One of my favorites in my collection historic newspapers is the one that tells of the death of President Lyndon B. Johnson, Jan. 23, 1973.
It’s not that I celebrated LBJ’s demise, but I’m interested that the tragedy obscured the most significant news of the previous day: the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion and influenced politics and culture in the United States for the 36 years since.
In the same way, the recent news of the death of yet another newspaper, the Ann Arbor News, might have obscured the more important news of a significant web-focused community news organization, AnnArbor.com.
As Jeff Jarvis notes, the blog approach of AnnArbor.com also includes a different approach to advertising. I don’t know how well this will work, but I do know that news sites desperately need a new approach to advertising (and, as I’ve noted before, an approach that goes beyond advertising).
Rather than blaring at you from banners and buttons, ads run as blog entries along with news stories, though differentiated from news content with a clear “deals” label. Click the headline for a “deals” entry and you go into a blog post telling you more about that business. This approach has great potential to become a place for businesses to use video and interactive media to engage more deeply with potential customers. And if the AnnArbor.com can move beyond advertising and start conducting actual transactions for businesses — selling products and services, making reservations — this will truly be big news.
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