Friday, September 29, 2006

Free Newspapers

The Exact Editions platform was designed for use with digital magazines. But there is really no reason why it should not also be used with newsprint. So we have been running trials with a few of the new free newspapers that appear to be mushrooming in the European market. I have also been taking a personal interest in the phenomenon. Six weeks ago I relocated to Florence -- which will become my permanent base -- with regular visits to London. Florence has a thriving competition in the free newspaper arena. There are four daily freesheets.

The one I read most often is nice and short (which suits my rather minimal and slow Italian comprehension); but it is a really excellent newspaper called simply: Il Firenze. It is one of a stable of 13 freesheets from the Italian company Gruppo Grauso. This week they are launching editions for Milan and Rome.

There is a good page of information on the diverse European freesheet market.

P Bakker's list looks pretty comprehensive, though he has not yet caught up with the changing London market. This is the newest entrant in London.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pro Bono

Earlier this week we delivered the pilot issue of a new newspaper for the youth of Rwanda. This has been conceived by the group Never Again International. They have produced the pilot to test the market and to help them raise funds for printing regular issues in the Great Lakes region of Africa:

Clicking on the 'risingvoices' logo takes you to their pilot project.

The publication includes a review of the autobiography of the brave and heroic Canadian soldier, General Romeo Dallaire

Read the review and then read the book! And also the Wikipedia article

We trust that Never Again have success with their project which we are pleased to support.

Back again

It is nearly 6 months since we last posted to this blog. More magazines in our system, more subscribers, more user feedback and we have paid our first revenue shares to participating publishers. Accompanying the growing traffic, steady improvements to the delivery platform.

Perhaps the most important improvement is that the Exact Editions system can now render as clickable urls, email addresses and phone numbers (if they are in international format) that occur in print. This improved interactivity helps readers, but is also very valuable to advertisers through increasing response rates, and to publishers in getting strong data on which clicks work and where.

One of the first magazines to benefit from our improved interactivity was The Green Parent.

Which has some directory pages full of urls.

When our system went live with these clickthroughs, I spent 20 minutes shopping for a new summer shirt. Shopping off the page is straightforward and the clickthroughs are seductive. I have a new hemp shirt to prove it. When explaining our system, we sometimes characterise our pages as 'dumb' JPEGs. The web pages that we deliver are in effect images of the print pages, but with these clickable links the JPEGs are no longer so dumb.