of social media networking and web-based syndications to obtain “brilliant bloggers that have revolutionized collective media” as their editorial department.

You can submit content right online at their site, or sign up to advertise in the free publication. The Printed Blog hopes to reach advertisers who may need to, or can spend less in order to reach their targeted local audience. Advertisements run from about ($15-$25), and they plan to also host classified ads.

Debut for The Printed Blog is scheduled for January 27, 2009, at two locations in Chicago at Lincoln and Wicker Parks, in addition to one location in San Francisco. A New York edition is also due out in the near future.

Will this “little-engine-that-could” form of print stay afloat among the sea of online newspapers and magazines? We shall see, but I do find it refreshing, as a former newspaper employee, that someone is fighting to hold on to the paper tradition.