The online Rocky Mountain Independent smells like a dead tree

The Rocky Mountain Independent launched today. The online offspring of former Rocky Mountain News editors and writers, the site follows from the In Denver Times experiment, which came in the weeks after the newspaper closed but which failed to win the subscription base its backers were counting on to make it viable. Months in the works, the new Rocky Mountain Independent posted four features for today’s debut edition.

The Colorado Independent likes the new name– it recalls the names of other gritty and innovative online products we like! We also appreciate the survivor’s instinct that seems to be motivating the people behind the new website. We also found the features pretty dry and predictable and astonishingly, shockingly, bewilderingly free of any links connecting them to the rest of the web– a really bad sign that the site will fail to emerge from the dark forest of its Newspaperland past.

You decide reader: The Rocky Mountain Independent features — something new and exciting or something not so new and exciting and characterized either by unadventurous statements of the obvious or by wacky stretches that fail to compel?

Political story: Colorado Republicans are struggling
Quote: “I feel like the current state of the Republican Party would lead me away and have me vote Democratic.”

Business story: Entrepreneurs
Excerpt: “It takes more than just an idea, however, to strike out on your own and start a business. As entrepreneurs will tell you, success doesn’t come easily and unexpected challenges lie around every corner. But they say the potential payoff is a big one: being your own boss, doing something you’re passionate about and making a good living in the process.”

People story: The number of independent archeologists is on the rise
Quote: “’A stone ax! I just found my first ax!’ Nathan Pierantoni calls out.”

Arts story: Swedish folk music in Denver
Opening line: “The vitality of the Denver music scene is perhaps best explained by way of its diversity. And few embody that diversity like Elin Palmer.”

Sports: Something about the Nuggets
Opening line: “Denver Nuggets coach George Karl can’t eat at a restaurant these days without patrons patting him on the back. On a recent walk in a neighborhood park, well-wishers ran up to him and took photos with cell phones.”

I would add a closing bit here about why these stories remind me of Denver Post stories, but I am getting very sleepy…

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