The Printed Blog Newspaper Folds

A noble, albeit wasteful, experiment calls it quits.

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But we hardly knew ye. The Printed Blog - the new-media experiment that I wrote about six months ago - has called it quits due to unsteady finances. The blog aggregator newspaper had lofty goals: saving journalism, primarily. But the idea of taking dynamic content from blogs and reducing it into the very static format of a newspaper seemed like a step backwards, not forwards.

Environmentalists were quick to reject the Printed Blog due to waste. During the Printed Blog's lifespan, 80,000 paper copies were handed out, each containing popular content from the same blogs that many members of its target audience already read on their iPhone or Blackberry. The Printed Blog emphasized the tactile experience of reading printed content - but it's safe to say that those who recieve the majority of their news content online don't yearn to turn pages with ink-stained fingers, and that others who prefer to only read news on paper aren't necessarily the right audience for an aggregator of hip local blogs. Of course, if we're going to talk wastefulness, it's only fair to point out that the Printed Blog's total circulation was a drop in the pan compared to major papers like the Washington Post, which distributes more than five million copies per week - but also benefits from decades of branding and reputation.

This is not to kick the Printed Blog while it's down - after all, as the editor said in his farewell letter, "It was humbling to have been so prominently included in the global discussion on the future of journalism and the print media." The Printed Blog was an interesting media experiment, and generated a lot of buzz. But sometimes, a blog is just a blog.


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