ALTERNATIVE WEEKLIES ARE IN DANGER OF EXTINCTION: And the reason is John Hiler’s new CityBlogs initiative. Okay, I exaggerate. But one of the main reasons people pick up free alt-weeklies is for the entertainment listings and quirky local coverage — and that’s something that blogs can do better than once-a-week publications with print-level overhead. So I think that Alt-weeklies will have to either join the blogging revolution, or go out of business. I suspect that ventures like Hiler’s will do better than most web ventures at attracting advertising, too, for obvious reasons. Heck, he’s already got a real estate agent advertising there!

Check out his page and see what you think. I think it’s news.

UPDATE: J.D. Lasica calls CityBlogs “amazing.” It has also inspired a spirited discussion on my local alt-weekly’s discussion board.

The extra competition would certainly help to address this kind of problem. But my real point was that ink-and-paper, updated once a week, will have trouble competing with the dynamism of projects like Hiler’s. Smart Alt-weeklies, though, will try to emulate it.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis thinks the alt-weeklies are safe, at least for now.