Getting the Daily Phoenix Off the Ground

    by Aleksandra Chojnacka
    July 13, 2009

    Before I dive in, I’d like to give readers a brief overview of what exactly our project, Daily Phoenix, is. This past December, Phoenix debuted a new light rail system which has changed the physical and social landscape of the city. We will use print, web and mobile technology to cater to these new commuters, offering news and information, games, social networking features and promotions on a stop-by-stop basis so that they can interact with the city on a more meaningful level.

    The idea developed in a digital media entrepreneurship class at ASU and now here we are almost a year later and finally getting it off the ground…

    The conference in Boston was a significant milestone for us. It allowed us to finally confirm funding, which provided us with legitimacy. Not to mention opened the door for some publicity. After the conference we received a few phone calls about interviews for local news sources such as Good Morning Arizona. Very exciting!


    RIght now we are concentrating on getting a product out there by September. Our original date was December but a meeting with our advisors convinced us that it might be too late and we should have SOMETHING out by September. The pressure is on…

    We are currently working with our programmer to release a website (optimized for mobile) which will provide information per light rail stop (i.e. services, businesses, events, and promotions). We are still working on figuring out when to roll out each feature.

    The next step is to conduct some market research with both users and advertisers (local businesses around the light rail). We’ll be working on conducting those over the next few weeks. They will be conversations about what each constituent would like to see, what their needs are, etc. I think they will provide a lot of insight!


    We’re also in the process of building partnerships. We had lunch with the president of Phoenix Magazine this week to discuss potential synergies. Right now we’re disucssing advertising opportunities for both the magazine and for us if we partner…we have some other ideas up our sleeve but its too soon to discuss.

    Coming up on our next post: Our interview with Good Morning Arizona and our meeting with Phoenix Downtown Voices!

    Tagged: good morning arizona launch Market Research phoenix
    • Alexander Zolotarev

      What a well-targeted and exciting project, Aleksandra! Indeed there is so much room for imagination in experimenting with augmenting commuters’ interaction with Phoenix – and in essence, any city – thru news, info, games and latest web 2.0 tools. It’s also a good and elegant way to analyze how the new infrastructure impacts the local community and the life in the city. Best of luck in your endeavours and looking forward to hearing about the development.

    • It sounds very much like a registered copyright already in existence. “Light Rail Train Business Directory” has been around for 10 years…

    • Alexander Zolotarev

      What makes it especially interesting is HOW the ‘new light rail system has changed the physical and social landscape of Phoenix’. And how the arrival of the new infrastructure changes any city and affects the community life. Be it a light rail system, a new culture club, or an Olympic venue.

    • Aleksandra,
      It sounds like a great project. Just wanted to get some new print tech on your radar and a couple of things you might want to consider.

      The Minn Post is using twitter feeds to gather ads from small business. I think that should work alot better if those twitter feeds were in a printed version. The software to do that is out there.

      Versioned hyperlocal print publications are practical and do able. Digital printing of newspapers is ready for prime time.

      Consider using dynamic QR codes. They embed user information, when and where they clicked with the mobile. The cool thing is that will allow you to offer that data as a benefit of advertising in the paper.

      The really neat thing about what you are doing is that it is based on movement through space. If you get down to it, newspapers have always been about having something to look at during the commute.

      Good luck!

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