This is what it’s come to. Newspapers containing the content of blogs. The Printed Blog purports this to be revolutionary. I must ask why? One of the most compelling things about blogs is the fluidity of being on the Web. This allows people to interact with the author and the material being discussed.
I’m similarly intrigued by the large button on their home page advertising the downloadable version of the paper. So let me get this straight: First, you grab stories from blogs. I don’t get to choose, interact, follow links, or comment. Then I get to download this static/frozen content in the form of a PDF. What’s inconvenient about the Web? Or are you hoping I’ll print this out, consuming paper and ink resources that would be saved if I read it online? This had better be more than a weak ploy to get advertising space.
Look, trying to turn newspapers into Web sites isn’t going to save them. Making them “more portable” isn’t going to save them. At this point, I doubt anything will. People prefer getting their stories from billions of sources rather than one. For better or worse, the trend is clear. There may be something to the localization and usage of the free newspaper model, which seems to be the only viable paper medium moving forward, but I don’t see this one going very far. The logistics of paper printing will never match the velocity of the Web. Never.
I can’t let them get away with one more faux pas. In the screenshot below, which was pulled from their home page, they’ve incorrectly used the word, “comprised.” It should be “newspaper comprising entirely blogs…,” though that’s pretty awkward anyway. Perhaps the only way to save newspapers is to make them as insensitive to grammar rules as many blogs.