SHOCKER: Printing Blogs Proves To Be Poor Business


Printed online media is dead.

After printing 80,000 physical copies of 16 issues full of blog posts from the Internet at a cost of $15,000, startup newspaper The Printed Blog will shutter six months after it launched.

The company’s founder Joshua Karp says he couldn’t find any funding for his idea.

Here’s his letter announcing the sad news.


It is with great sadness that I must report that, due to a lack of outside investment capital, The Printed Blog is ceasing publication.

Despite a significant personal investment on my part, and the additional support of six or seven credit cards, we were unable to raise the minimum amount of money required to reach the next stage of our development. This was a difficult decision for us, but the financial reality of the situation demanded that we suspend further publication immediately, and indefinitely.

Last year, I had an idea. I wondered what would happen if some of the business model principles that work online were applied to the troubled newspaper industry. The more I thought about it, the more the curiosity got to me. So I registered a domain name, developed an action plan, and started the process of building a new kind of newsprint publication.

Everyone said I was nuts, but I did it anyway.

16 issues, 80,000 print copies distributed, another 100,000 or so copies downloaded, and countless new friends, fans, and collaborators all around the world later, I may still be nuts, but I have zero regrets.

Creating a new breed of newsprint publication from scratch was an amazing experience, and it was humbling to have been so prominently included in the global discussion on the future of journalism and the print media.

I’m disappointed, to be sure, but also looking forward to the future. I believe the next few years will be among the most exciting times in the history of journalism. The industry’s landscape is on the verge of major change, and when redefined, it will look a lot different than it does today. It will also function considerably better.

The wheels are already in motion – from aspiring startup companies like ours to specially designated departments operating within the largest media corporations… the future of news is taking shape as we speak. These are definitely exciting times.

I won’t revisit our countless accomplishments here. Suffice it to say we achieved more than anyone thought we would – for two very good reasons. First, for how “crazy” it was, the concept of The Printed Blog proved to have exceptional merit. It won’t surprise me at all to find some of our ideas strategically implemented elsewhere in the months ahead, as I suspect our relatively short run will have some long-term effect on the evolution of newsprint.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, we got as far as we did because of the dedication and support of the community we created. Part one of the two-part blog post below thanks the many individuals who made our launch and early successes possible. We enjoyed tremendous participation from countless contributors and collaborators from day one, and for their support I will be forever grateful. Part two of the attached blog post offers some words of wisdom based on the lessons we learned along the way.

I’ve been contacted a dozen times over the past 6 months concerning granting a licence for or entering into another type of partnership with The Printed Blog. At this point, I’ll do my best to help anyone who can make use of the work we did… just drop me a line.

As for what’s next for me, I’m not exactly sure. I could help transform a traditional media company, such as Tribune Corp., Playboy or The New York Times. If an investment banker would like to buy the Sun-Times Media Group and hand me the keys, I have a plan to turn them around into a new media powerhouse. I’m interested in things that Google is doing, and Microsoft… maybe a venture capitalist needs someone to help a troubled startup meet some complex objective.

If you would like to stay in touch, please add me as a friend on Facebook or follow me on Twitter.

Thank you very much!

Founder and Publisher
The Printed Blog

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