Karp started working on The Printed Blog in January of this year, taking free articles (with permission, of course) from bloggers and printing them on actual paper. The idea was that he could try and sell ads to local businesses in Chicago and San Francisco, newspaper style. According to the New York Times, Karp tried to keep costs down by putting his commercial printers inside the homes of delivery workers, who could then print out the papers and distribute them without needing to run down to some central plant.
Predictably, things went exactly as Karp’s detractors had warned. Karp was never able to make enough money on advertising to cover the costs of running the business—running up his own personal credit card debt and dwindling his savings in the process—and was unable to get commitments from investors.
In his letter to readers, Karp said that The Printed Blog saw 16 issues before closing down. In a telltale sign that online media is destined to stay online, he also noted that 80,000 print copies were distributed, while another 100,000 copies were downloaded from the Internet.