Nov 29, 2010

Launching a news site for kids age 6 to 12 years old

RevSquare is launching a news site for kids ages 6 to 12: As many of you know, I have been working on news for kids for a long time. I co-created with Francois Dufour of Play Bac, and his team, the first daily print newspapers for kids in the Western world, 18 years ago. Since, with François and Nancy, we have been trying to launch an online version in the US. First with The Associated Press in 1998 and then with partners like Workman Publishing in 2000. We even tried to launch a print version with The Miami Herald  in 2005.

We think it is worth it to try again. But this time our company, RevSquare, is going to take the lead and become the publisher with our perspective on what the feature and functionality set should be. Kiddoki will have two editions: Jr (ages 6-8) and (ages 9-12). Their goals: improve reading and comprehension skills, and prepare kids to be global, informed and active citizens. The sites will provide news stories based on the interest of kids, but will, occasionally and when necessary, explain "grown-up news" to them for important events, such as elections.

If you want to know more about it, you can go to Knight News Challenge site, where we are applying for a grant. And, if by any chance, you like the idea, register and vote for us. :)

Nov 23, 2010

Reinventing our business: a digital agency and an incubator to deliver digital monetization

It has been about a year that we have not been actively blogging. This silence was not because we had nothing to say but because we were working on an additional major client: us. At Mignon-Media, our job was firstly to help traditional media companies cross the digital Rubicon. We have been really pushing these companies to transform, and very hard. As we know it is not an easy move, and it requires a lot of energy from all parties.

So, 10 months ago, we took on our own deep transformation. The road has not been easy. And, we are just at the beginning of this move, far from having a full road map. But, we decided to move ahead and to adapt on the fly... Like we are often suggesting to our clients.

Mignon-Media is becoming RevSquare. A new name, for a wider direction.

RevSquare is a digital agency built to help all companies, not only media companies, with the creation and implementation of their digital strategy or a piece of it. RevSquare is solution and action-oriented. For each client, we build the right team for the right outcome. Our obsession is to make sure we help companies to move the "digital needle" and to deliver financial success. We are building a network of competencies in order to be flexible and to better adapt to the unique situation of each client. A network of DOERS.

Because moving the needle and launching new businesses are our obsession, we also decided to create an incubator. The goal of this incubator is to help start-ups take off, help them from financing to biz dev but also marketing, UI, software development, etc. We are very proud to say that, as of today, we are helping, a one-stop shop for news platform in the US; in France, we are working with Le Media on their new venture; and we are also developing and launching, the world's first online daily newspaper for kids. One or two other projects should come into the incubator in the next 3 to 4 months.

We are very happy to be taking this direction. Reinvention does not happen overnight. At this time, we feel it necessary to make a bolder move by focusing our business on digital and opening to other industries and not only media... as digital monetization is everybody's problem at the moment.

To do all of this, we are happy to welcome new partners: Sophie Reinauld (ex CEO of l'Agence), Francis Lambert (co-founder of l'Agence and media consultant) and Benoit Raphael (ex editor-in-chief of Le Post), among others. We have also created strategic partnerships with agencies like Mediapolis Interactive (Krzysztof Urbanowicz) in Poland, soon to be RevSquare Poland and The Realtime Project (Angela Kyle, Kit Macgillivray and Mark Reardon) in London. More to come. More partnerships and more new partners. And soon, you'll see a new site for RevSquare.

Thanks to them and to all of the wonderful people of whom we have been picking their brains. Thanks also to our great clients that have been helping us to change by challenging and pushing our team in new territories too. That makes us even!