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Date Posted: 13:21:44 01/06/17 Fri
Author: Lexi Lou Who
Subject: What is the Point of The Incline?

Before criticizing this new site I thought I should check it out for myself. I'm on the older edge of its demographic and I have journalism experience so I'm not just another cranky "old" who can't accept that we have to try new things in this field. I really wanted to give it a chance.

I just don't get what the point of The Incline is. Looking at it today there are 21 stories on its home page. Five of those are by staff writers, two are by the editor and one is by their Philly-based sports writer. The rest are links to other news sources, tweets, Instagram pictures and calendar items of "cool events."

And those two items written by the editor aren't even news, they're promotional: One is an announcement of their "Who's Next in Politics" list and the other is an announcement of a new sales hire.

The user interface of the site is puzzling and there are no ads. So do they raise money from the events with the "winners" of their contests? This is a tried-and-true method that the Pittsburgh Business Times and its sister papers have been doing for years (and they raise quite a bit of money from their events if I understand correctly). But will that revenue sustain a new site with no brand name recognition?

I guess my question is: What niche or audience is The Incline attempting to serve? And why do they keep trumpeting their affiliation with their "sister site" in Philadelphia? That's not going to win over readers in Pittsburgh, if anything it's going to be a strike against them.

I truly don't get why The Incline exists or why anyone would need to read it. It's a shame because there's a huge void in the Pittsburgh media market and a lot of out-of-work local journalists who could be helping this site with its credibility.

Someone please explain it to me. I don't get it.

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