Alltop CEO Guy Kawasaki gave a shout out to L.A. Weekly, the Village Voice and SF Weekly right before his March 17 SXSW keynote with Wired editor Chris Anderson regarding Anderson's upcoming book, Free. In Kawasaki's pre-keynote video interview above with, the interviewer (referring to Clay Shirky's treatise) asked Kawasaki how the concept of “free” applies to newspapers which she refers to as “essentially dead.” Kawasaki said favorably of the Village Voice Media papers:

“I know a guy at the Village Voice in New York who, apparently between the L.A. Weekly and the San Francisco Weekly and the Village Voice, they're doing quite well. So there is a model to be had there… 'Quite well' there means record sales, so it's something to look at. It can be done. I don't think it's a situation where everything is going to die.”

SxSW '09 was not a year of giant accomplishments and killer apps (Facebook connect for the iPhone aside) but evoked the more reticent underlying theme of troubleshooting and problem solving: standing out in this arena was Steven Berlin Johnson whose poignant speech highlighting the future of newspapers will be held as one of the most seminal pieces on the media transition for years to come. Perhaps the best thing to come out of SXSW '09 so far is Johnson's insight, as a prelude to a groundbreaking new business model.

Many thanks to for the insightful interview.

For those who are as passionate about the evolution of media as we are, follow us on Twitter at @alexiatsotsis and @laweekly. Also, check out Village Voice Media's SXSW Festival site for more coverage.

LA Weekly