The Daily Dot – Our Newest Venture Production – Launches Today!

August 22nd, 2011

Today I’m pleased to announce that, The Daily Dot, our newest “venture production,” has launched into public beta.

The Daily Dot is the first of its kind – it’s the Web’s newspaper — the first community newspaper about the Web. We cover the Web like a town paper covers its community. Here’s a video overview of the site.

This venture began with the insight that each of us is spending an increasing amount of our lives online, in various online communities, yet we have very little insight into what’s going in this new landscape. These communities are literally places, and some of them are quite large. This is beautifully illustrated in this “map” of the Web as a geography.

I believe that it’s time for the Web community to have it’s own newspaper. The launch of the Daily Dot — the web community’s first actual newspaper of record — is a turning point, a coming-of-age, for the Web as a medium, as a place, and as a community.

Our editorial focus is different than other publications that cover the Web. Instead of covering the Web as an industry, a technology or a phenomenon, we cover it as a community. We tell the stories of the people, culture, content, events and issues that are making waves in communities around the Web. And to find and report on these stories, we have embedded reporters in those communities: Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, Tumblr, with more communities coming soon.

Just like our physical cities and towns, our online communities are constantly moving and developing, and they are full of interesting people doing newsworthy and important things. The Daily Dot’s mission is to cover these communities just like physical community newspapers cover cities and towns.

Where a town newspaper covers the latest high school sports game, the town meeting, the local crime report, we cover the story behind the hottest viral video sweeping the planet, the latest social movement in Facebook, and important issues (like cybercrime or online bullying) that are happening in our online neighborhoods.

When a major event happens in the physical world – like the revolutions in Arab world, for example — we don’t cover the events themselves, we cover their online footprint — what’s happening online that relates to the story.

The Daily Dot will also cover what’s happening around the Web in time: just like physical community newspapers have calendar sections – The Daily Dot has an online events section, provided in partnership with Live Matrix, one of our other venture productions, that aggregates the schedule of the Web. These two companies are highly synergistic and form the beginnings of our online media network.

While those of us in the Web industry have our fingers slightly more on the pulse of the Web, the vast majority of people who use the Web do not read industry blogs and have little or no visibility into what’s going on in the online world or where it’s headed. Other than a few articles a week published by mainstream media, they are not being informed.

It’s time for that to change. The Daily Dot will be publishing dozens of articles each day about what’s happening online. We’re writing for the mainstream, not for elites or geeks. The Daily Dot is for the people who use the Web — who live in it — not just the people who are building it.

Our content is designed to be entertaining, interesting, informative — and sometimes edgy and controversial – kind of like People Magazine meets USA Today, with a little bit of TMZ thrown in.

If you want to know what’s happening online, or you’re looking to find the hottest emerging entertainment, personalities, viral videos, issues, etc — and the stories behind them — The Daily Dot is your newspaper.

But The Daily Dot is not just a newspaper, it’s also a very interesting business venture. It’s a chance to build what could become one of the largest circulation newspapers in the world someday – a global newspaper about the one community that we all share in common, no matter where we actually live.

I also want to congratulate and thank the amazing editorial and development team at the Daily Dot, who made this possible. And most importantly, I want to acknowledge Nicholas White (Daily Dot CEO), Owen Thomas (Daily Dot founding editor), and Josh Jones-Dilworth (marketing guru), my co-founders in this venture.

Nick and Owen are leading business and editorial, and running the operations, and Josh and myself are on the board, advising to help in our respective areas of expertise. Nick and Owen deserve all the credit here — they have done the heavy lifting to bring this vision to market, and I’m very proud to be working with them.

Please join me us helping to spread the word about The Daily Dot — it’s your newspaper — and we need your help to make it great (and we look forward to your feedback and participation in the comments).

This is going to be a fun ride and I can’t wait to see how it evolves.