Tuesday, June 09, 2009

NDN Online

My friend, John at Hard Deadlines, wrote an excellent review of their new pay online edition. As of yet, in their use of online resources, they just don't "get it." They've also deep-sixed reporter Joe Baker's political blog which was never really given a change at sucess. What a waste of a good local reporter. Some simple pointers on Internet blogging could have helped here. Don't they ... like ... read?

Lord knows that I'm no expert at this stuff, but even I know that I could give better advice than they seem to have used. In their online edition, they eliminated what makes online interesting & relevant. It's just the print edition in a format that is often difficult to use (like article continuation) & "moody" with a number of flaws. In fact, it makes you yearn to hold the print paper in your hands just to simplify things.

Now that the free time is up, I'm wondering exactly what will be online without paying? Have they actually attracted any new subsribers? What made the little that they previously offered even mildly interesting to me was the "comments" section & now it's gone. I used to be able to link to their articles. Meanwhile, Eastbay Newspapers just keeps getting better & better- and it's free! Projo is also well-done offering print & extra video content along with smaller blogs like Sheila Lennon's catch-all.

NDN keeps trying to put the information genie back into the print edition. If you want me to pay for my news, you need to offer me what I can't find elsewhere and at a reasonable price. Otherwise, I'll continue to do what I do now- buy the paper (sometimes), use the library, talk to people, read Projo (online & print), and find what I'm interested in online- for nothing.

So will I pay for the online edition that you are offering? No. Why pay for mostly features, ads, &, announcements with much of the actual news from agencies (the same argument I have with the print edition)? Why would I pay extra so that I could print-out coupons? And I now realize from John's "Comments" that you can only use it on 3 IEP's. So, I'm already done in. Forget using it if I travel. In my home there are 3 computers- 2 laptops & one big, old system.

So read John's review. He's right on the money with this one. So sad, I really wanted it to succeed just as I do the the paper, so why do they keep on foot-shooting and how many extra feet have they got to spare? Local news. That's what I want. And funnies. That's what I'm willing to pay for. Local news with some State content. The other stuff is easy to get- free. Heck, John & I give it away- with video (plus pithy commentary) and open comments- no name required.
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