Monroe Publishing Co.  is an independent publishing company in southeast Michigan that is employee-owned. I was hired 20 years ago this month to program satellite feeds and sell sponsorships for a new technology called “info-connect” which was basically a content service that provided information with just a telephone call. This information service was an early precursor to the Internet utilizing audio with a newspaper print component. A variety of newspapers around the country jumped at the chance to find a way to provide information to a new audience in a non-print format. We named our particular service “ InfoNOW.” Using their phone, listeners could learn about everything from plastic surgery procedures to big time wrestling results. One of my favorite features of InfoNOW was “Homework Hotline.” I would go to area schools to talk about the innovative technology that local teachers would have at their fingertips. They could voice homework assignments into the system and parents could simply call in to discover what projects their child had for the week.   Around the same time we were busy working on our very first website and I was excited to be a part of the new frontier. I was one of the first lucky employees to receive an e-mail address.  We were also one of the first newspapers in the state of Michigan to have a website.   During the last 20 years our small newspaper has generated revenue in several non-traditional ways. MPC created a department called Alternative Publishing, for non-newspaper products. Publications produced by this new department included “Prime Times,” which was targeted to seniors; “Saving Sense,” a coupon book; “Homes Plus,” a real estate booklet and several other rack publications.  Brochures, logo design and other print products for our newspaper clients were a big part of this new revenue stream. We also design and published over 20 books, some for ourselves and some for clients.   Two years ago we launched another new department called 20 Creative, a marketing and media agency. 20 Creative is a full-service advertising and marketing agency for Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer companies.  This is just another way newspapers are reinventing themselves.   Our current venture is marketing to individual consumers, rather than marketing to the masses. The technological advancements since the mid-1990’s are mind boggling. Social media and online geo-targeting have changed how businesses think about retaining and obtaining customers.   It is no secret newspapers across the country are looking for ways to re-invent or diversify themselves to generate revenue.  I don’t think there is a magic bullet so solve all the industry troubles, but I believe we are better at innovation and change than any other traditional media.