About Me

  • I'm CEO of Newspeg.com, a social news-sharing platform. I've spent 20 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. You can read more about me here.

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« Part 1: The Chasm | Main | Interlude: The Cleveland Kerfuffle »

November 07, 2007


Dave Mastio

Newspaper web sites seem to just sit there never changing very much. The one thing you didn't mention is that when they do something interesting, they never seem to manage to trumpet it very much or what gets trumpeted is so unbelievably not innovative it makes you smack your head (the NYTs adding comments to stories for instance)


Dave Mastio wrote, "so unbelievably not innovative it makes you smack your head (the NYTs adding comments to stories for instance)."

They wouldn't even be doing that much if they weren't terrified by the impending death of print.

Joshua Hatch


Do you think the MinnPost.com model of distributable PDFs that users can print out can work? Will it? I'm curious about your thoughts on it as a business model and its chances for success.

Mark Potts

Joshua: Thanks for the comment. I haven't dug deeply into MinnPost, though I had concerns about the sustainability of their business model when they first announced their plans (http://recoveringjournalist.typepad.com/recovering_journalist/2007/08/it-takes-more-t.html), and I haven't really seen anything to change that. The product looks fine, but very, very conventional, not really using the medium well--a newspaper mentality translated to the Web. (The missed opportunity there for citizen participation and contributions is glaring.)

As for PDF editions--that's hardly an original idea, and I'm not aware of it ever really working for anybody. Several papers have trumpeted PDF editions over the years and then quietly dropped them for lack of interest. MinnPost would be better off putting its resources into mobile distribution or a Facebook widget.

It's not fair, for many reasons, to judge a new product as ambitious as MinnPost just a few days after launch--as it evolves, it may get much better, or at least different, or it may run out of steam. So far, I think it's a noble effort, but it's not ambitious or innovative enough. And it probably needs a more sustainable business model.


I barely notice adverts on teh internet. I don't think i notice them at all. Is everyone else the same? If so, we should be worried...

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