17 May 2006

Dose is Toast

The free daily tab, Dose, is gonzo - but not in a good way.
Peter Viner, President and CEO of the Fund's operating entity, CanWest MediaWorks Limited Partnership [said,] "In this very competitive newspaper market, we feel the printed publication will not produce the financial results we expect over the long term.
This saddens me because Dose was very cool - in both senses of the word.

As the 24-hour news cycle of the electronic world has created a constant stream of news, newspapers no longer serve the function of providing news. Rather, they do what magazines used to do: provide contextual depth in a way that television news, or wire-service feeds, cannot. Dose (attempted to) take a new spin on that idea, providing a (pop) cultural context for its daily theme, strongly supported by its innovative design, and hip sense of style. Unfortunately, it couldn't quite pull it off, distracted, as it was, with too much emphasis on "monetizing eyeballs," as the cliché goes. Perhaps a more experienced publisher would have done a better job with the concept.

The intention is for Dose.ca to continue its online presence, that is to say, its cash register, but it's not at all clear to me that out of (daily) sight won't mean out of mind - and eventually out of business completely. There's value in providing context; there's value in creating collaborative creative and social spaces. Being primarily an excuse to sell ringtones doesn't provide value.

Update (18 May 2006): My comments are quoted in today's Star.
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