Monday, July 20, 2009

Ergo Goes Online Completely

Ergo Come this July 30Th they will be stopping their print edition.
For the starters, ergo is a daily free tabloid distributed to IT companies at Chennai.

The reason for them to close the shop is "tough economic conditions"[is there something that we haven't blamed the recession for? Hmm May be the solar eclipse and possibly Michael Jackson's Death]
Well I wont blame them when even the major selling papers are going out of the business and filing for bankruptcy.

I hope they would have brainstormed the following before pulling the plug on it.
  1. Aggressive sales and marketing.
  2. Reducing the content of the paper[ there wasn't much content, at least original unique content]Reducing the frequency.[say alternate days]
  3. Reducing the number of prints[Though there are lots of papers that go wasted completely untouched][The thought of collecting the ergo papers and selling at the old paper shop for weight crossed my mind more than once][well there are no limits for my entrepreneurial zeal]
  4. This reducing the number of prints may create adverse affects,as the higher number of prints would be the only selling factor to get orders for advertisement which will serve as the bread and butter.

They have decided to go online completely.
If at all the ergo team thinks, they are done, they have called it quits, the battle has just begun.

So far, they were the pioneers, unchallenged. By making up a decision to go online, they have signed up for bigger challenges.

By going online, they are surrounded by enemies on all sides, and they could decide to shoot all over at all directions.
No more they have limited audience of namma Chennai. The entire world is up for grabs to them.[still they could focus only on the IT techies or IT Tamil techies]

No more they need to scramble their heads on the content filling for each and every day, but may be each and every hour or even by minute.
It would like to wait and watch how they will manage to get the attention of the eyeballs of the site hopping,restless,content thirsty, techie to get glued to the goergo amidst tweets,networking sites, blogs and news aggregators.

My 20 cents:

  • Serving as aggregators, for blogs.There are lots and lots of blogs. I may not be aware of all of them. Still even if i am aware I may not like to follow them or set up a feed for them, cause not always all bloggers give their best. So publish the best of the blogs from the bloggers[famous and fame less alike] in your site. This would really be much more of a Herculean task then it seems to be.
  • Part Networking site, letting users to create their own spaces, to upload their pics, thoughts. request for more contributions from the users. If you decide to do a censorship, make the process more quick.In other words, make it more user interactive, where the readers could feel as a part of community
  • Provide news services, stock ticker, all updated live and automated.
  • For chrissake have a chat link,[hope they wont block this in offices at least for some time]
  • A place where i could see tweets of famous personalities.

In Short be everything that you might think you might compete against!

Let us wish them good luck.


My earlier thoughts on free magazines could be seen here and here.

Initially I named the title as "Ergo goes out of print" but changed later.

They are on twitter, but i was not able to see the link for twitter, if it is there it is not prominently visible.

They just have 53 followers. Sorry folks long way to go!


RamNarayan said...

Ha ha ha ha

Collecting and Selling it at an old paper shop!!! I think that a similar thought should have crossed your mind when you were in the US as well for all the paper junk that they have (only that nobody buys used paper there. it is garbage for them :))

Anyway, it would be interesting to understand the economics and dynamics of advertising revenue vs. subscription revenue for Indian papers.

zeno said...

First time not being anonymous :) I knew they dont buy! There i should have started a garbage buying business. put on a spin called eco initiative, reselling after collecting etc etc

zeno said...

I think so far they should be doing good as we dont see many papers closing shop. rather they open shops

this says print journalism is flourishing!

RamNarayan said...

Interesting twist on print media in India.

You need to stand out. There has to be a USP for someone to consider a switch.

The URL was

The last portion got snipped. Thanks for the pointer.

RamNarayan said...

Oops, looks like a single word gets snipped at 53 characters.

zeno said...

if u see the post alone u can see the full link or tat's wat i am seeing[though i even felt it gt sniped]

Jessie Paul said...

the current issue of economist has a good piece on local papers...basically says that those with determined owners can survive by being interesting and deeply local

zeno said... i hope this is the link you are referring to. thanks a lot for the pointer. :) Economist has also covered similar issues in few other articles which are real interesting. [see related items in side bar]