Technology entrepreneur Bernard Daines is considering launching a glossy new Spokane magazine that would be part of a multifaceted, electronic-and-print media enterprise here doing business as New River Communications.
Daines says plans for the magazine and other New River endeavors still are very tentative, but a search for potential writers for the magazine is beginning now, and the magazine could begin publishing later this year.
Other New River initiatives, or services, that are being explored have names such as Town Plaza, @ Your Doorstep, E-Commerce Village, and Community News. All would be designed to strengthen local community interaction through a melding of the Internet and other communication media, and also would provide new business for Webiness Inc., a web-development company that Daines founded here last year. In addition to developing and maintaining web sites and web-site applications, Webiness hosts web sites for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Were just trying to drive the web in ways that havent been done before, Daines says.
National studies have shown that people are becoming more isolated as their use of the Internet increases, he says. New Rivers intent would be to combat that trend locally by providing a mix of community-focused, interactive web and print information services.
Nathan Brown, Webiness special projects manager, says, What were trying to do is create a very unique business model. At the end of the day, the potential is there to significantly alter the way we live, the way we interact. Its about building new communities on the banks of the Internet.
As envisioned, the new Spokane magazine would be a high-quality monthly publication, providing top-notch photography and writing, Brown says. He says it would be similar in style to Salt Lake magazine, a splashy periodical based in Salt Lake City that calls itself the Magazine of the Moun-tainwest, Brown says.
The planned new magazine here likely would include an eclectic mix of stories on lifestyles and community issues, but its focus would be on boosting community identity and pride rather than on investigative reporting, and it also would have an Internet presence, he says.
The new magazine would bear the same name as a popular magazine published here in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but it wouldnt seek to mimic that magazines style, he says. Despite its name, the new magazine would have more of a regional than city focus, he and Daines say.
Daines says, Were incredibly excited about this. We think its going to be great for Spokane and the region. Were just still trying to work out the details.
Daines founded Packet Engines Inc. here in 1995 and sold the business to Alcatel, a French company, in 1998. Last year, he started another company, called World Wide Packets Inc., that is making state-of-the-art communications devices designed for neighborhood applications. World Wide Packets and Webiness occupy separate office spaces in a building just south of Interstate 90 and east of Pines Avenue and together employ about 40 people.
If a new Spokane magazine gets under way, it would be the second publication to launch here this year. An alternative weekly newspaper called The Local Planet, which is linked to a web site, www.thelocalplanet.com, began publishing here earlier this month.
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