Saturday, May 2, 2009

Versioned Newspapers. A Sales Opportunity. + How Textbooks will be reininvented.

One my favorite bloggers has been missing for the last couple of weeks. This morning he posted this:

Wow. My poor neglected blog has one post from the month of April. If you’ve been wondering where I was, wonder no more. I’ve been launching Columbia Tomorrow, a context-rich website on growth and development in Columbia, Mo

Then I followed the links and got to this:

Columbia Tomorrow is a product of the Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Missouri School of Journalism. We wanted to serve residents of Columbia with a new type of news site — one that emphasizes not just the latest headlines, but how those headlines fit together into a larger story. To create this site, students and editors from the Missourian, KOMU and RJI spent months researching, reporting, storyboarding, writing, coding, shooting and producing all the content you see here.

In many ways, this is an experiment — one of many to come out of an innovative university — so we ask you to pardon our dust, and to send us your thoughts on how we can improve. But we hope this can also be a service of enduring value to you and the Columbia community.

Then I went back to the blog, and said this:

Just to get on your radar, Consider the results of outputting topics in Print for the local high school teachers. Teachers go to the site, choose the topics they want for their class. Three days later they get 30 paperbacks to give the kids. The kids use highlighters for the interesting and confusing stuff. The teacher collects the books to base instruction and as evidence that the kids did what they were supposed to do.

Trust me. The print tech is well defined and pretty easy to implement. I would be very happy to volunteer with some online PM and mentoring as long as there is an evangelist on the ground. The potential upside is that the newspaper might find a new market in a weekly reader on steroids that is focused on local economic development. Supported by ads from non profits, health organizations and government public service announcements.

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