An interesting product for publishers was launched this week, and it's goal is to take out the Associated Press. This may be easier said than done, but the concept is intriguing and is bound to get people talking.
It's called the Publish2 News Exchange, and was formed by Publish2 Inc. It allows publishers to create and manage content sharing networks, retain full rights to their content and control over who can use it, as well as where and how, create their own content newswires that partners and customers can easily access, and connect their publishing system to automatically import/export content via feeds or FTP.
We reported in March of 2008 that the company had received $2.7 million in funding, but then it was looking like the company was going after more of a Digg-like model, only powered by journalists. Now CEO Scot Karp is calling it a "new Associated Press for the 21st century."
"With Publish2 News Exchange, newspapers can replace the AP's obsolete cooperative with direct content sharing and replace the AP's commodity content with both free, high-quality content from the Web and content from any paid source," says Karp in a contributing post at Seeking Alpha. "With Publish2 News Exchange, we’ve created what the AP should have become, but can’t because of a classic Innovator’s Dilemma. The New AP is an open, efficient, scalable news distribution platform. We’re enabling newspapers to benefit for the first time from the disruptive power of the Web, and from the efficiency of content production on the Web."
"Publish2 News Exchange solves the problems that have prevented newspapers from creating an efficient, scalable alternative to the AP," adds Karp. "We bridge the gap between print publishing and Web publishing by connecting natively to outdated newspaper print publishing systems. We support the standard formats used by the AP and the technologies that newspapers already use to move content between print and Web systems. Our self-serve permissioning system enables newspapers and other publishers to distribute content to whomever they choose on whatever terms they choose."
So far Publish2 has newswires for such publications as AutoBlog, Engadget, WalletPop, Aol Small Business, TechCrunch, and others. We're talking about web-based publications going to print.
The service has already raised questions about the point of catering to the dying print model, but Karp maintains that print drives not only newspaper operations, but web publishing, and as long as print is around, he wants to make it "more like the web."
The Publish2 News Exchange is available for free to news organizations and journalists around the globe.