There is no question that stand-alone media, or "pure Web plays," are going to become a major force in the media ("Dotcom Bloom," June/July). Distribution costs are cut virtually to zero, people can read them at their leisure, and the means of publishing are within virtually anyone's reach. The challenge is to build the brand. Content is the killer app when it comes to long-term growth and success, but so is Web savvy.
So what do Web-only startups need? Unique content, a bright style, informative articles, colorful graphics/photos/maps and the like, and interactive features to help build community.
Here's where I am wary of "community" or "citizen" journalism. Maybe it's my bias as a graduate of a journalism program, but it isn't so easy to be a journalist. Most citizens inspired to write about their local zoning board are likely to
(1) have a grudge or gripe and (2) write "minutes of the meeting" and bury the lede.
Only quality content will win in the long run.
Tel Aviv, Israel