If anyone's still interested in the ongoing alt.weeklies vs. Craigslist conversation, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies has issued a press release of sorts. It pointed me to this great post by Anil Dash, VP at SixApart (which owns Typepad). If you're interested in this topic, it's worth reading. Much more so, in my opinion, than Jarvis at Buzzflash. An excerpt:
My advice? If you have a newspaper, publish something that's unique toyour community; Write something that nobody running a website on theother side of the country would have enough knowledge or information tocreate. Find a business model that makes your work seem valuableinstead of worthless. Free the smart, creative people on your editorialstaff to express themselves, especially online, without having to obeyseniority rules or arbitrary limits. And realize that the reason Craigis eating your lunch is not merely because his information is better,or because he cares about being online and you don't, but because he'sgiven people a place to connect with each other, instead of just beingpreached to by people too arrogant to stay curious.
Hard to argue with that. I should also point out that Seven Days is a real anomaly in the alt. weekly market. We don't do much national coverage — none, actually, if you don't include a couple columns. Almost everything we do is local. So some of his criticisms don't really apply to us. Good advice, though.