The Printed Blog, a company founded to take blogs, print them and deliver them in newspaper format, has shut down due to lack of capital. This New York Times story explains that Joshua Karp, the company’s founder, simply could not raise enough capital to keep the business afloat. The company only lasted a little over 6 months.
Here is a quote from Mr. Karp that gives you a notion of where his idea came from.
“I thought maybe this would translate into a new, venture-funded model for newspapers, but no one believes print news will survive. If I had a penny left, I would bet newspapers will survive in printed form.”
In my opinion, this is a very basic misunderstanding of why blogs are so popular, and why print media is dying. This “printed blog” idea seems to assume that the content of blogs is better than the content of newspapers, and that the format of newspapers is better than the format of blogs. When, in fact, I think we all know that it is exactly the opposite from that.
In most situations, the content of newspaper articles is better than the content of most blogs. But it is the blog format that makes it so appealing. It is immediate, breaking news and information that would take a whole day to be printed and distributed in newspaper form.
So Mr. Karp, it is not that we love blogs so much but wish they were printed and handed out the next day, its that we love getting our information quickly and easily on our computer or cell phone. It surprises me that the basic principal of printing a blog post was ever approved and thought to be a good business venture.
If you are looking to save the printing industry, look elsewhere. If you are looking to start a company that takes the current printing industry and moves it forward, I don’t think you are going to find the answers in “print” form. We don’t have time to wait for printed material anymore.