I took a look at the “Paper without the Paper” beta program that the Toledo Blade is testing. Thank you for the invite!
My initial thought is that it appears the work is redundant. I understand that taking electronic images of the newspaper that are being repurposed for users, but the initial approach is falling a little short.
toledo-blade-sports-2010-12-09.png. Fill out the alt text too.
If the paper is using it as a sub-feature on the site, then it might work. But most of the papers who seem to be making a resurgence and have wanted to keep the paper look have focused on the graphic design, and to making sure the SEO and engagement on those sites are at least adequate. The NY Times is a good example (but for their paid content section). Brent Payne over at The Chicago Tribune as done a great job of getting the content structured with the CMS he works with.
If you are looking for the biggest bang for your buck, focus on the content and the ability to share and engage that content. Make the design work for you. Make Google love it. Make it easy for people to share each post on Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Reddit & Stumbeupon.
And if you have any questions on how to better do that, my team is pretty good at it. We do all that mobile and iPad stuff too 🙂
Once again, thank you for the beta invite. I hope my opinions help.