Editor's Note

Altered States

By Tim Whitaker
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 5 | Posted Jun. 4, 2008

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Out of the box: Alt-weeklies must position themselves between print and Web to survive in a new-media world.

People who work at publications like this one are convening here this week for the annual alternative newspaper convention.

There'll be seminars, speakers, awards and lots of shoptalk. By the final night of the convention some sales dog from Phoenix or Vegas or one of those faux cities will end up with his picture on Flickr wearing a lampshade.

It beats ending up at the Roundhouse.

Our crosstown City Paper friends are the hosts for the convention, which runs through Saturday.

Nice guys, the CP folks. Nicer than we are, for sure, since they're the ones hosting this shing-a-ling.

We are throwing a bowling night (rented shoes included). So we're good for something.


In any event, welcome!

We've got just two suggestions for you while you're here.

First, Saturday's the Roots Picnic, which you can read about in our paper this week. Snag a ticket if you can. It'll be way more fun than the "energize your databases" seminar your boss wants you to go to.

We also recommend stopping by the Pen & Pencil Club, which is located in an alley called Latimer in the heart of the city (we've got a lot of alleys, part of our charm, best explored by daylight).

The P&P is seriously lo-fi in design, but the food ain't bad, the beer is cheap, and late night--seriously late night--the conversation can turn wickedly weird.

At the bar you'll find a local restaurant staffer who just finished a five-hour shift serving apple martinis sitting next to a guy who's been on the same stool since '81 talking nonstop about the Inquirer and Gene Roberts and the Pulitzers of yore. It's quite the mashup. You'll dig it.


And really, who among us in this business couldn't use a round or three of drinks?

Things have been a bit challenging of late.

You may have heard.

You don't need to read a newspaper to know more than is necessary about the great print-to-Web migration, or be much of an analyst to know there'll be no reversal of that trend.

If you work in publishing, you have a choice: You can belly up at the P&P and wax nostalgic for the days when people used to read, or you can create reasons for people to go to your website.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 5 of 5
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1. Ed Sherman said... on Jun 5, 2008 at 05:54AM

“Alison True must be drinking the Creative Loafing Kool-Aid. As a a Chicagoan, I know the Reader is not "producing more content than ever.” It is a fraction of its former size, and the overall quality has declined.”

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2. Ed Sherman said... on Jun 5, 2008 at 07:41AM

“Hey Ed-- Maybe you're not one of our readers on the Web. Our blogs are chock-full of exciting reporting that we don't put in the paper. For what it's worth I don't think I'd have said "We need to rediscover that formula--to remember why we got into this"--because we haven't forgotten. What I meant, if I didn't say it this way, is that the industry is redeveloping that formula for the Web.”

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3. Alison True said... on Jun 5, 2008 at 08:41AM

“Hey Ed-- Maybe you're not one of our readers on the Web. Our blogs are chock-full of exciting reporting that we don't put in the paper. For what it's worth I don't think I'd have said "We need to rediscover that formula—to remember why we got into this”--because we haven't forgotten. What I meant, if I didn't say it this way, is that the industry is redeveloping that formula for the Web.”

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4. THE MAN said... on Jun 5, 2008 at 09:02AM

“Dude this article sucks...The reason alt-weeklies are in trouble is because of blowhard prognosticating and cute writing getting in the way of facts. Face facts, nobody cares what you have to say. Just give me the facts and get out of the way. If I was looking for "style" i'll read the new yorker, not the rambling musings of alt-weekly guy. You want to survive, give me better service. As everything becomes generic, become MORE local. Be the authority on the city your covering. But for God's sake be brief.”

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5. Wow said... on Jan 27, 2010 at 12:59AM


I can't believe Alison True's post -- no wonder the Reader's declined. She's an idiot.

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