Monday, February 25, 2013

Seattle Times

This week I read the announcement by the senior editor of the Seattle Times, available here to switch to subscription for their digital format (Website) newspaper. Ok, it's not only the trend but fair and good business. I couldn't agree more with this decision.

If folks don't know many newspapers now charge for Web access to their full digital format newspapers, started by the Wall Street Journal and picked up shortly afterward by other major newspapers and many smaller ones.

I subscribe to the New York Times digital service but not for their Website, for the Time Reader service which is different. It uses Adobe Air to deliver you the current daily newspaper with additional features over the print version along with a previous week of newspapers.

This is far better than any Website access because it's a separate reader and doesn't require continuous Internet connection except for the links in the articles. You download it and you're ready to read. You only download additional days if you want to read them. The whole paper is there in the Reader application.

This is what other newspapers should do as it's digital delivery than the reader has to access the Website, log into it, and then browser through the Web pages, which as anyone knows who read on-line newspapers, they suck.

Yes, they suck. They're bloated with the whole show up front you have to sort through to find the sections and articles you want to read than designed as a newspaper people like to read, eg. NY Times Reader.

While some of them offer the fascimile of today's newspaper, eg. Washington Post, it's hard to find what's new today and to browse sections like a print newspapers. I do read the Washington Post Website version but now only go to individual sections for what appears to be the latest.

That's because like all the major newspapers Websites, even the Washington Post is cluttered, distracting and confusing to readers. Why haven't they learned to make them easier to browse, find and read? I don't know but they're missing a customer base.

Anyway, for now I'll stick with the Sunday print edition of the Tacoma News Tribune and Seattle Times. Now if they had a reader service with the Website, then I'll be interested in them as I would if the Washington Post did likewise.

That said, it's their loss.

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