Reverse publishing from MinnPost

MinnPost in Print

An update and an idea from MinnPost:

Two people interviewed Joel Kramer of MinnPost in December. MinnPost is a nonprofit online newspaper startup that launched in late fall.

The most interesting idea from the interviews, I found, was creating Partners in Print, described by Kramer as “organizations that agree to print at least 10 copies a day of MinnPost in print and distribute them free to customers and/or employees.” In the Dec. 11 interview with Dave Kaufman, Kramer said Minnpost had 10 partners. Less than a month later, the website lists 54 partners, including coffee shops and government and academic institutions.

The print version is designed for eight 8.5 x 11 pages, in newspaper format, using InDesign, and available through the website in .pdf format in black and white or color. If a partner agrees to print more than 250 copies, the partner gets a message on the front page. All partners get their names on the website. I’d go a step further, and give them free, unobtrusive (read: not pop-up), well-designed display ads on the site.

The Dec. 4 interview with Kramer, from Bob Ingrassia at the State of Local, deals mostly in numbers. An interesting Kramer quote: “Biggest surprise is how many people are reading the site on the weekend – more than 8,000 page views almost every weekend day, even though we’re not publishing new content on the weekend. I guess busy people are using the weekend to catch up on all the stories we published during the week.”

Sidenote: Early East Coast time after the Iowa caucuses, MinnPost’s lead political story was an analysis saying McCain was still hopeful. If site editors decided they would not try to compete with live caucus coverage, perhaps a link to live quality coverage elsewhere would have been useful for readers.

More background on MinnPost:
At Global Vue.
At Content Bridges by Ken Doctor.
At MinnPost’s “About” page.

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2 responses to “Reverse publishing from MinnPost

  1. Thanks for noticing our article about MinnPost. One thing to note, there was a slight delay in the filing of that post from the interview date. My information came from a 11/14 interview with Joel Kramer and then he updated me on 12/11 with the 10 “Partners in Print”. I think once local businesses saw how easy it was to support MinnPost, they jumped on board.

    Joel is a really great interviewer, probably being in the business himself for so long. If they continue at their current pace I think they will have a bright future.

    As for the Iowa caucuses point, you bring up a great point. And maybe they would be better served to plan around events and write articles in advance that cover the event if not the outcome. Then they could link to the outcome locations.

  2. Overdue update: Minnpost dropped the Partners in Print idea in February, because advertisers clearly preferred online. More here: http://snurl.com/28sl5

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