By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

A business model of sorts

Is this promising? Several alert readers sent me the link to Walter Mossberg’s column on True/Slant, which is a nascent community aimed at bringing journalists and non-journalists together.

I didn’t have time to spend more than a few minutes on the site, and I couldn’t really make heads or tails of it. Not good. I should be able to get it immediately.

As best as I can tell, True/Slant is a way for journalists to set up their own sites, do reporting, point to good stuff, interact with readers and sell advertising. In other words, it’s a way for them to start blogs. Am I missing something? How is this significantly different from Blogger or WordPress.org?

True/Slant founder Lewis Dvorkin writes:

As digital journalism rapidly evolves, this is top most on my mind: How can True/Slant combine the values and standards of the great news organizations that served the public interest so well for so long with the dynamic nature and interactivity of the digital world?

How indeed. Anyway, True/Slant is in “alpha” mode, so maybe it will become more interesting as it evolves.

Update: Dan Frommer of Silicon Alley Insider is unimpressed. (Via Romenesko.)

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3 Comments

  1. endangered coffee

    so far, looks very 1996. Good luck and hope someone can make something work.

  2. $!#

    A “journalists only” website that gets high impression volume has the opportunity to charge a premium for ads, compared to any old blog site. But in general, the eyeball aggregation game is a pretty tough market to compete in.

  3. Hello, Dan. Your piece here came up in a recent search. Now that TrueSlant.com has been live to the public for 6 months, and now with a moment to breathe, I’d be interested to hear if you’ve had the chance to spend any more time with the site.

    I’d be especially interested in what was confusing in April (re “could not make heads or tails of it”) and if there have been any improvements since.

    Briefly regarding “How is this significantly different from” other blogging sites, one core difference remains as Lewis described: we’ve been working to bring “the values and standards of the great news organizations” to blogging. The difference is more in the processes, approach and expectations than anything else; could the same goals have been achieved by individual journalists, professionals and academics on Blogger.com or WordPress.com? They could have, but we’ve built these into our platform and model and we recruit Contributors who believe in those goals.

    Since launching to the public April 9, we’ve brought on more than 200 Contributors. We’re closing October with more than 800,000 unique visitors and nearly 2 million page views. None of that traffic is bought, and the majority of it is referrals from other great blogs and sites who are citing Contributors.

    Thanks for your time, and I’d appreciate any feedback when you have time for a second look.

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