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Everyone knows the newspaper industry is having a rough time lately. Between the economic climate, advertisers drying up and content increasingly going online, it's getting more and more difficult for a local paper to sustain itself. Covering the expensive costs of writing, printing and delivering paper editions has put a few papers out of business. A site called Newspaper Death Watch is even “chronicling the decline of newspapers”. We got wind this week that Denver residents are taking a stand for the local paper holding a candlelight vigil for the Rocky Mountain News, the city's 150-year-old paper.
Newspapers will survive in one form or another. Recently we ran across a very unique approach from The Printed Blog. But regardless of what emerges, neighborhood businesses and local residents are increasingly moving their “voice” online.
Only a few years ago, the local paper was the only place you could find hyper-local happenings. What everyone who loves neighborhoods agrees on is that those business and residents need a platform – to communicate and to stay in the loop.
We believe that the future isn't one monolithic media source. It will be many, smaller sources. Do you own a restaurant? You better participate in Yelp. A live music venue? MySpace. You want to offer Wi-Fi? SkyBlox. Instead of one ad for $500 per month in one local paper, local businesses will increasingly pay smaller amounts across a number of platforms. Or use their free offerings.
These methods are the best ways to reach the mobile, higher-demographic customers that every business desires.
We'll miss the weekend paper and cup of coffee as much as anyone.