First things first. For anyone who’s not heard of theblogpaper – what is it?
The backbone of theblogpaper consists of a self-regulating web 2.0 community which creates and promotes articles, photos and comments via rating, thus creating a newspaper. theblogpaper.co.uk therefore produces the first user generated newspaper in the UK/London.
Where did the idea come from?
Anton Waldburg came up with the idea during his last year of university. He realised that traditional media is failing to attract the young consumer and is generally going through a period of transition. His idea was to create a sustainable newspaper by young people for young people and additionally benefit from the opportunities the web offers.
Tell me about the launch in September. Sounds exciting.
Our launch in September is indeed very exciting. It is the next big step, we want to push the newspaper from a beta print version with a small circulation of only 10,000 issues to the official version with a circulation of 50,000 issues. Momentarily it is all about selling sufficient ad space to cover all costs in September. This is a tough task, especially with the current situation in the advertising market but we are convinced that we will generate enough advertising partners before the launch.
Will London Evening Standard distributors be giving out theblogpaper? Where?
Yes if everything works according to plan than Evening Standard distributors will give out theblogpaper. The locations are not fully decided yet but we will let the community know asap.
Any plans for distribution outside London?
The plan is definitely to expand this concept nationally and internationally. Yet, we are a niche product, the majority of our readership is made up by a rather specific crowd of students, young creative’s and professionals, etc. There are only a handful of UK cities (such as Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, etc) that have the size and necessary urban niche markets and requirements needed for our product. Internationally the idea is to expand into cities such as Berlin, NY, Paris, etc.
Is it really the death of print journalism?
We do not believe that the death of the print newspaper will come any time soon but we are absolutely aware that industry is going through a profound period of transition. A struggling advertising market (which always lags behind economic recovery) and an increasing number of online substitutes will diminish newspaper circulations in the long run. Especially products like iPads and Kindles will be a tremendous threat to the common print newspaper. Nevertheless, print media has an obvious optical, emotional and sensitive appeal; therefore, in my opinion there is still room for print journalism if they are able to adjust. Meaning that newspapers/magazines have to be more niche (distinctive personality), more interactive, significantly reduce costs, diversify into multiple platforms (such as; online, radio, etc) and probably become a free sheet since younger generations are rather unwilling to pay for print content. In the future it will be very hard to sustain a media company if the majority of the revenue is produced by a print newspaper.
Top tips for anyone thinking of submitting a blog post to theblogpaper?
Important is that we don’t look for exclusive content, we are looking for timeless quality content. The idea is to filter out the best content our community has to offer. Generally the most successful blogs are either controversial blogs or funny blogs. Funny content gets a lot of interest and generally high votes. Controversial content doesn’t get high votes but a lot of comments and people tend to forget that we not only promote and publish the highest rated content but also the articles that received most comments. Generally we always try to push our community to interact with each other. Only interaction makes this concept work.
Can’t live without: coffee, paper, or tweet
I am an absolute coffee maniac without a litre of coffee in the morning my body does not function a bit.