Street papers exist to help homeless and vulnerable people earn a dignified income.
From the world’s first street magazine in New York City, street papers have grown to become a global movement against social injustice, with 122 editions now being published in 40 different countries.
This worldwide family is joined together by the International Network of Street Papers, which helps street papers share knowledge, skills and technology.
But here’s the thing. Readership patterns are changing. The mainstream press has witnessed a huge shift from print consumption to digital. And street papers are facing the same issues.
So we need to find a way to take street papers digital.
And in doing so, we need to solve a unique challenge, which is how to preserve the human interaction between street paper vendors and their customers.
Because it’s that vital interaction that lets vendors earn their income, while at the same time bringing people - who often inhabit completely separate worlds - into direct contact, and conversation.
The Digital Street Paper
The digital street paper will be accessed by purchasing a printed coupon, sold by vendors and offered as an online alternative to the printed magazine, at the same cover price.
Each card will carry a unique redemption code, which means we can present a personalised thank you message from the vendor and tell customers a little more about their story.
The digital edition will contain all the content from the magazine. But with lower production costs and less print we can increase the efficiency and capacity of street papers as social enterprises, as well as reduce their environmental impact.
The platform will be web based and optimised to deliver a great reading experience on smartphones, tablets and desktops.
Street paper editors will generate the digital magazine from print-ready documents, so they’ll be able to publish the digital edition quickly and easily, without additional cost and without the need to acquire new digital production skills or resources.
Be part of it
We’re asking you, the Kickstarter community, to help fund two pilot schemes starting in summer 2012, with StreetWise in Chicago and The Big Issue in the North in the UK.
Your contributions will be used to build the technology platform. If we raise funds beyond our goal then we’ll invest in promotion of the pilot schemes, to ensure as many people as possible try out the new digital product.
And beyond that, we hope to create a global platform, so that any street paper around the world could launch their own digital edition, with minimum effort and cost.
With 6 million readers globally and more than 12,000 vendors on street corners around the world right now, this project has the potential to become not only one of the world’s largest paid digital media platforms, but one of the most important too.
We’ve put together a range of exclusive rewards to help celebrate your support.
Pledge $1: you'll be thanked for your support publicly, on the INSP's Digital Street Paper online supporters wall.
Pledge $5: A personalised thank you Tweet from INSP. Plus your name on our online supporters wall.
Pledge $20: We'll send you a unique code giving you free access to the digital editions of the UK's Big Issue in the North and Chicago's StreetWise, for the duration of the pilot. Plus your name on our online supporters wall.
Pledge $25: Receive an exclusive invite to beta test the technology platform prior to launch. Plus free access to the digital magazines for the duration of the pilot and your name on our online supporters wall.
Pledge $50: Be the proud owner an exclusive Digital Street Paper poster by UK artist Tommy Perman (free global shipping), each with a hand-written personalised access code giving you free access to the digital magazines for the duration of the pilot. Plus your name on our online supporters wall.
Pledge $75: We'll publish your name in commemorative thank you pages within either the UK's Big Issue in the North or Chicago's StreetWise, and will ship you a free copy of the magazine. Plus free access to the digital magazines for the duration of the pilot.
Pledge $100: Be the proud wearer of an exclusive Digital Street Paper t-shirt by UK artist Tommy Perman, with free global shipping. Plus free access to the digital magazines for the duration of the pilot and your name on our online supporters wall.
Pledge $250: Your choice of an exclusive commemorative metal QR card, or a bamboo iPhone case, commemorating the Digital Street Paper. Plus free access to the digital magazines for the duration of the pilot and your name on our online supporters wall.
Pledge $5000: Bring the Digital Street Paper to your town! Select a printed street paper magazine of your choice and we'll work with them to deliver everything they need to launch their own digital edition, including the technology platform, system training and an allowance to print their first QR cards. Plus you'll have free access to the digital magazines for the duration of the pilot and your name on our online supporters wall.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Support this project
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