After a financially unsuccessful attempt to take No Depression magazine into an online-only format, the owners of the magazine at 1 p.m. today opened the new No Depression blog community site at http://nodepression.ning.com. No Depression reported on alternative country, roots, folk and country music, and was dubbed by The New York Times "the Bible of alt-country." A steep drop in advertising revenues moved owners Kyla Fairchild, Grant Alden and Peter Blackstock to stop print publication of the magazine last year. Limited operations continued in an online format, but again the handwriting was on the wall: ad revenues would not support the cost of the site, so the decision was taken to move to a blog/community open format.
Fairchild wrote to former contributors on Jan. 30:
"Despite being warned that it is very difficult to monetize paid content on the web, I forged ahead with the hope that I could figure out a way to keep No Depression alive online and continue paying writers for their valued craft. We launched the site last fall, and while our traffic has been reasonably good and we've gotten quite a bit of positive feedback and press, it also has become increasingly clear that it is not possible for online advertising to support the editorial budget. I have been supporting significant negative cash flow each month out of my own pocket since the site launched, and it is no longer feasible for me to do that."
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I've been on the new site and rate it as easy to navigate and operate. There is an area reserved for former No Depression writers (I am one), but otherwise the site is open to any and all.