Kara Swisher

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Kara Visits Offbeat Guides!

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This week, I went on a trek to downtown San Francisco–from ATD HQ, located in the wilds of the Castro–to visit David Sifry, the jovial Web entrepreneur who recently launched Offbeat Guides.

The San Francisco-based start-up makes “personalized, up-to-date travel guides that cover over 30,000 travel destinations, using a combination of search technology and curation by both amateur and professional travel experts.”

In other words, on-demand travel books, with a touch of humanity–an obvious and even innovative trend as custom printing gets cheaper.

But Sifry is also putting the guides on digital devices, like the Kindle from Amazon (AMZN).

Sifry, who also founded the blog search engine Technorati, talked to BoomTown about the business and gave me a quick tour of its HQ near Union Square.

Here’s the video interview:


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald