Did the Boston Globe save the newspaper industry?

It’s too early to tell just yet, but a story that flew slightly under the radar yesterday could potentially change the newspaper industry landscape forever. In a good way.

Boston GlobeIt was reported by a number of outlets (I learned of it through this ReadWriteWeb story) that the Boston Globe and Boston.com had applied for the rights to the new generic top-level domain .Boston.

According to the RWW report, the newspaper has the support of the city in this move. And, believe it or not, the city and the newspaper will work together to distribute the new domain to government agencies. That means the Globe will have the ability to brand its sections as news.boston and sports.boston, while selling domains to local restaurants and businesses and attractions.

It’s a big-time strategic risk. It could turn out to be the best decision the newspaper ever made, generating an entirely new revenue stream. It could turn out to be a disaster, if the .Boston domains don’t sell and the novelty of the concept doesn’t catch on in the city.

If nothing else, it’s a creative approach that many other struggling metro newspapers will be watching. And if it’s successful, you can bet that more newspapers will be scrounging up the cash to purchase their respective city’s high-level domain.

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