Toledo Talk

The Blade begins All Access subscription for online content

I thought that I would post this because the discussion will begin soon.

Today's news story captures not only the facts of the subscription, but also the views of The Blade' leadership.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am the Social Media manager at The Blade. The information that I submit is not representative of my employer's policies, procedures, nor any other information that The Blade uses to make decisions. The Blade's management may or may not agree with what I post here, by the way.

created by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:27:37 am
updated by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 02:53:49 pm
    Media     Comments: 78

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Comments ... #

Please let us know what you think. Thanks!

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:28:48 am     #  

In the above Blade article, the link for eBlade.toledoblade.com needs fixed. Currently, it points to: http://www.toledoblade.com/eBlade.toledoblade.com which produces a 404 page not found error.

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:46:21 am     #  

Ditto for the two toledoblade.com links near the top of that story.

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:47:47 am     #  

^^ I'd pay for that! ^^

posted by SensorG on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:57:52 am     #  

I had it fixed so that the link opened in another window, instead of replacing toledotalk.com - the first one didn't work until I edited it. We must have worked on it at the same time and your browser cache might have caused the confusion.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:59:13 am     #  

It works the way I want, now. Thanks

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 12:03:28 pm     #  

paulhem posted at 10:59:13 AM on Nov 27, 2012:

I had it fixed so that the link opened in another window, instead of replacing toledotalk.com - the first one didn't work until I edited it. We must have worked on it at the same time and your browser cache might have caused the confusion.

Paul, I was referring to the three broken links, near the top of this Blade article.

http://www.toledoblade.com/Technology/2012/11/27/Blade-unveils-All-Access-to-Web-site-for-subscribers.html

The two links for toledoblade.com and the link for eBlade.toledoblade.com were published incorrectly.

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 12:16:53 pm     #   1 person liked this

Interesting plan.

For Current Blade Subscribers

  • You will become All Access members with continued free unlimited access on all of the newspaper's Web sites and on an all-new and enhanced eBlade.
  • You can register online. After viewing 20 articles, you will be asked to enter your name and phone number, and the Blade will e-mail you the digital subscription info.

For Non-subscribers

  • You can read up to 20 articles a month at no charge.
  • A digital-only subscription costs $5.99 for the first six months and $5.99 per month after that.
  • A digital-plus subscription actually costs less, and it includes home delivery of the Sunday paper. The digital-plus subscription costs $4.99 for the first six months and $4.99 a month thereafter.
    • "The digital-plus subscription will cost less than the digital-only fee because The Blade would like subscribers to have access to the Sunday print edition."

Etc.

  • The Blade’s app for mobile devices will remain free.
  • Customers who have questions, or who don't wish to register online, can email The Blade’s circulation department at allaccess@toledoblade.com

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 12:19:01 pm     #  

jr: hahaha... didn't know which error you were referring to... :)

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 12:23:56 pm     #  

It mentions the Blade's app will remain free.

Will the 20 article limit also be imposed in the app?

posted by Spaceace on Nov 27, 2012 at 12:51:03 pm     #  

Interesting business model!

posted by upso on Nov 27, 2012 at 12:53:00 pm     #  

^ I detect skepticism here. Perhaps even sarcasm...

posted by McCaskey on Nov 27, 2012 at 01:10:16 pm     #   1 person liked this

Thanks for asking, Spaceace. I had to call one of the managers to make sure I was able to answer you correctly - good question.

"It mentions the Blade's app will remain free."

"Will the 20 article limit also be imposed in the app?"

The apps are free. There is no 20 article limit.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 01:12:39 pm     #  

"Mr. Grimm said some newspapers are making a small profit by charging for their Web sites"

Maybe its just me, but that quote wouldn't exactly thrill management, would it? The words 'some' and 'small'?

posted by McCaskey on Nov 27, 2012 at 01:15:44 pm     #   1 person liked this

Thanks upso. Frankly, we are using the same model as 100s of other papers - we held off as long as we could. However, we were told other papers started at 10 free articles, instead of 20.

Looks like a Columbia Journalism Review writer explains it even better, here, The Washington Post needs a paywall—now

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 01:18:23 pm     #  

Excerpts from the Facebook comments posted at the Blade article about charging for digital access:

  • "I will survive and just get my news from someplace else like television ..."
  • "Time to get used to the local TV web sites for my local news."
  • "What a joke! Charge for access to online content? Plenty of other places to get the news."

Everyone probably has a different definition of "news," but how much news can be found on local TV news websites? How much local news can you get by watching a local TV news station?

I assume that some people who produce a product would like to be paid, so I don't see the problem with them charging a fee for their product. And if the product sucks, then a consumer can stop paying for it.

It's rare, probably not even once a month, that I watch a local TV news program. Unless it's a major event, I think TV is the worst source for acquiring news or information. Watching TV for news/info is too restrictive, and it requires too much time investment.

It has been a few years since I last held and read a printed newspaper, including the weeklies. With tablets, smartphones, apps, and better designed websites, I think the printed newspaper is pointless. So I would buy the Blade's $5.99 digital-only access plan.

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 01:45:34 pm     #   5 people liked this

Only a fool would pay to read news on the Internet.

posted by toledoramblingman on Nov 27, 2012 at 02:40:28 pm     #  

jr, I am grateful that you were able to arrive at the conclusion that you mentioned above.

A little more detail on this. I am reading here and making calls to Blade managers to get your questions answered. Our new Media Manager mentioned this:

The 20 article limit for non-subscribers means that EACH DEVICE that the non-subscriber owns gets 20 articles/month.

Also, I subscribed to toledoblade.com and m.toledoblade.com online. I did not have to know my account number as a Blade subscriber. After putting in my address and phone number the system looked up my subscription account and let me in. I realize that should be a common expectation, but I had to test it myself.

And yes, I pay for my Blade subscription. I used one of the deals that our circulation people had advertised to get a year subscription.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 02:50:42 pm     #  

Joe Grimm, Michigan State University, quoted in the article:

"The challenge, of course, is having unique content that people want," he said. "It’s got to be good content that people want and not just generic, or the easy to report stuff."

How much of the Blade is locally generated and how much is wire service news available anywhere else? Judging by the paper in the office today, there's a lot of (AP) bylines.

How much of that local product is more than police blotter and politician stenography service? Meaning more than just "Joe Blow was f@&ked up last night on Indiana Ave...police have no suspects" and "Mayor Bell is going to China with 350 supporting staff and that's just f@#king dandy--have a good trip, Mayor Bell!"

Newspapers should charge for their product--no question. But what is the true state of the product? Newsrooms across the country have shrunk dramatically. Is the Blade going to further highlight its local writers and personalities online to give it an edge? Will their be hyper-local content added?

It will be interesting to see this venture unfold. Good luck.

posted by oldhometown on Nov 27, 2012 at 03:27:44 pm     #  

toledoramblingman posted at 01:40:28 PM on Nov 27, 2012:

Only a fool would pay to read news on the Internet.

The folks who pay to place ads in the printed Sunday edition should be paying close attention to the fact that they are padding the Sunday circulation numbers with the online credit gimmick.
The numbers won't be a true indication of who actually reads the sunday blade vs. who just wants to save a buck a month. They'll forgoe an extra buck and print papers that won't get read simply to pad the circulation numbers. Imagine how many Sunday papers will go straight from the porch to the recycling bin.

The tree huggers should be up in arms.

posted by justread on Nov 27, 2012 at 03:42:26 pm     #  

Justread: What statistics can you cite to back up your conclusion. Just asking because in my business experience, I have been required to support my views with some pretty solid numbers. Especially, is I were to accuse an organization of "padding."

Our studies have shown that newspapers are routinely read by more than one person per household. Our advertisers accept that as true. Why? because they receive results directly from the ads that support the claim.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 03:57:43 pm     #  

is=if

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 03:59:25 pm     #  

"How much of the Blade is locally generated and how much is wire service news available anywhere else?"

oldhometown: I thought that your post was very insightful. Of course you are fairly close to this business having been a news person. To answer your question... Local vs. national/international is another way to say it. Why would we include any national/international wire content? As far as I know, our traditional newspaper audience only wants to read one source of news, so we include the wire content. Of course that demographic trends older. Our objective is to keep our current audience happy, while we increase the younger audience who would read national stories from their Yahoo or Google settings, and the local news from our apps, Web site, etc. It is a balancing act and, as you know, the news business is changing rapidly - perhaps even daily or hourly.

My academic interest is in the convergence of news. It's something that my wife (former Blade reporter and now UT prof) discuss. The "second screen" trend that TV are trying to tap into is an example...

It is an exciting time to be in the news business.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 04:23:51 pm     #  

As a reader, my views about the blade are based on so much more than statistics. Fortunately I am not a professional reader. I am an unprofessional one. There will be no doctoral thesis to support my views. No surveys. No studies. Just the common sense understanding of how business and altruism work, and how they often dress up as one another for parties.

As an advertiser, I see it like this:
Sunday circulation number before the dollar discount minus Sunday circulation numbers after the dollar discount equals the "padding."
For the purposes of my opinion, "padding" is defined as the subset of houses who recieve the printed version to save a buck, not to read it. As an advertiser, I would have no interest in paying for this newfound "reach."
You could produce studies that show that the new "dollar discount club" actually goes door to door reading the newspaper to each other, (rather than the online content that was unlocked by their subscription) but I wouldn't pay for that subset. Nor would I believe the study.

Are you suggesting that The Blade would like to put the printed version into more online version readers' hands for some other reason? Say, to support bird cage cleanliness?

Maybe you call it "circulation building." I call it "padding." I call it padding because I don't believe that your numbers will be for newly acquired readers as much as newly acquired recycle bins.
You call it "all access subscription." I call it "the paywall we have all been waiting for."

But by all means, please don't sue me because I used the term "padding." It was just a term for the subset, not as you suggest, an ACCUSATION of providing false circulation information to advertisers. Oh, they are real numbers. Just not likely real readers.

I knew a woman once who received a free copy of Playboy magazine. She didn't read it, but it was free, and once it started it kept coming. Are you suggesting that this is because Hugh Hefner is a feminist? Or perhaps is it because they need to show circulation to women to attract certain advertisers, and women weren't buying. Hmmmm.

posted by justread on Nov 27, 2012 at 04:27:44 pm     #  

Obviously, your argument is based upon anecdotes and feelings. I won't venture into those.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 04:33:53 pm     #   1 person liked this

toledoramblingman posted at 01:40:28 PM on Nov 27, 2012:

Only a fool would pay to read news on the Internet.

Good analysis. Concise and poignant.

And only fools dine at restaurants because they could save a lot of money by buying the food at the store and preparing it at home. I can't believe able-bodied homeowners outsource their lawncare functions to a for-profit business. It must have something to do with choice.

The way the media landscape is rapidly changing in the United States, soon it will be only fools who pay to read news on printed paper, assuming the print option even exists. Some small orgs or clubs that provided its paying members with a printed newsletter have switched to digital-only. It's the trend.

The newspaper industry has spent the last 10 to 15 years trying to adapt to the technological changes that have caused us to consume information in new ways. It may take several more years of innovation before the newspaper industry finds a sustainable model. They have to try new things and maybe fail at times in order to get to the solution quicker.

It's expected that in two or three years, most of the Web access in the U.S. (outside of work) will be done on smartphones and tablets and not on desktop/laptop computers.

A few of my recently collected media links :

November 2012 - Newspapers report ad revenue loss for 25th quarter in a row

November 2012 - Mobile-first and the future of media

October 2012 - Digital first isn’t an option for media — it’s the only way forward

October 2012 - Future of mobile news

October 2012 - More Tablet Owners Read News than Use Social Networking Sites

October 2012 - Trends show online ad revenue will overtake print this year

October 2012 - By year’s end, tablet users in the United States alone are expected to exceed 70 million, up from 13 million just two years ago.

August 2012 discussion How will readers consume long-form journalism five years from now?

July 2012 - Which mobile devices are owners using most frequently for news?

July 2012 - The iPad becomes the evening newspaper

July 2012 - Mobile Is Where The Growth Is


September 2012 - Pew: Half of Americans get news digitally, topping newspapers, radio

More Americans get news online than from radios or newspapers.

"Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day," the report says.

October 2012 - Less Than A Quarter Of Americans Read Print Newspapers

... just 23 percent reading a print newspaper.

... a declining proportion gets news or reads other material on paper on a typical day. Many readers are now shifting to digital platforms to read the papers.

Substantial percentages of the regular readers of leading newspapers now read them digitally. Currently, 55 percent of regular New York Times readers say they read the paper mostly on a computer or mobile device, as do 48 percent of regular USA Today and 44 percent of Wall Street Journal readers.

October 2012 - Let me guess: You sleep with your iPad, don’t you?

A study released by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism finds most news junkies who own tablets use them before 8 a.m. and in the after-work hours.

For many, more devices means more news, according to the study. Pew found 43 percent of tablet owners say they are getting more news now than they were before they got the device, and 31 percent say they’re adding new sources into their information diet.

Nearly a quarter of U.S. adults now own a tablet, and more than half of U.S. adults have smartphones.

People who get news on their devices multiple times per day, on either the smartphone or tablet, tend to turn to more sources, get news from new sources, read in-depth news articles, watch news videos, and send and receive news through email or social networks.

Tablet news consumers who get news more than one time during the day are also twice as likely as those who get news once a day to have paid for news on their tablet.

... fewer people, as a percentage, reported paying for the news on mobile devices in 2012 compared with last year. Pew chalks that up to the broadening population of tablet owners — and not necessarily a decline in willingness to buy the news.

Pew’s findings also reinforce the idea that tablets are an after-work “lean back” experience for most users. Evening remains the most popular time of day for people to turn to their tablets.

And while tablet owners reported scanning headlines on their devices, they’re also turning to them for longer reads. Some news organizations have already built editorial schedules around these habits.

Most tablet and smartphone users are still relying more on mobile browsers than on news apps, by a ratio of more than 2:1. Those who prefer apps tend to be more engaged with the news, Pew found.

So where does the old-school portable news product — print — fit into the mix? Not all of the most plugged-in news consumers have abandoned the medium. Most people opt for some bundle of digital and print habits, with a quarter of those surveyed saying they’re considering switching out the print component for digital-only.

Consumers who use tablets, smartphones, laptops, and print reported spending the most time getting news on a tablet — 77 minutes — and the least time getting news on a smartphone — 51 minutes. But print only got five minutes more attention than smartphones.

October 2012 - New York Times circulation up 40% as newspaper numbers generally flat

The New York Times reported a 40 percent increase in Monday-Friday circulation, driven by digital subscription packages, with a 28 percent increase in Sunday circulation over the same time last year. The Times now has about 25 percent more digital subscribers during the week than print subscribers. On Sundays, print subscriptions still exceed digital.

The Times is not the only paper shifting to a more heavily digital mix, as Rick Edmonds’ analysis explains. ABC reports that “digital circulation now accounts for 15.3 percent of newspapers’ total circulation mix, up from 9.8 percent in September 2011.”

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 04:33:56 pm     #   1 person liked this

paulhem posted at 03:33:53 PM on Nov 27, 2012:

Obviously, your argument is based upon anecdotes and feelings. I won't venture into those.

It's not an argument. It was just an opinion. If it was the same as yours, you wouldn't call it an argument.
You could choose to accept it or reject it, but I can see why you wouldn't "venture."

I can also see why you would be completely unable to provide an alternate, altruistic rationale for reducing the street value of the printed Sunday blade to an effective minus 24 cents an issue.

posted by justread on Nov 27, 2012 at 04:38:47 pm     #  

http://www.toledonewsnow.com/

http://www.toledofreepress.com/

What are the other daily sites you visit for news in NW Ohio?

posted by toledoramblingman on Nov 27, 2012 at 04:45:31 pm     #  

When was the last time either was linked here at TT for News?

posted by SensorG on Nov 27, 2012 at 05:10:27 pm     #   3 people liked this

The Free Press is not a real newspaper, no matter what they would like us to believe. The quality of their "reporting" is nowhere near the level of The Blade and that is a very low bar in many cases.

posted by MoreThanRhetoric on Nov 27, 2012 at 05:31:22 pm     #   2 people liked this

Paul, my daughter and I are UT students and use the Blade for our coursework regularly. It would be nice if the Blade offered free e-subscriptions to UT.

posted by MrsPhoenix on Nov 27, 2012 at 05:31:25 pm     #  

Hi Mrs. Phoenix - Yes we will. We have a UT edition at http://ut.toledoblade.com We offered it last year and will do it again. I am copying your comment to one of our VPs for more information.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 05:45:36 pm     #   1 person liked this

Actually, http://eblade.toledoblade.com is free for the foreseeable future.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 05:53:36 pm     #  

toledoramblingman posted at 03:45:31 PM on Nov 27, 2012:

http://www.toledonewsnow.com/

http://www.toledofreepress.com/

What are the other daily sites you visit for news in NW Ohio?

Here's a page of area media links, but I last updated it in October 2003, so several links no longer work.

http://toledotalk.com/news-sites.html

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 06:15:13 pm     #  

Speaking of links that no longer work - Paul? When will The Blade restore broken links?

My only thought here is that The Blade is ten or more years behind times. The paper is late to the party.

Question: When is The Blade going to publish a Kindle edition of the paper?

posted by madjack on Nov 27, 2012 at 06:46:25 pm     #  

madjack: You had asked me about this before, so I requested that this get fixed.

I should have reported back to you that the links have been fixed - to the extent that I did a search https://www.google.com/search?q=2004+toledoblade+mayor&oq=2004+toledoblade+mayor and got a story from 2004.

If you have any that do not work, then please send paste them here, or email them to me paulhem[at]toledoblade.com

We do have an app for The Kindle Fire. I'll have to dig more to find out about what we plan to do for the earlier Kindles.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 06:58:43 pm     #  

madjack: On being late... "Sometimes the hunter gets the bear and sometimes the bear gets the hunter."

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 07:01:11 pm     #  

paulhem posted at 06:01:11 PM on Nov 27, 2012:

madjack: On being late... "Sometimes the hunter gets the bear and sometimes the bear gets the hunter."

Yeah... and all you have to do is outrun your hunting buddy!

Thanks Paul. I'll go back and try the links.

posted by madjack on Nov 27, 2012 at 07:07:35 pm     #  

Sometimes the hunter is treated at the hospital, and sometimes the hunter is treated at a hospital formerly known as the Medical College of Ohio. Depends on who the hunter's dad was.

posted by justread on Nov 27, 2012 at 07:09:45 pm     #   1 person liked this

justread: My dad never hunted, but he knew that the only reason UTMC exists in Toledo, Ohio is because of The Block family. If it means we read "the former Medical College of Ohio" in stories then that is a low price to pay for an institution that could have been University of Dayton Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 07:31:18 pm     #  

"Question: When is The Blade going to publish a Kindle edition of the paper?"

Do you have the Kindle Fire or the e-book-only style of the Kindle? If the former, point the tablet's browser at the mobile-friendly site, located at http://m.toledoblade.com

Some newspapers offer a Kindle Edition, such as the Detroit Free Press, which costs $6.99 a month. This format was fine two-plus years ago, but I don't think it's necessary to provide this option today.

Too many tablet and smartphone users exist today who prefer to use the device's Web browser and not download an app for every website that they visit. And this particular user base will continue to increase rapidly as more people buy the smaller tablets priced between $200 and $350.

More websites are being designed or redesigned to accommodate all the devices. The geeks describe this type of development as "responsive design" or "progressive enhancement." It basically means design one website, but make it work well on all devices.

Examples of responsive design:

Visit the above websites on your desktop/laptop, and then resize your browser to see how the sites rearrange the columns and resize the images to display properly. Visit the same sites with a tablet or a smartphone and view them in both landscape and portrait modes.

But apps still have a place. Blade apps:

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 08:36:17 pm     #  

paulhem posted at 06:31:18 PM on Nov 27, 2012:

justread: My dad never hunted, but he knew that the only reason UTMC exists in Toledo, Ohio is because of The Block family. If it means we read "the former Medical College of Ohio" in stories then that is a low price to pay for an institution that could have been University of Dayton Medical Center, formerly the Medical College of Ohio.

Well, that is part of the price that we have paid.

Please continue managing the spin regarding the paywall without any more from me. I don't want either one of us to get in any trouble.

posted by justread on Nov 27, 2012 at 09:14:49 pm     #  

justread: You wouldn't 'get into trouble' because you are anonymous - it would just be me who gets into trouble. However, I appreciate your concern,

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 09:29:47 pm     #  

Paywalls are very risky. But it's not like The 'Blockade' has much choice. The newspaper continues to decline in relevance to today's digital society, in today's collapsing Toledo economy, and especially with the slow but steady dying off of the 50-65 demographic, which according to my understanding was Internet averse, news wise.

posted by GuestZero on Nov 27, 2012 at 09:43:25 pm     #   1 person liked this

A couple points:

- I much prefer reading newspapers in print than online. You can consume more information and often see items that you wouldn't otherwise see in an online edition. If anything, the paywall will push me into starting to get the print edition delivered again.

- I know that the Blade catches a lot of flak for a variety of biases and peccadilloes (dogs, Obama, UTMC formerly MCO) but I have never lived in a city where people didn't gripe about the local rag.

- The Blade is really the only game in town when it comes to news reporting. Is any other news outlet in town going to do any real investigative reporting? The kind that actually takes time and goes beyond sensationlism? I think not. I appreciate what the Blade does and am willing to pay for it.

posted by Ace_Face on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:15:20 pm     #   2 people liked this

"... slow but steady dying off of the 50-65 demographic, which according to my understanding was Internet averse, news wise."

Excerpts from a couple June 2012 stories:

A demographic analysis of U.S. tablet users found that the heaviest audience concentration was between the ages of 25-44, accounting for 45.8 percent of users.

Compared to smartphone owners, tablet users were 28 percent more likely to be in the 65 and older age segment, and 27 percent less likely to be age 18-24.

Tablet users also skewed towards upper income households, likely a function of the high price point of these devices still considered a luxury good to many consumers. Nearly 3 in 5 tablet users resided in households with income of $75,000 or greater.

The "older" age group with their aging eyesight may prefer the larger tablet screens when reading for long stretches. The tablets are causing some people to read more and to go back to reading longer articles. The pile of magazines, books, and newspapers still exist, but they are compressed in a tablet.


Info from another graphic about tablet users:

More recent tablet users are:

  • Female = 56%
  • Older = 38% are 50-64
  • Less tech savvy
  • Leisure users
  • Educated, upper income consumers

Most people would pay a modest fee for:

  • movies 22%
  • games 21%
  • music 20%
  • magazines 16%
  • TV shows 14%
  • newspapers 12%

We love using tablets for:

  • getting weather 54%
  • getting local news 48%
  • listening to music 47%
  • playing games 44%
  • social networking 42%
  • watching videos 42%
  • browsing the net 33%
  • online shopping 28%

Misc info:

  • 80% of tablet owners have paid for content.
  • Consumers pay for content that is free online in order to access it on a tablet.
  • Legacy print-like content (in all of its forms) is shaping up as a potential 'killer app' on tablets.
  • Unlike Web models, consumers see the tablet more along the lines of a smartphone and are willing to pay for content.

posted by jr on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:51:00 pm     #   1 person liked this

signing up is hilariously unobvious

posted by upso on Nov 27, 2012 at 10:52:39 pm     #  

jr: Good information, thanks. I can definitely use that internally.

upso: Frankly, with 20 free articles on each device, many people who click on links in email or social media may never need to sign up. Why shove something that may not affect them in their face. When/if people reach that number, then it will be very obvious.

posted by paulhem on Nov 27, 2012 at 11:07:08 pm     #  

Ace_Face posted at 09:15:20 PM on Nov 27, 2012:

A couple points:

- I much prefer reading newspapers in print than online. You can consume more information and often see items that you wouldn't otherwise see in an online edition. If anything, the paywall will push me into starting to get the print edition delivered again.

- I know that the Blade catches a lot of flak for a variety of biases and peccadilloes (dogs, Obama, UTMC formerly MCO) but I have never lived in a city where people didn't gripe about the local rag.

- The Blade is really the only game in town when it comes to news reporting. Is any other news outlet in town going to do any real investigative reporting? The kind that actually takes time and goes beyond sensationlism? I think not. I appreciate what the Blade does and am willing to pay for it.

There are communities with "newspaper peccadilloes," and then there are communities with the "Strong Publisher" form of government.

posted by justread on Nov 28, 2012 at 07:05:13 am     #  

Got it paul
I went looking to sign up and couldn't find the info. If you're offering perks like the Sunday paper, maybe a more in your face link is in order?

posted by upso on Nov 28, 2012 at 07:32:11 am     #  

Hit The Blockade's limit, delete cookies, book it, done.

posted by anonymouscoward on Nov 28, 2012 at 09:06:38 am     #   2 people liked this

upso: Thank you! I owe you one. :) Your suggestion makes sense and is appealing to me. Let me take that to our folks (they probably read this, anyway).

posted by paulhem on Nov 28, 2012 at 11:07:51 am     #  

AC's advice is good......if you're comfortable with freeloading. Reporters (and others in the newspaper field) gotta eat. Without the press looking over their shoulders politicians and public officials will do what they do even more so than they do now.

I'm thinking of the bid rigging scandal, Bell's infatuation with the Chinese, the TPS test scores and attendance issues, to name just a few of the recent events that NEEDED reporting to the public. I don't see the Free Press or the City Paper ever stepping thoroughly into that role.

Bash the BLADE all you want. It still does more good than harm. Most of those BLADE employees live in this community. Its a local business. I'll pay a fair price for what I get.

posted by holland on Nov 28, 2012 at 11:20:06 am     #   5 people liked this

holland posted at 10:20:06 AM on Nov 28, 2012:

AC's advice is good......if you're comfortable with freeloading. Reporters (and others in the newspaper field) gotta eat. Without the press looking over their shoulders politicians and public officials will do what they do even more so than they do now.

I'm thinking of the bid rigging scandal, Bell's infatuation with the Chinese, the TPS test scores and attendance issues, to name just a few of the recent events that NEEDED reporting to the public. I don't see the Free Press or the City Paper ever stepping thoroughly into that role.

Bash the BLADE all you want. It still does more good than harm. Most of those BLADE employees live in this community. Its a local business. I'll pay a fair price for what I get.

If we actually got reporting worth a damn these days I might agree, but what we get is mush masquerading as reporting. And that's because the days of actual investigative reporting are long gone since the wrong thing might be discovered about the news organization's owners/lords and masters/political backers.

I would advise people to pull this book out of the library for a start:
http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-News-Fark-Media/dp/1592403662

posted by anonymouscoward on Nov 28, 2012 at 01:01:22 pm     #  

I politely disagree AC. While the BLADE is sometimes slanted and agendas are thinly veiled, I believe that some of the reporting is top knotch. I definitley would not want to be without a local newspaper.

I believe your "bad reporting" argument holds more sway with the national TV news reporting. ABC in particular. I strongly suspect that corporate ABC pushes and pulls what we see and hear reported.

posted by holland on Nov 28, 2012 at 01:12:08 pm     #   1 person liked this

AC is right. I'm supposed to pay for heavy Liberal propaganda to find neighborhood crime stats? Eff no.

The Blockade is a hobby or vanity business, from the way it's run. It's here to set agenda, not to report news. If it actually reported facts without editorial comment and without a strong selectivity, I'd buy it. Honest injun.

Sadly, I have to get my Toledo news through the many eyes and ears of other Toledoans, using the well vetted assumption that the wide range of filters and exposure of those will overcome the news monopoly.

posted by GuestZero on Nov 28, 2012 at 01:18:25 pm     #   1 person liked this

"There are communities with "newspaper peccadilloes," and then there are communities with the "Strong Publisher" form of government."

And there are many more of the latter than the former. Always have been.

There must be a story here for you to tell us all about your beef with the local daily, why not just get if off your chest, maybe you'll feel better...

posted by McCaskey on Nov 28, 2012 at 01:24:44 pm     #   1 person liked this

No personal beef. Just 50 years of watching the cause and effect of the wielding of that sword on local business and politics.

I've never personally been touched by that sword, but I live with the repercussions of the environment created by the unfettered use of it.

posted by justread on Nov 28, 2012 at 02:38:13 pm     #  

So it doesn't matter to you, really, what 'direction' the paper takes in its effort to increase revenues and survive...print, digital, some combination thereof, paywall this or that. You just want the present owners gone and out of the picture or if they continue you just want it dead. Right?

posted by McCaskey on Nov 28, 2012 at 02:49:45 pm     #   1 person liked this

ToledoBlade.com right now:

Powerball players in Toledo, not news
Chick-fil-A opening, not news
Marijuana found in burning home
Woman shot at strip club

come on....

posted by anonymouscoward on Nov 28, 2012 at 03:35:27 pm     #  

McCaskey posted at 01:49:45 PM on Nov 28, 2012:

So it doesn't matter to you, really, what 'direction' the paper takes in its effort to increase revenues and survive...print, digital, some combination thereof, paywall this or that. You just want the present owners gone and out of the picture or if they continue you just want it dead. Right?

Let's recap:
I suggested that paying people to take the Sunday printed paper as part of the paywall "discount" was not the altruistic gesture that they suggest.

I suggested that some communities have the "strong publisher" form of government.

I suggested that the influence of the blade has lead to certain civic outcomes that have not truly been in the best interest of the city.

You suggested that I want the present owners gone or the "paper" dead.

Hopefully that helps you sort my suggestions from your suggestions.

posted by justread on Nov 28, 2012 at 03:53:43 pm     #  

holland posted at 10:20:06 AM on Nov 28, 2012:

AC's advice is good......if you're comfortable with freeloading. Reporters (and others in the newspaper field) gotta eat. Without the press looking over their shoulders politicians and public officials will do what they do even more so than they do now.

I'm thinking of the bid rigging scandal, Bell's infatuation with the Chinese, the TPS test scores and attendance issues, to name just a few of the recent events that NEEDED reporting to the public. I don't see the Free Press or the City Paper ever stepping thoroughly into that role.

Bash the BLADE all you want. It still does more good than harm. Most of those BLADE employees live in this community. Its a local business. I'll pay a fair price for what I get.

Another issue that just came to me is the amount of "crowd-sourced" type so-called "reporting". When everyone and their dog is writing for some sort of online media (HuffPost, Examiner, whatever), for FREE, the whole point of being an actual paid reporter goes down the drain. Add in the fact that MS Word has the ever-present spelling and grammar checkers, and there goes the proofreaders and editors who normally really scrutinized the articles.

posted by anonymouscoward on Nov 28, 2012 at 03:57:03 pm     #  

Chemo does more good than harm too, but that doesn't mean people don't get sick of it.

posted by justread on Nov 28, 2012 at 04:24:50 pm     #  

"Let's recap: I suggested that paying people to take the Sunday printed paper as part of the paywall "discount" was not the altruistic gesture that they suggest. I suggested that some communities have the "strong publisher" form of government. I suggested that the influence of the blade has lead to certain civic outcomes that have not truly been in the best interest of the city. You suggested that I want the present owners gone or the "paper" dead. Hopefully that helps you sort my suggestions from your suggestions."

That was a very long trip through the deep, dark woods to reach a simple 'yes'. But we got there.

posted by McCaskey on Nov 28, 2012 at 04:28:52 pm     #  

McCaskey posted at 03:28:52 PM on Nov 28, 2012:

"Let's recap: I suggested that paying people to take the Sunday printed paper as part of the paywall "discount" was not the altruistic gesture that they suggest. I suggested that some communities have the "strong publisher" form of government. I suggested that the influence of the blade has lead to certain civic outcomes that have not truly been in the best interest of the city. You suggested that I want the present owners gone or the "paper" dead. Hopefully that helps you sort my suggestions from your suggestions."

That was a very long trip through the deep, dark woods to reach a simple 'yes'. But we got there.

You got there on your own, sport. Maybe you should stop tripping.

posted by justread on Nov 28, 2012 at 05:02:38 pm     #  

Just curious... What about all those people who are on the computers during the day at the library. What type of access will library patrons receive to the Blade?

posted by Danneskjold on Nov 28, 2012 at 05:46:36 pm     #   1 person liked this

Danneskjold: Good question! I will have to find out. Thank you for bringing it to my attention. Let me check and find out what the deal is.

This is another great service jr has supplied to the community. I am learning more here then I imagined. Thanks, jr.

posted by paulhem on Nov 28, 2012 at 07:39:22 pm     #  

Danneskjold, et al: The Blade's circulation department (audience development) is looking at our the American Bureau of Circulation (ABC) will allow us to accomodate the libraries and schools.

Right now the eBlade http://eblade.toledoblade.com is free. So, as soon as I know anything else, I will post it. Please feel free to contact me here, or paulhem[at]toledoblade.

Again. Danneskjold, thanks for the question.

posted by paulhem on Nov 29, 2012 at 03:36:54 pm     #  

Seems to me that this new policy will lead to fewer people reading the Blade. Fewer people reading the Blade will be a positive for our community. So, thank you Block family for voluntarily reducing your readership.

The Blade doesn't report anything you can't get from WTVG or WTOL.

posted by MemyselfandI on Nov 30, 2012 at 02:05:26 pm     #  

MemyselfandI: Let's see... My friend Ken Rosenbaum asks: "What Toledo television station includes all the local obituaries, local store coupons, local sports news and box scores, schedules of local senior events, all fun activities in northwest Ohio, local crime logs, local financial news, local restaurant reviews, details of meetings of area city and village councils, local zoning board news, local political developments and shenanigans, local store ads and sales, local viewers' responses such as letters to the editor, etc. Please advise so I can tune in."

posted by paulhem on Nov 30, 2012 at 08:18:58 pm     #   1 person liked this

I only offer this for discussion.

http://theweek.com/article/index/237251/the-new-york-times-latest-cutbacks-proof-its-digital-strategy-is-failing

posted by Molsonator on Dec 04, 2012 at 08:52:19 am     #  

It is a real challenge for all "legacy media" whether TV, radio, magazines, and newspapers. There is no doubt that newspapers face the highest hurdle.

posted by paulhem on Dec 04, 2012 at 09:49:39 am     #  

paul, does The Blade still charge families to list their deceased loved one in the Obituary Section?

posted by shamrock44 on Dec 04, 2012 at 10:23:58 am     #  

shamrock44 posted at 09:23:58 AM on Dec 04, 2012:

paul, does The Blade still charge families to list their deceased loved one in the Obituary Section?

I'm not aware of any newspaper that doesn't charge for obituaries.

posted by mom2 on Dec 04, 2012 at 10:25:34 am     #  

^^

But yes, there is a charge in the Blade. We have placed an obituary recently for a family member.

posted by mom2 on Dec 04, 2012 at 10:26:24 am     #  

Thanks, mom2. There is a charge...

posted by paulhem on Dec 04, 2012 at 10:49:41 am     #  

"The Blade doesn't report anything you can't get from WTVG or WTOL"

No big fan of the Blade am I but even I'd have to disagree with this. IMHO, the so called news from Toledo's local TV stations isn't worth the electricity it takes to receive it. So I don't.

Even a skeptic like me can find a nugget or two in the Blade that's worth my time.

posted by Foodie on Dec 04, 2012 at 02:54:02 pm     #  

mom2 posted at 09:26:24 AM on Dec 04, 2012:

^^

But yes, there is a charge in the Blade. We have placed an obituary recently for a family member.

Yes. I had a relatively interesting parent and it cost me about $1,500 for a slightly longer than average obit.

posted by justread on Dec 04, 2012 at 03:17:15 pm     #