Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Concentrate: A new online magazine about Ann Arbor

27. March 2008 • Nancy Shore
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Want the latest news on what’s going on in Ann Arbor?

In addition to checking out the Ann Arbor News (and Arbor Update, of course), there’s now another place to find out what’s cookin’ in the A2.

It’s called Concentrate, brought to you by the folks who put together Metromode and Model D.

The first issue of Concentrate went online today. Feature articles include:

Investing in Vintage Ypsi

An article about Cristen McArdle Executive Director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

A video on the Film Fest

  1. You know, spamming me this morning over e-mail about your new mag did not in any way make me want read your publication. Ever. Maybe you should think about using an opt-in list next time.

       —KEF    Mar. 27 '08 - 03:39AM    #
  2. This is NOT Nancy Shore’s magazine.

    It is a new online FREE information magazine. Nancy was alerting you all about it because she works for GetDowntown, which encourages interest in the Ann Arbor area, particularly the downtown. It is my understanding that this is what this blog is supposed to be about.

    Slamming her is utterly unfair. I received the first issue by e-mail, and it has possibilities. I encourage others to take a look.

       —Leah Gunn    Mar. 27 '08 - 02:58PM    #
  3. Seems like most of the articles and blog postings are pulled from Metromode. I think that is a little odd. I like that they started a new magazine, but padding it with articles that appeared previously in another magazine doesn’t sit well with me, even if they are sister publications. So I wonder if it will just be the Washtenaw County parts of Metromode or if most of the editorial will be specifically for Concentrate? It definitely has that Chamber of Commerce for the under-40 set feel. I see there are a handful of other cities with similar publications.

    I’m not a big fan of the name. “Concentrate” just doesn’t really scream Washtenaw County to me. I wonder what their rationale was?

    I hope it works for them. Good to see new media in Ann Arbor. I still wish someone would start a daily newspaper though.

       —Juliew    Mar. 28 '08 - 02:50AM    #
  4. OOOHHHHHHHH JulieW – don’t I wish! Years ago a man named George Sallade tried that – it was called “Good Morning (either AA or Michigan – I can’t remember which) and actually COVERED the local news. It was fun while it lasted, as were other weekly publications. The only two media outlets now are th AA News & The Observer.

       —Leah Gunn    Mar. 28 '08 - 04:37AM    #
  5. Juliew –

    As I understand it, everything in Metromode gets tagged with descriptors for city, industry, etc. As does everything in Concentrate. And they share databases – so everything previously tagged “Ann Arbor” or “Ypsilanti” on Metromode will now show up in Concentrate’s archives for those cities. (And vice versa, moving forward.)

    It’s less a “sister publication” than a “dedicated front-end” – they figured they were spending enough of their time covering the Ypsi-Arbor area that they’d spin off a dedicated page (and resources) to it. I think it’s similar to the region-specific versions of Michigan Business Review, who will probably be their most direct competition. (And, as Issue Media is now covering Washtenaw, Grand Rapids, and Lansing, maybe MLive will spend some time shining up their online versions of MBR. That can’t be a bad thing.)

    They appear to have added some Washtenaw-specific editorial capacity, with Newcombe Clark listed as “publisher” – and I appreciate him that much more for the gaming reference (Though why a 12-sider, Newc? Fan of the longsword against size large enemies?) – and managing editor Jeff Myers, while shared with Metromode, is an Ann Arbor resident, I believe.

       —Murph    Mar. 28 '08 - 04:44AM    #
  6. Thought I’d pop in for just a moment to explain how we arrived at the name Concentrate.

    Coming up with something that was appropriate to Washtenaw County was actually pretty challenging. Beyond finding something that was punchy and memorable we needed to find a name that recognized Ann Arbor’s dominance in the region but didn’t exclude or neglect the importance of communities like Ypsilanti, Chelsea etc.

    When we reflected on the fact that there are two major universities in the county and that our narrative focus is on innovation, economic transformation, new urbanism, etc the double entendre of Concentrate seemed like a pretty good choice.

    We view this area as a place where innovation and talent concentrates. We also liked the notion that we were publishing a magazine that asked readers to ‘concentrate’ on issues that foster the creation of vibrant 24-hour downtowns, walkable communities, high-tech industries, entrepreneurship, sustainable practices and a creative culture.

    And Murph is correct as to why Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti-centric stories from Metromode are on the Concentrate site. We’ve done a lot of good features about the region that don’t have an expiration date and would be of interest to many of Concentrate’s readership.

    Hopefully you’ll enjoy what we do. We’ll be finding our feet over the next month or so but have a lot of good stories, guest bloggers and videos in the pipeline. Better yet, most of the people writing, photographing and shooting videos for us live locally.

    Thanks for reading and look for a new issue every Wednesday.

       —Jeff Meyers    Mar. 28 '08 - 09:35AM    #
  7. Lee, that was “Good Morning, Michigan”.

    I hope “Concentrate” is a big success!

       —David Cahill    Mar. 28 '08 - 06:44PM    #
  8. Yes, it was “Good Morning Michigan” – thanks.

       —Leah Gunn    Mar. 29 '08 - 01:08AM    #
  9. I think we could use more of this. I’m thinking of launching a site to compete with Concentrate.

    I’ll call it “Fresh Squeezed.”

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Mar. 29 '08 - 01:42AM    #
  10. Doesn’t Nancy work for the Chamber of Commerce?

    And the Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the video story on the film fest?

    Y’know, on Metafilter, this’d be roundly mocked as “Pepsi Blue,” or advertorial content.

       —js    Apr. 1 '08 - 08:55PM    #
  11. js
    Just FYI my organization is a collaboration between the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Ann Arbor, the AATA and the Downtown Development Authority. While I am housed at the Chamber of Commerce, I am basically a separate organization.

    Anyway, not sure if that gets at what you are saying. If you mean that there is a problem with the Chamber of Commerce (or other organizations/businesses) sponsoring content on Concentrate, as far as I know the Chamber does not produce the content itself or have to approve of it. The content is produced by independent journalists just like in a regular paper newspaper.

       —Nancy Shore    Apr. 2 '08 - 01:15AM    #
  12. Actually, the video is sponsored by the convention and visitors bureau, different than the Chamber of Commerce.

       —Chuck Warpehoski    Apr. 2 '08 - 01:21AM    #
  13. Concentrate has just completely irritated me by spamming two of my business email accounts with their newsletter – to which I did not subscribe. It looks like they got the addresses from Ann Arbor Spark.

    I’m happy to see more local content on the web, but tactics like these won’t win them any friends.

       —Tom Brandt    Apr. 2 '08 - 07:30PM    #
  14. I just got another spam e-mail from them this morning as well. Unfortunately, I don’t know where they got my address. It’s so nice to see the city sponsoring a spamming organization.

       —KEF    Apr. 2 '08 - 08:08PM    #
  15. Did either of you communicate your displeasure directly to Concentrate? Or are you just looking forward to complaining about it here the next time you get their newsletter? :-/

       —Steve Bean    Apr. 3 '08 - 07:30AM    #
  16. As Publisher of Concentrate I thought I would chime in and extend my apologies to anyone that didn’t enjoy receiving our publication. Please feel free to e-mail me at and we will remove your name from our list immediately.

    If you did receive Concentrate without signing up for it the chances are that we were given your e-mail by an organization that you’ve indicated you would like to receive news content relevant to their purpose or mission. In turn, that organization felt our content on growth over loss and on where Ann Arbor shines over where we lack was relevant information worth extending to their members.

    Our readership in week two is already over thirty thousand and the overwhelming response has been positive. That being said, we do not wish to overburden people’s e-mail with content they don’t wish to have. Again, we extend our apologies and will remove your name upon request.

    For our readers (those that enjoy us or otherwise), thank you for your comments in our infancy and we promise that each week Concentrate will improve in its depth and substance. The more leads and feedback we get the better we fulfill our editorial mission of creating a virtuous cycle of growth over a vicious cycle of loss. Where good news does happen and it can be reported on without it being considered hype or fluff. We believe Ann Arbor is a great town with great people and we hope to spotlight the other side of the story that isn’t often told.

       —Newcombe Clark    Apr. 4 '08 - 07:05PM    #
  17. The deepest concern is that Mr. Clark obviously doesn’t understand the nature of the problem. It’s disappointing to think that he will probably be a success anyway.

    Having received spam isn’t the issue. Those of us who actually use our email receive hundreds of spam messages a day. They’re not an “inconvenience”, they’re a fact of life.

    Having sent spam is the problem. How can he not understand that? He’s setting himself as some kind of harbinger of economic grace for the community, and at the same time demonstrating deep cluelessness of the social and cultural norms of the people who are actually doing the work.

    Insofar as any of us would have been interested in your publication, or in the work of the people you’ve presented in it (as if we didn’t already know all about that anyway), we’re done now. Because the big, messy brush you used to paint your image of the “virtuous cycle” was exactly the brush of hype and fluff.

    Have some shame, which is almost as good as a clue if you don’t have that.

       —Bill Tozier    Apr. 4 '08 - 09:39PM    #
  18. I think “Concentrate” should be cut some slack here.

       —David Cahill    Apr. 4 '08 - 11:40PM    #
  19. I actually like Concentrate and am glad they are around, I just don’t appreciate getting spammed.

       —Tom Brandt    Apr. 5 '08 - 03:24AM    #
  20. mr clark,

    i would like to find out which organization sold or shared my email with yours, and the terms of that arrangement.

    i make this request because while i may have agreed to their terms, i don’t think i ever agreed to yours:

    and opting out is not something very obviously doable from your site, so i’d like to address this at the source, to ensure my personal information is not re-sold or given out without my consent.

    so, will you tell the arbor update blog where you got the email addresses?

    thanks, bob

       —bob kuehne    Apr. 5 '08 - 07:04PM    #
  21. Are there any opinions about whether Concentrate has been successful as a community media source?

       —Kerry D.    Oct. 5 '08 - 12:58AM    #
  22. They’re still spamming me on a weekly basis. Although it now all winds up in my junk filter.

       —KEF    Oct. 10 '08 - 04:33AM    #
  23. I would not call sending an unwanted email message that has completely legitimate content and is plausibly of interest to the receipient “spam.” It is no different than sending a bulk mail flyer to a home or office.

    It may be slightly irritating, but it’s not grounds for such a high degree of indignation. Save that for people who send millions of malevolent messages at a time, rather than directing your anger at business people who are reaching out to their community for a constructive purpose.

       —Fred Zimmerman    Oct. 21 '08 - 06:31PM    #
  24. One message advertising their new magazine and asking if I want to join their mailing list would be more like what you describe. Getting unsolicited mail, every week, is spam.

       —KEF    Oct. 23 '08 - 05:54AM    #
  25. Concentrate has recently completed one year as an on-line media source.

    Does anyone have any opinions regarding its performance?

       —Mark Koroi    Jun. 5 '09 - 10:46PM    #
  26. I checked it out. Pretty lame articles and one of the finacial backers is an Ann Arbor developer.

       —Alan Goldsmith    Jun. 7 '09 - 04:55PM    #