I’ve had interesting conversations with Leo Fasbender, founder of Newsgrape. The guys at Newsgrape are building a web-platform that attempts to revolutionize the way people share and experience text on the web – just like YouTube has done for videos. Newsgrape’s vision is that the time of unconnected, individual blogs is over. They are building a central place for sharing articles and literary contributions, providing a simple way to publish information in a group of people under a shared name, f.e. to co-create Magazines together. The platform will also be truly multilingual. Newsgrape wants to make it attractive to authors by offering up to 75% of the advertising revenue of their own pages.
Newgrape is currently running a funding campaign through Kickstarter.com to launch a beta version Jan-Feb in the new year. The platform is nearly ready after an intensive development period of 1 year, including a proprietary Advertising system. Newgrape is going for an Advertising business model (80%) + a Premium model (20%). The premium model is only for professional users that want extra features, as indicated in the visual business model above. They also intend to integrate Flattr into the platform, which will bring direct financial benefit to authors, but not to Newsgrape as a business. I think there is certainly potential for publishing initiatives that put authors central, and let readers plug-and-play with their own magazines and authors they want to read. I am unsure if Newsgrape will be an instant success, but I like the direction in which it is going.