Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Interview: Joshua Karp, Founder and Publisher: The Printed Blog

Nicholas Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 15 years. He is the Digital Strategy Lead and founder of Chicago-based digital marketing firm lonelybrand, where he directs the creation and execution of digital marketing programs that generate measurable signups, conversions and sales.

Today I had the opportunity to interview Joshua Karp, Founder and Publisher of The Printed Blog. His unique business model brings online content offline and places it in the hands of urbanites in Chicago, San Francisco, and soon New York City.

Mr. Karp took time to answer some general questions as well as some specific questons asked by @ADMAVEN followers on Twitter. All answers are paraphrased unless indicated with quotations.

What is The Printed Blog?
The Printed Blog (TPB) is a print publication in newspaper format that pulls articles written by bloggers and found first on the internet. Mr. Karp has a very robust business model. Five years from now he envisions TBP in cities and towns the world over, printing content voted relevant by locals.

Where can I find The Printed Blog Today?
You can download the first issue PDF here, but the best way to read The Printed Blog is, of course, in print! Check out the Chicago distribution locations here. Today TPB is also available in San Francisco and New York City (NYC starting Feb. 11th).

It must have taken a lot of courage to bring social media into what many consider a dying medium, especially during a recession. Why did you do it?
"Honestly I hope the medium doesn't go away. The tactile feeling of paper in your hands is an important and enjoyable experience. The internet is for exploring information, physical paper is for consuming it. I really wanted to create a different experience by providing local and relevant content to the people who care about it."

In addition, Josh notes that print will be around for the forseeable future in less prosperous urban centers around the world, where a majority of the earth's population currently resides.

@crenk asks via Twitter, "How is TBP going to make money?"
"Advertising and classified ads. We have an incredibly targeted system of advertising that places ads specific to neighborhoods at a fraction of the cost of mainstream media, starting between $15.00 and $25.00."

Of note is TPB's focus on local content and advertising. The physcial community dictates what is printed. With twice daily circulation, TBP will stay fresh and local. I can easily see people swapping papers during the commute and peering into another Chicago neighborhood. Local businesess make up the current cadre of paid advertisements.

How do you think more traditional newspapers will change in 2009?
"It’s a possibility. I don’t really know whats going to happen. What I wanted to do was create a dialogue on the topic. I am trying to build a business here so I'm hoping the Tribune doesn’t announce a similar program tomorrow."

You are a big advocate of social media. How has the online response been to The Printed Blog thus far?
"I'm completely thrilled and blown away by it. In a span of two weeks we have 1083 people following us on Twitter and the Facebook group just passed the thousand person mark now. The social networks are a big way for us to track content."

@venndiagram8 asks via Twitter, "Let's see..... could it have printed "bar codes" for urls so you could aim your phone at it and connect with the URL to read more?"
"You know just today I was contacted by a Chicago based startup that does that exact thing. The answer is I think we are exactly the kind of market for those companies. Yes. We are certainly open, but right now we are trying to get our act together for issue 2!"

@adrielhampton asks via Twitter, "“Will you make me a SF media superstar again, Printed Blog?”
"Send an email. Currently we are getting about a submission every minute. Over a thousand articles have been submitted for the second issue. Topics for each issue are chosen by our staff and then articles are selected. The first issue's theme was "new beginnings", but the execution was rocky. In the near future, The Printed Blog articles will be based on votes from social media outlets. Very very local content even differing by neighborhood."

That does it for now folks. A special thanks to Joshua Karp for taking time out of his very busy schedule to answer questions from ADMAVEN and it's readers! Additional resources about The Printed Blog will be updated below as they come online.


The Printed Blog official website

TPB Facebook Group

TPB Twitter Simon Owens article: Can 'The Printed Blog' Succeed with Blogs in Newspaper Form?


> Book Review: The Nature of Marketing: Marketing to the Swarm as well as the Herd by Chuck Brymer

> Toyota Why Not? Proves Unwieldy, Overly Complicated

> ADMAVEN's 2009 Advertising Predictions
blog comments powered by Disqus