The Grand Haven Tribune unveiled an interesting Web site yesterday--squink.com
You can read the Tribune article about the site for more detail, but essentially its a newspaper providing a photo sharing, social media site for local residents.
This is an example of a newsprint enterprise trying to be relevant in the digital, Web 2.0 world. It has some merit--the photo staff of the Tribune can share their photos, residents can upload their own, and the increasingly visually stimulated public can browse. It's a way for the Tribune to interact with readers and the community, perhaps community members who are not readers. It definitely has a local emphasis, which is what newspapers like the Tribune need to emphasize if they want to survive in an era of declining readership. In other words, it's a public relations effort to build new relationships and enhance existing ones.
A few have already posted photos. We'll have yet to see if the site is "sticky." There are ads on the site, from Google AdSense. The publisher says they hope to attract more local advertisers for banner web ads. So there's potential revenue stream and sustainability for the site.
There is a danger that some ill-advised business or organization will try to "colonize" the site by posting promotional photos. When this is tried on Facebook and other social sites, it doesn't work. However, it could be a good PR opprtunity if the photos follow the existing rules of Web 2.0, in other words if they are of a genuine interest that is not blatantly self serving.