Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Ostrich’s webbed footprint; one day at a time.

We reported here, almost two weeks ago, that our beloved local rag, The Ostrich, is headed down the road of the paperless business model.  We could start an office pool about how long they’ll have any business model, but why trouble ourselves?

Something like two and a half years ago, about the time we founded this publication, the folks over on Industry Road who publish said Ostrich gave us a hint as to what was to come.

They had, until that point, a fairly stable web site that carried the most important content from the daily print version,  And they had an archive function that was years deep, and which we found very useful for researching various local issues.

The site carried several days of highlights, so you could catch up on things if you hadn’t read the  paper in several days, or were out of town.

Suddenly, the archive function was ‘redesigned’ to carry only two weeks of recent content, which means it was no longer an ‘archive’ in any meaningful sense.

For us, this diminished the already marginal value of the web site, if not the print version, to the near worthless level.  None-the-less, we were still able to visit the site every week or so, and skim the major stories and op-ed page content of recent days.

So much for that.

With their latest enhancement, The Ostrich has decided to live up to, or should we say exceed, our very low expectations.

The latest version of their web site, which will cost you $89.95 per year for full access come January 1st, has one day’s content, and that’s it.  So if you don’t check the site every day, you’ll be completely shut out from yesterday’s news.  Which, come to think of it, is their specialty.

We suppose there’s a method to their madness; they want to force you to come to their web page every publishing day, thereby increasing their ‘hit count’ so they can maximize their internet based ad revenue. 

Good luck with that.  We sure love going out of our way to read advertising on the web, and expect you do too.

We’ve also noticed that their archive feature is now even more useless than it has been in recent years, which is almost impossible.  Unless you’re trying to alienate whatever is left of your readership as you exit the publishing world.

Damn; how are we going to keep current with Paul Krugman and the other balanced viewpoints they publish?

Don’t worry; we’ll find a way.  And save money in doing so.  Like we’ve said before, we don’t recommend paying for a year in advance; that creates risky financial exposure.

If you just can’t control your addiction, at least don’t pay for more than a week at a time.  Or tell them you’ll pay after the service is delivered, not before.

Or even better, after they pay up on their property taxes.  That would be ‘journalistic justice,’ to coin a phrase.

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