About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« The Revolution Will Not Be Printed | Main | Snow Job »

December 18, 2006


Andy Vogel

Mark, we ran into this a lot when I was at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel with our free PackerPlus site and paid subscriber site, PackerInsider.com.

When there are no registration, or other walls people will go out of bounds more often than not.

We created a call-in number for fan "rants and raves" that required a ton of editing before we put up the podcast. However, the reading and listening audiences won because it was more compelling and passionate content. That's what I believe newspapers are missing. The close contact of allowing comments just simply doesn't fit their world view.

And, just like in the Arizona Daily Star example, ultimately it was a publisher decision to depart from that feature.

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