Several days ago we got in touch with Allen Funk, the President and Publisher of the Daily Herald. Here are some main takeaways and quotes from his email:

-Comments on news site generate additional page views and make site more sticky (keeps visitors on the site longer).

-Not all of the smaller news sites have commenting systems. This is due either to technical reasons or because the news sites do not want to review/monitor the comments.

-“I don’t think many of us are collecting much demographic data. Your ability to provide at least a partial view of that would be very helpful.”

-Social media is the next big area for news organizations in terms of getting the news out. “If you provided an improved method for viral distribution of stories, that might be really good for us.”

-“Shared ad revenue is obviously a nice benefit. That would be great to offer as an additional outcome of the partnership. Besides the dollars, it might go a long ways towards defusing suspicion of your efforts among news organization executives.”

-“In conclusion, if you are trying to create a nationwide clearinghouse for news discussion and comments, it could be a really good idea.”

Yesterday I emailed him back to give him a more elaborate description of the product we are developing (including attachments of the mockups), and we are looking forward to his response.

This past Saturday our team met with the editor-in-chief of the Stanford Review (we also met with the former editor-in-chief and the web development editor earlier in the week). The meetings went well, and they are currently evaluating the possibility of a partnership with us. We will know their decision on Tuesday.

This week we will also be meeting with the editor-in-chief and web development editor of the Stanford daily.