FanPost

OT: StarTribune.com does not want your business


This is just a short rant about the Strib's recent policies. First, they require you to subscribe to the digital version of the paper. You are allowed to use the home page, and to open up to 20 articles per month. After that, you are blocked from opening without first subscribing. This is true even if you have a subscription to the paper. I am a Sunday subscriber, but I would still need to pay for the online version. I have to pay even for the blog content for which they pay nothing, such as TwinsCentric. And subscriptions are per computer. My wife and son would need to subscribe as well.

OK. Fine. It's not that good anyway. I can content myself with the Pioneer Press. And at least I can scan the Strib's home page for breaking news and such. That's what I thought for the first couple of months. Nope. Now they have an ad function that runs in the background on the home page without any way of turning it off. If you come to the home page, be prepared for a barage of audio ads that launch automatically and cannot be turned off without exiting the site.

We shall see how this works. But I predict disaster. The PiPress offers much the same content for free. It is easy enough to access that content. Even long-time Strib readers will convert rather than paying for the likes of Jim Souhan or listening to ads just to scan breaking news. I used to run an online magazine that got 2.5 million unique visits per month. The fewer the UVs, the less able we were to sell ads. I'm wondering how the Stribs ad sales people are liking the fact that their traffic just cratered. Well, it won't last long. The Strib will be the gazillionth online property to try pay per click and fail.

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