I love finding examples of blogs with an industry-wide perspective, which are informative and written by knowledgeable, independent individuals within that industry.  

A case in point is the Australian Newsagency Blog, published and authored by Victoria, Australia based Mark Fletcher, who owns a newsagency and a software company.

Newsagencies – which in popular language are still called ‘paper shops’ – are typically in small main street retail shopfronts or malls and sell newspapers, magazines, stationery, including greeting cards, and lottery tickets. You can even buy bus and ferry tickets in some. In the past it was considered a lucrative business, but I suspect there may be more challenges for anyone starting in the business today.

According to the blog, there are 4,600 newsagencies in Australia.

I have a lot of respect for newsagents. My father had what’s called a sub-agency for some years. It was very hard work. And on occasions when I dropped in to the shop I observed how amazingly rude and overbearing some customers could be. So a newsagent, I figure, has to have a lot of tolerance for the human race if she or he is to survive.

Actually, my father tended to ignore the rude ones as much as possible and serve them last if he could – not sure if that was good business but he seemed to get some quiet satisfaction from the practice  .

Mark posts regularly and interestingly on a variety of topics from his industry, from big issues like competition from the Government-owned Australia Post, to more micro matters, like which magazines sold unusual numbers this week in his shop (hint: think pictures of Steve Irwin and check out Mark’s Sept 10 post).

Searching for ‘Australian newsagencies’ on the Australian blog search engine Gnoos (see below), it looks as if Mark might have stolen a march on anyone else who was thinking of blogging about that industry. All 20 results today for that term are for Mark’s blog.

The race is to the swift.

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