IWantMyRocky.com births a (still mysterious) new project

"IWantMyRocky.com's Delayed Tease," a blog published this morning, notes that the aforementioned website, which was launched to boost the Rocky Mountain News following the December announcement that the tabloid had been put on the market, is currently hinting about a new project, albeit in a tough-to-understand way. For one thing, it was unclear what day "tomorrow" referred to in headers used yesterday and today. In the meantime, 9News and KOA have been reporting rumors that whatever portal that emerges will be based on a pay-subscription model.

But slow down a minute. Steve Foster, a former assistant sports editor for interactive at the Rocky who's involved in both IWantMyRocky.com and the affiliated project, isn't prepared to say exactly what's coming, or even when; although the website prominently mentions Monday, he says delays are possible. However, he does want folks to know that the description that's been circulating is far from complete. "A really good word for it would be 'misleading,'" he says. "Not all the information is out there."

Foster co-founded IWantMyRocky.com with a slew of colleagues: Melissa Pomponio, Kevin Flynn, Kim Humphreys, John Ensslin "and many, many more people," he emphasizes. "It was a fairly regular, tight-knit group of reporters and copy editors and designers. Everybody has been pitching in." Yet the site was never meant to be a permanent addition to the Denver media landscape: "If the Rocky didn't survive, IWantMyRocky.com would be a temporary holding place for us before we figured out what to do next."

And what have they decided? Foster says "subscriptions are definitely a part of this" -- but only a part. He tries to put this element in the context of current journalism trends and thinking: "Subscriptions seem to be part of the future models for anything you do newswise online now, for all the major media companies... Ad revenue isn't enough to support really vibrant journalism. This is just my opinion, but if you're planning news coverage based on advertising revenue alone, you're gambling."

Beyond that, Foster's tight-lipped -- but he does concede that "if this is going to work, we need the citizens of Denver to continue to support us... Lots of former Rocky staff would like to continue to bring professionalism journalism and insight to Denver. And I don't think it's overstating it to say that we think something is really missing in Denver right now."

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