Friday, 25 September 2009

Theblogpaper - 'user generated news' launches in London

Theblogpaper has launched in London today - a print aggregration of blog posts under the strapline 'user generated news.'

theblogpaper front pageThe blogpaper front page (click for larger image)

Charles has been arguing for a while that the future of the internet is print and I seem to be seeing the word 'transmedia' more often. Theblogpaper fuses online, community and traditional print publishing and is good example of this idea of content flowing across multiple media platforms.

The principle of theblogpaper is that users submit blog posts to and the online blogpaper community vote for which posts should then be featured in the print version. A graphic explains this on page 2 of theblogpaper today. (Also Laurence interviewed the founders a while back - see her post here.)

theblogpaper page 2 graphictheblogpaper page 2 - graphic and letter explaining the mechanics of the paper (click for larger image)

The letter underneath the graphic on page 2 reads:

"Hello there

Theblogpaper is the first user generated newspaper in the UK. The concept is pretty straightforward; we give YOU the power to upload and decide what you want to see in the newspaper. It's all down to you!

The newspaper is based on a website called, which allows bloggers, students, citizen journalists, young professionals, artists, photographers and any other content creator to upload photos and articles into our different categories. The online community can then rate, discuss and comment on each item. The highest rated and most discussed items of these during the week will be promoted to the printed version of the newspaper and then distributed all around London. The idea is to filter out the most interesting content. Our community is open to anyone who is interested in expressing and sharing his / her critical opinion.

How can you join?
The whole process is very simple. First become a member online at and upload your articles, photos etc. Next take a look at other people's content on the site where you can either "start discussions" on the specific topics raised or just rate and post comments. Enjoy!"

theblogpaper cover articleCover featured post - 'the rocking horse' (click for larger image)

theblogpaper back pagethe outside back cover (click for larger image)

The paper is divided into categories featuring politics, design, world news, environment, technology etc. No signs of advertising in the first issue, but there could be opportunities to do something different - rather than rely on traditional display ads maybe a print version of Digg's 'Sponsored Ads' could be interesting with brands paying to have posts featured? (A new take on the traditional advertorial?)

The interesting thing with theblogpaper is that the approach is different to normal newspapers. If theblogpaper can harness The Conversation then people will start to seek out the paper - rather than relying on newsagent distribution or people on the street pushing the product into people's hands, theblogpaper may actually be something people look for.

If everyone published discusses theblogpaper on their blogs / Twitter, if people start encouraging friends to vote to help get their articles in print etc then this could be very interesting. I don't think this can work without ad revenue, but if theblogpaper can become an established part of The Conversation then advertisers could be forced to take note.

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