Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine has singled out Seven Days in a post he made about alt. weeklies and Craigslist. Mostly, I think Jarvis is right when he talks about the way alt. weeklies are approaching Craig's business. We need to innovate, and we need to do it soon. Villifying Craig won't change that reality.
But I think this is wrong:
Let’s go look at Vermont’s alternative paper,Seven Days, which today is asking its readers to “send us your sexsecrets.” Well, I suppose that could build community, one birth at atime. I see them charging people to listen to personals on voicemail —a model that was outmoded 10 years ago. I see them charging notinsignificant rates for most classified categories. I don’t see anyopen exchange on their site, allowing the community to meet and share,not even any forums or community-run blogs.
OK, the part about the personals on voicemail is true (and I've heard rumors that that may be changing...) and what he says about classifieds is duly noted. But I say this blog counts as an "open exchange." No, it's not community-run, but it's community-driven. I link to every Vermonter who puts up a blog (that I know of), and I regularly link to and promote other local bloggers both online in the paper. I think what I'm doing builds community. And people are free to comment here about the paper, which they do on a fairly regular basis.
Heck, if people were blogging about the paper, I'd link to and respond to that.
Please, readers, feel free to comment here with questions/concerns about the paper. Do I need to make that any clearer? And feel free to comment on Buzz Machine if you feel so moved. I did.
And hey — didn't people like the sex survey? Readers consistenly tell us it's one of their favorite features. I thought this one was pretty good.