93 Studios (ninetythrees.com) is, at first glance, a news magazine built in the style of a Web portal/blog mashup. That’s just the first glance, though. It’s a little more than that.
First off, unlike most wannabes in the online news magazine business, 93 Studios has real artistic flair, great layout, and above all, rich and deep content. It’s not just written material either. There are in-studio video presentations, discussions, and more–all done with a high grade of professionalism.
This site is definitely more than just another blog with YouTube videos embedded.
The content is aimed at several subjects, running around the board, and growing daily. The professionals who put this site together aim towards high production value, deep content, and strong journalism. Nearly all of it is investigative-style journalism, delving into questions like the culture behind newspapers and the related subject of why they’re disappearing.
That example shows something else unique to 93 Studios that you won’t find in it’s quality television counterparts, such as ABC’s 20/20: threading. The story of newspapers in our pre-modern and modern culture leads into the question of why newspapers are beginning to die on the vine.
This “exploration of content,” as 93 Studio’s Steve Spalding says, “takes time to ‘pilot’ other types of content.” He cites their Nonpartisan Guide to Healthcare Reform that debuted on the site about a week ago as an example of this. I think the current in-depth look at Zombies in culture, film, art, and storytelling is a better example.
The story of zombies began on 93 with a look at why media is so fixated on them (in popular movies, books, etc.) and began to expand (or “thread”) from there. I count no fewer than six zombie-related stories on 93 Studios right now and I’m sure the threads are continuing.
As you may have gathered, the subject matter at 93 Studios is not singular, but is very broad and far-reaching. Each entry into the storyline has a number. So, for instance, the excellent explanation of how the site’s editors and journalists view the story as central to reporting is #53: Get Another Perspective.
Over time, 93 Studios plans to begin self-funding (it’s currently a startup) by offering expanded content through information products (e-books/pamphlets) and traditional print (books, magazines) as well as syndication and other feeds.
Steve Spalding, who is the founder of 93 Studios and the managing partner for it’s parent company, Crossing Gaps, says that “93 Studios can’t just be about our editors and our content. In the future we want to offer a complete solution for content producers on the Web.”
That about sums it up. Crossing Gaps is a Gainsville, Florida LLC. 93 Studios is currently in its Alpha stage.