Digital Street Paper – changing the world online

By Nicole O’Neill

The emergence of the new digital media has led to a dramatic change in consumption pattern and readership preferences.

As media trends are changing street papers across the globe are worried about how they will survive in the face of change. They cannot afford to keep up with changing technology. It is difficult for them to retain their business successfully without the hi-tech skills required for new technology.

Delegates were interested to hear new ways in which they can easily create a digital media site which will still generate income for themselves but most importantly their vendors.

Derek Craik, Bright Signals and Grant Gibson, digital innovation manager at the Herald and the Times took the workshop ‘The Digital Street Paper – changing the world online’. Craik and Gibson discussed the new ways of the digital media and described how the mobile is the most important digital channel at the present time.

They work alongside the INSP and have introduced a new innovation for street papers to keep up with the new digital age while still generating income.

Their proposal is to introduce a QR code system for the vendors to sell on the street. QR codes are already reaching out across the globe. They are a simple code that you take a picture of which will then take you to a particular destination. If this system is introduced for the vendors to sell it is an easy, cost effective way to maintain readership. Vendors can sell the code cards, which can be made personal to them and readers will have direct access to the street paper on their mobiles. It means the face to face transaction will be kept intact and could possibly attract a new readership.

The workshop received a lot of positive feedback and delegates were heavily interested in taking this proposal forward to colleagues. The reason it received such positive feedback is it will be a way to continue generating income for the vendors and can keep up or increase the readership for the papers.