Post #13 : www.handybook.com is exactly the kind of thing that newspapers should be doing. Why aren’t they?

While newspapers continue to bemoan their fate, innovative start-ups like www.handybook.com are doing the things that local media should be doing. It’s a site that helps you find and book a local handyman, cleaner, plumber, etc.

It’s backed by Highland Capital Partners and General Catalyst, two VCs that generally know what they’re doing. But imagine if, in case of Boston, this was being promoted as a Boston Globe service?

Not only would it be known more widely and more quickly, the security of having the Globe behind it would enhance its attractiveness to sellers and buyers alike. One of the concerns about a service like this would be the trustworthiness of people you have come to your home. Handybook checks them out, but the Globe brand would be a huge asset, not to mention the promotion it could offer “for free”.

This is the sort of system (along with jobs, cars and real estate) that the defunct New Century Network should have created for its member newspapers. Instead you see newspapers forced to share revenues with www.Monster.com and www.cars.com.

One can only hope that perhaps newspapers will begin to acquire services like these, which I’m sure would make Handybook’s partners happy.

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