Update: This entry has been selected for the second round of the news challenge. A full proposal will follow soon.
We've submitted a second open entry to the Knight Foundation News Challenge for 2010 - 2011. We hope you'll take a look, rate and review the application. This is in the category of sustainability / sustaining the business model for quality journalism. It's called the Platform for Building and Managing an Audience Membership Economy:
There’s a huge disconnect today between the way news organizations try to generate revenue and what their readers want. Splash and interstitial ads, video pre-roll, pop-overs and pop-unders are some of the most annoying Internet revenue models yet publishers seem to be accelerating their use. Sadly, even the New York Times has begun using full-page splash ads. The combined ignorance to the reader’s experience and lack of innovation in the online journalism business model is disappointing.
The core value news organizations have is the monopoly of audience eyeballs that visit their sites on a regular basis for great content. But, revenue from banner advertising isn’t enough to sustain quality journalism. Yet, readers might like to have publishers help them save money, find better, more affordable products and services and keep them up to date on great books and movies. Our project creates a platform that helps news organizations build and manage a marketplace between their readers and businesses that want to reach them. It’s essentially an Internet matchmaking service between news readers and local business.
We’ll provide a platform of tools that allow publishers to build an economy by connecting their audience to companies that want them as customers. Our goal is to diversify the journalism business model beyond display advertising with some new tools. We’ll primarily build three services: A) Membership service with discounts for local businesses, B) Matchmaking system that delivers deals and services via email based on the demographics and requests by readers C) Affiliate management system for an online store, related product links for content and for recurring programs such as book of the month.