Every 6 months or so I go to my local newsagents and buy every newspaper on the shelf, hoping to find a news companion I can maybe subscribe to.
I sit on my floor and spread them all out and spend the afternoon reading them but I never really like any.
I was going to now go into great detail as to why. How I think the Daily Mail is pretty much the worst publication to ever be put to print in the UK. (It’s not just bad, it’s poisenous in fact.) I was going to talk about how The Times is just straight up boring and how the Guardian go overboard with sport articles sometimes, publishing stuff that seems forced just to beef up their sports section.
But anyway, all you need to know is none of them fit. I don’t mind the Guardian and the Independent, but would I want to spend £300 a year reading one? No. Because I only read around 1 in every 15 articles in the paper and that ratio isn’t good enough.
So, why can’t I subscribe to the individual journalists I like? I want someone to create a writers network website. The fantasty is that all news and magazine publishers allow their staffs work to appear on this network, for a price. I can then subscribe to a journalist for a certain amount per month or per article/photo.
It won’t just be a website, of course. They’ll be an iPhone and iPad app that produces your custom ‘newspaper’, a bit like Flipboard does with your social networks. There could even be a Magcloud like service that would print and send your ‘paper/magazine’ every month to your door. A reccomendation engine would accompany all this. ‘Hey, you like Kevin McCarra of the Guardian so why not subscribe to Sam Wallace of the Independent? Start your free 2 week trial of this writers articles now!’
This is my dream.
December 17, 2011:
Journalisted offers some of the functionality I yearn for.
August 15, 2013:
The Guardian have implemented a ‘Follow by email’ feature.
January 7, 2014: It seems the Guardian have removed the ‘Follow by email’ feature.