January 12, 2006

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Publisher's Note: Welcome to the Flea
by Jody Reese

Over the last five years, the community of Hippo readers has grown from zero to 124,400 people, stretching over southern New Hampshire.

Even though Hippo started as a Web site, we never had the money to create an online forum and classified-type market for our readers — that is until now.

Hippo is launching a new online service at www.hippoflea.com that lets local buyers and sellers easily come together and also provides forums for Hippo readers to discuss all sorts of subjects, including politics, great sledding hills, the area’s most interesting restaurants and anything else that people want to share.

Basically, www.hippoflea.com will give Hippo readers the option of talking via their keyboards to other Hippo readers and to buy and sell stuff locally without the hassle of shipping.

Ads for all items for sale for less than $50 are free. Items for sale over $50 will cost $5 to list. www.hippoflea.com is set up like a traditional flea market. Sellers post items for sale and buyers can buy them. Once the item is sold, the item is automatically removed from the site, eliminating unwanted inquiries. Buyers too don’t waste time inquiring about items already sold. By cutting out the extra calls and e-mails, www.hippoflea.com makes buying and selling much easier than traditional newspaper classifieds or craigslist.com.

The forum part of www.hippoflea.com is broken down by city, Manchester, Nashua and Concord. You will be able to comment on Hippo stories and anything else you might want. Feel free to add discussions or change the way the forums are organized. The idea here is to provide a space where all of you can share information and opinions with each other.

Abe Trujillo will run www.hippoflea.com and is part owner of the service.

The clock runs out on 168

Many of you might have noticed that the 168 newspaper boxes are missing from Manchester and Nashua. After a failed attempt to sell the teen publication to the staff of 168, The Telegraph has closed it down.

The Telegraph started 168 in 2004 to complete with Hippo, after we refused to sell. It was tough ride for 168, even with the corporate support of The Telegraph, which itself is owned by a Pennsylvania-based conglomerate. It just never seemed to find an audience, reaching only about 12,000 people over the age of 18 according to the Media Audit, compared to Hippo’s 124,400.

Hippo has been very critical of 168 since its inception. The Telegraph designed it so readers couldn’t tell the difference between advertising and staff-written articles and for it to include no news or thoughtful commentary.

Billy’s goes smoke free

Billy’s Sports Bar is getting ahead of the trend to make restaurants and bars smoke-free. As of the first of the year, Billy’s (corner of Massabessic Street and Tarrytown Road in Manchester) stopped allowing smoking inside. Congratulations, Billy’s! The state legislature has been looking at passing a law banning smoking in all restaurants and bars. Interestingly, the restaurant and bar trade group is not opposing it.

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