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Mike Monteiro is well known on the Internet for his sardonic and weird sense of humor. He is also known for being a designer (his firm Mule Design helped us out on NewTeeVee and GigaOM Pro) and as the author of the book “Design Is A Job.” He is a made-for-Internet personality. Just follow him on Twitter and you will know it. And you will also know that he is from Philly – and loves the Phillies (the baseball team.) What you wouldn’t know that Monteiro used to be a paperboy for Philadelphia Daily News and used that to make pocket change.
“Philadelphia Daily News was our evening paper and it would essentially have all the news of the day when you were at work,” he reminisces over coffee at our neighborhood pizzeria, Ironside. “When I looked around, on the Internet, there wasn’t something like that for the Internet.” So he started The Evening Edition – a mobile-first evening news publication.
Every day at 5 pm, Anna Rascouët-Paz, who till recently was a reporter with Bloomberg, pushes the publish button on summaries of some of the more important stories that were making news during the day. Olympics, Syria, Presidential politics… anything except the latest feature upgrade of a marginal app. The crisp, clean and well-written posts are backed by a simple, legible design that is easy to read on your iPhone (or any other smartphone or tablet.) There are no ads – just one sponsor at the bottom of the page. Perfectly sized news bites to catch up when commuting back to work, Monteiro says. “It is the one sheet of news of the day,” he adds.
Having blogged for over a decade, it was hard for me to fathom that people don’t want news instantly and would choose to wait till the end of the day. Of course, it is easy for someone like me to forget that in the real world (outside of technology that is) people work and don’t spend every minute of their day checking Twitter. (Instead, they spend idle minutes on Zynga and YouTube.)
A few days later, I am actually addicted to The Evening Edition. Like Dave Pell’s Next Draft, The Evening Edition has become my daily must read. It is smart and succinct. It personifies what a mobile-first publication should be. What works is the choice of stories Rascouët-Paz makes and how she writes about the news, says Monteiro. He isn’t satisfied with just one edition and has plans for London, Rio, New Delhi, Singapore, Sydney. Every 5 pm, the local version of The Evening Edition would go live, he says.
All he needs are writers (a paid gig) like Rascouët-Paz and a sponsor to get going. London will be the next edition to go live sometime in early September followed perhaps by Rio, which is now one of his fastest growing markets.
Monteiro says that a classical news organization would have spent months in committees trying to build something like this. He is on his way to clocking over 130,000 page views a month. And at the speed which smartphones are growing, it won’t be long before Monteiro and his group are clocking millions of page views.
PS: My colleague, Mathew Ingram wrote about why such publications were popping up and what it means for the publishing industry. If you get a minute, check it out.