Konnects looks to revive ailing newspaper industry

Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson nailed the luncheon keynote capped off by a live performance of The RiskMaster (check out the video). It’s a tough act to follow for the Communities & Social Media session but the four presenting companies will give it a shot.

Up first is five year-old Tacoma-based Konnects – a hosted social media platform that hopes to bring much needed engagement and new revenue opportunities to the ailing newspaper industry. CEO Jim Crabbe and President Jay Gallinatti tagteamed a presentation that explained how social media and citizen journalism is disrupting the news space.

Konnects provides a robust white label online social community that can be seamlessly integrated into any newspaper portal. Newspapers pay a setup and licensing fee to use the product and the online community and its features are free to end users.

Konnects has begun partnering with newspapers – The Wenatchee World Newspaper and The Business Examiner Newspaper – to create online communities that merge local news into a social media framework.  Once the Konnects solution is in place, readers are more likely  to return more often and spend more time within the newspaper site to follow the local news and to engage with their community.

Konnects is actively seeking to partner with local newspapers in hopes of aiding them in transitioning their old-school model to the Internet. Crabbe announced that Konnects was recently engaged by a newspaper coop that represents 1600 newspapers – 73% of private newspapers across the US.