Local news at your local site with Big Trust

Barriers to Entry

(A “barrier to entry” is a way to tell the world how we stay safe as a business, from other businesses that compete with us. Can the giant firms copy us if we do well? Can other startups follow in our footsteps? The clever new saying goes, Can we build a moat?)

We have looked for Barriers to Entry from the beginning

Our service is less of a newspaper rival than some big sites (such as Google and Facebook)

Some of these giants have added links to news sites, but not shared the ad revenue they gain. We partner closely with sites and will share revenues with them, to keep them as good partners.

We move real news (not fake) to websites – safe, trusted, curated.

A different mix for each site, and for some of the users (opt-in, user choice, and site choice too.)

We move news to a site, we are not a news site – and are not their rival


The tech, described – a sorting tool  (Global & Local Sorting Results)

Overall Sorting Tool/ the daily experience of our tool for USERS —  mix of views below

  • Global Sort — user data (global users who are like them)
  • Local Sort –  site data (unique community/editors/content sources – named by editors)

Virality & Switching Costs

Switching Costs –  may be our strongest Barrier to Entry. 

Very high switching costs – for the users, and for our site customers.

Network effect is high –  & a free option helps Branding (partners look wise, we win idealistic hires)

  • Users value the network effect — they see the unique community at each site
  • Owners like our pricing/and the free services for the smallest sites — our Pricing versus Self-Service Costs is Strong – an expensive mix/ but our network effect lowers it sharply for us/and the free option for smaller sites is strong.

Virality (means users tell other users) — Users get “portable profiles.”  (optional, chosen by each user)

This User Profile Data lets us offer similar sorting on other newspaper websites, very quickly.

This portability is a key strength.

Building profiles step by step — and making users proud to help their site

  • At first. we ask editors and the business owners and all the stakeholders to create profiles, and show them case studies where personalizing – starting here – has helped media and entertainment firms grow.
  • Later, with the site’s permission, we ask users to build profiles
  • Always, we seek ways to make it fun (instant feedback, offer discounts on new content, or more free content). And ways to make it quick (a few seconds, done a few times, adds up)
  • Always, we suggest it is good for a site to know it’s users (adds to its local awareness, adds to its ability to serve you) — and giving your time is a donation to the site (as well as helping you see new things)
  • users resist giving time to surveys and may move off the page or the site.
  • And a famous talking point around here. This user pain/pleasure mix is tough. The good news is a user will not want to do it again for a rival. (“Do it twice? Not me!”)

issues and answers

We are both B2B and B2C, on most sites.

B2C. Our mission feels wise and very tough to copy. We “Stretch the Bubbles around each user.” We invented this phrase, we think.

B2B. (We will be asked to negotiate at first. A good reply is to think, then build an MVP & hold firm to standardizing it. This helps us with USERS. Some SITE OWNERS will worry. 

Yes. That is an issue. Many are nonprofits. A popular goal is to start a newspaper where there is none now – many regions lost the one newspaper they had.

We need a lot of lean marketing to understand these 800 startups better.


No. We are a nonprofit. No shareholders, no fiduciary duty to investors. Not for sale – it’s in our bylaws (that is forward-looking, we have not filed the legal paperwork, so do not exist).

We will offer new content to users. We will get this from partners.

Some partners have no paywall, so anytime their content is shared, they get some new users – they will have lower rates to share it, some will be free, we hope.

Some partners have a paywall, and will get some new customers, as they become better known.

B2C —  being a tool on a known site (the user came to the site)

— by not being a destination site (only seen on existing newspaper sites)

— sometimes getting notes about us, our privacy & security — from site owners/ editors

B2B  — help with customer acquisition and loyalty & subscriptions


IS BIG SOCIAL (the top ten social media sites) A RIVAL

Social Sites often give us a NARROW BUBBLE, and MUCH OF IT MAY BE BASED ON ANGER.


 Social may be in play as their data sources are shifting. But with a history of ad revenue as the center of their plans, this will take time. We have a chance to get going, before they become interested, and our model, especially the nonprofit and third world side, seems to be safe from their most likely plans – though this is not easy to know.

Social makes money from ads. They are looking at new ways. Ads are being weakened by new laws, and rumors of new laws. Google and Apple are banning cookies, which will weaken FaceBook’s ability to target users.

People like familiarity, and this is the offering of social. Talk to your old friends, who you know well, and to new friends who are like you in some ways. And then, add in a strong mix of whatever is most clicked on. And it turns out that the most excited people, who click the most, are often angry.

Our goals do not match theirs. They are not trying to do what traditional news sites do.

Some call them infotainment. It does a lot of good, and sometimes a surprising amount of harm. Some say that social sites gave us Trump and Brexit.

It remains easy, in too many of them to add “fake news” to them (or “information warfare”, propaganda by organized politics, and angry “trolls” (those who play roughly and rudely). Some of the young seem addicted or wounded, some sites are more trusted than most.

Many users call for more regulation, and the overall trust in them is not high.

Some social sites share a lot of anger.

Anger is a known tool.

“If it bleeds, it leads” is a classic saying about some TV news.

Is BIG NEWS (the largest 50 newspaper sites) a rival?

We are not writing original news stories, like the big news sites – we move content around. So we are not direct rivals – we are not in the same main business.

But many sell their content to other papers. So we are a rival at that.

(See the “Big 50” data, in MARKET) They offer a standard page to all readers and overall excellence (writers, editors). We hope to license their syndicated content to smaller papers, not to create a big destination site, and compete. Perhaps they will find us appealing, if we can do good work, and give us better deals. After all, they gain new readers and advertisers, some news subscribers, and our payments.

Is SMALL NEWS (the other thousands) a rival?

Sites with less money are dying, overall. There is some solid regrowth. Usefully perhaps, there are more nonprofit newspapers than ten or fifty yeas ago.

We guess they are unlikely to seek our types of risky experiments. They focus on one site, we focus on hundreds.

The U.S. news industry revenues have shrunk by 65% since 2005. Many small sites are in trouble.

For facts on the US news market see the MARKET page.