We all know the old saying that when life hands you lemons you should make lemonade. Well the media industry has been handed a whole lot of lemons of late and three young women have decided to make the most of it.
Just this week Laura Rich, Sara Clemence, and Lynn Parramore launched RecessionWire.com, a website which hopes to “capture the stories and improve the lives of urban professionals who…are getting effed by the economy.”
We spoke with co-founder Laura Rich yesterday, who told us RecessionWire was initially conceived at birthday party a few days before last Thanksgiving. Clemence and Rich had just been laid off from Portfolio.com and Parramore had just lost half of her freelance gigs. “Instead of being upset about it or freaking out, we decided to start the site. There’s this incredible a story out there that’s the recession.”
The idea behind the site, Rich says, is to deal with the recession in a more positive way, “You’ve got to find ways to live and ways to get through your day and keep things going.”
The three founders initially met once a week and have funded the launch of the site all on their own. “The Web is this incredible thing,” says Rich. “We bought the domain name from Go Daddy for $5 a year. We spend $30 a month for hosting. The site template was free and word press was free. The overhead is ridiculously low.”
Currently all three have paying jobs so the website is meant to be a part-time focus, which they plan to update six times a day. The three have not yet made a big push for advertisers — mostly because the site only went live yesterday — however Rich tells us they are definitely in the market for the “right sort” of advertiser. “What we are looking for are people who are offering goods and services that are definitely tied to the recession.”
At the moment all submissions (and they are accepting as we speak) are unpaid, but this is something they hope to change going forward. “Advertising is what we view as a way to pay our writers,” says Rich. “We are going to do all we can for our writers to make it a platform for them.”
Seems that that plan may already be working! Rich tells us that Deborah Siegel, who writes the column ‘Love in the Time of Layoff‘ has already seen some paying gig offers as a result of her writing for the site, as well as some interest from TV.
As for long-term plans, it’s hard to say. The site declares itself ‘born to die’ once the recession ends: “Just like a pop up store we’ll go away,” says Rich, “or potentially morph into something else. If there is something we’re doing that meets an ongoing need we’ll focus on that.”