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Closing the software gap

Friday, September 29th, 2006

Can newspapers maintain competitive software on a smaller, less Soviet scale than Tom Mohr would have us believe? Here are two signs that a few folks still think it’s worth a try.

1) Reviewing the API’s Newspaper Next study, Susan Mernit name-checks the two bits of software small newspapers probably need most:

- a self-serve ad platform
- a simple local listings service

And she wants it done in open source, so we can all share & improve. Right on, sister. (Tx Will Sullivan.)

2) The Des Moines Register is searching for a local search editor. Bully. A dozen such “editors” won’t do squat until the software is in place, but once it is, no set of editorial duties need more attention at mid-size metros, I think. (And nobody is better poised to see the benefits of that software than Gannett. Let’s cross our fingers, k?)