This is a wild idea. This is something I would love to see. A small town newspaper builds a site with Radio. It provides Radio to all of the community leaders in town, such as the local fire department, the police, the schools, the community organizations, the local sports teams, the zoning board, etc. All told it provides 50 licenses, templates, and a location to post ($2k). It then links to these organizations via its home site and aggregates RSS style news. It accepts more community weblogs from others that buy the software on their own and begin to publish (my town’s girls soccer team has a Radio weblog, through no work done by me).
It then sells Radio, plus a place on their main site, to local businesses. $250 a year. The local travel agents, the real-estate agents, the landscaping businesses, etc all post new info on specials, tips on what your next purchase or activity should be, etc. There would easily be, in most 20k person towns 100 small companies that would do this = $25 k. All the paper would need to do is point them to the location to download the software and link to them.
Now, most of this could be done without an RCS server and simply through FTP, a static host (available at most ISPs for low $$), and linking. Simple. An RCS and some manipulation of RSS newsfeeds would add another level of sophistication and community building.
Think of the benefits! All the news you could ever want on a town in one place = fresh, decentralized, and useful. Produced by the people who make it. Excellent. [John Robb’s Radio Weblog]