This is a pretty impressive case study of people harnassing online / offline communities to take action around town – Student’s Blogs is a website + quarterly print publication covering all activities from campuses around the cities and writing about all other things of general interest to students. This started from Lahore it seems but has spread quite quickly to other places as well.
Apparently all student contributions to the magazine come directly from students from different universities. They have taken only 4-6 students per campus but even that becomes a very large list when we spread this over all major campuses in the three major cities. I’m not sure though whether these contributions are just contributions on email or whether they actually have a lot of student blogs present where people write and they package the best stories into the print version. I’m also not even sure if that huge list of contributors actually do contribute considering the overall quality of the content on their publication.
Editing, creative graphics and layout is also done by community members and “staffers” (I dont think any of the staffers are paid writers).
Distribution deals have also been made with all major universities and popular student hang-outs in Lahore. Considering the type of setup and scale, I am guessing they are using interested students from their community of readers itself to do this distribution. According to the site over 15,000 copies are distributed every quarter, but considering that this is a 25+ page publication I have no idea how they are covering printing costs.
Finally, they also have full-page and footer ads running on their magazine which probably just covers the cost of printing and distribution. These ads are also sourced from within their community.
Overall, the publication isnt anything (in its current output form) that can evolve into a syndicated magazine, but its a great community-based effort to see none the less. Good job.
The one major gripe I have with this is this advertising offer from their site.
Alternatively, we can include Branded articles: articles which directly promote the sponsor, but with an interesting angle that is relevant to students. This option is often popular, because it allows students to really engage with the product.
This is unethical – much in the same lines as payperpost.com – unless they clearly declare that this is an article section of the advertiser.