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Formspring

8 Bay Area Startups Disrupting the Worlds of Media and Publishing

Newspapers, magazines, books, radio, TV, and even web-based publishers have all suffered major setbacks in recent years, with massive layoffs in some sectors and stagnant growth, at best, in others.

Meanwhile, dozens of local startups are exploring creative ways to transform old media industries into data-driven mobile/social/local services that collectively represent the prospect of a much more diverse new media landscape in the years to come.

This post highlights eight of those disruptive companies, listed alphabetically, that we have been able to profile at 7x7.com during 2011. Half of them are focused in one way or another on challenging the traditional book publishing industry, as ebook sales continue to explode.

SoMA-Based Formspring Thrives on Curiosity

The San Francisco Bay Area may be the global center of technology entrepreneurism, but not every big idea originates here, of course, although most do seem to find their way here sooner or later.

That's the case with Formspring.me, the social network that helps people find out more about each other and themselves by asking and answering questions.

"It's a vehicle for self-discovery and also for self-expression, says CEO Ade Olonoh, the soft-spoken computer scientist who started Formspring in Indianapolis late in 2009 and moved the company to SoMa last year.

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