Vaguely familiar

Vaguely familiar: profiles a start-up web concept called RedPaper that allows “community reporters” to post articles that are then sold in the form of PDFs (the article claims Adobe is a backer) for a “micropayment.” (Excuse me, I just had a Nicolas Negroponte circa 1995 flash-back.)

Here’s a quote from the founder of RedPaper:

“(The RedPaper) is a combination of eBay and The New York Times,” said founder and editor Mike Gaynor. “You don’t have to have something valuable in your garage. You just have to have something valuable in your head.”

I know what you’re thinking: You’ve heard that before. Like when Tony Perkins said recently that his new venture with the strangely hyphenated URL, Alwayson-Network, is “a membership-based website… constructed on the eBay principle.”

I am not going to retell the history of user-generated content sites (or, for that matter, the concept of blogging), but other than being packaged via PDFs, what is new here?

Wait, it’s all coming back now: Themestream (thanks to one of the web’s great wonders, the service I’ll always call “the Way Back Machine,” you can still get an idea of what Themestream was like.) Same idea (sans PDFs). Didn’t work.