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What can we learn from the death of the world's first printed blog?

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The good old days

When Karp first announced that he was creating a dead tree newspaper made out of digital ink blog posts, critics were incredulous. The model Karp was proposing, Hamilton Nolan wrote on Gawker, eliminated "all the cost efficiencies of publishing online in the first place." Furthermore, Nolan added, "should you be economically successful via an advertising model, you will instantly generate demands for payment from your unpaid blogger content providers." Damned if you do, in other words, and... damned if you do.

Furthermore, although Karp understood what made blogs fun to read, he overestimated how exciting it would be to read a 13-hour-old post on a White Sox game. If it's true that newspapers are dying because there aren't quick enough, wouldn't the same be true of The Printed Blog, even if the content originally started life as a snappily-written post?

Print is dead, right?

And then there was the timing: These are very, very bad days for the publishing business. Well-funded magazines such as Portfolio are folding; dozens of newspapers have shuttered or cut back on their print operations. In February, The Rocky Mountain News, the oldest newspaper in Colorado, ceased printing, and in March, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer shut its presses.

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