Saturday, February 25, 2012

Boston newspaper eschews the Net -- and it pays

Meet the Boston Courant, a weekly of 40,000 readers and rising, one that is profitable and filled with advertising.

What doesn't it have: a website.

Nor does it have a Twitter feed, a Facebook page or anything else to do with the Internet.

It's not that publisher David Jacobs doesn't appreciate the Internet, Nieman Reports says, it's just that it doesn't seem to make business sense to him. To paraphrase, the current business model ain't broke, so why fix it? Jacobs is not alone in eschewing the Internet; many other weeklies aren't on the web. But he has spent more than $50,000 designing a web page (eight years ago), but just doesn't see the business model that would make exchanging his current system for a digital one work.

With paywalls thudding down all around, maybe he's right.

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