VillageSoup sells licensing for media publishing system

This story was published on April 14, 2005 on Page A5 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

CAMDEN – A publishing system that combines Web site and newspaper created by VillageSoup has been sold to Current Publishing of Scarborough.

The sale of the licensed media services publishing system is the first for VillageSoup, the Camden-based company launched in 1998.

VillageSoup began as an online “community,” with a Web site that featured news stories, advertising, bulletin boards and local municipal information. The sites were focused on Camden, Rockland and Belfast and allowed for interaction between advertiser and customer and between reporter and reader.

The company began in part as a model for the mix of technology and concept that its founder and owner, Richard Anderson, hoped would be purchased by other “communities,” such as geographic regions, universities, companies and other groups with common denominators of some sort.

VillageSoup grew into a chain of Web sites as it waited for its model to begin to sell.

A year ago, the concept morphed, with VillageSoup launching its VillageSoup Times weekly newspaper in Knox County, and then, late last year, starting another weekly paper, the VillageSoup Citizen, in Waldo County.

Publisher Derek Anderson said the system sold to Current links the interactive Web site model with the more traditional newspaper product. Current Publishing publishes the American Journal, The Current, The Lakes Region Suburban Weekly, The Reporter, and The Sacopee Valley Citizen.

“We’re merging management of a traditional community newspaper with the immediacy and interactivity of a Community Online,” Anderson said in a news release. “The ability to manage both a fully interactive web site and a newspaper, seamlessly, and from the same content platform, is vital to meeting the demands of the media market.”