Sunday, July 19, 2009

Indy Star Rushes to Irrelevance

Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that trying to view the Indianapolis Star online now requires a password? Go ahead- give it a whirl: http://www.indystar.com/

The management seems hell-bent on making sure nobody reads. If I can't look for free at the Indy Star, no problem, I'll look at other free sites for news. There are plenty of them. The Star doesn't generate enough original content to make it worth my while to subscribe, and besides, they treated my campaign poorly, so I won't subscribe on principle.

I can think of just one or two subscription news websites that make any money. The Star's management has to know this. Maybe they just want to fold at this point.

Enjoy your accelerated trip to oblivion, Indy Star!

Update: Followed up on Todd's comment and found the Star fully accessible once again.

6 comments:

Todd S. said...

I had not problem getting in. Maybe it was a technical glitch that they later fixed?

paddy said...

No problems for me either...

King said...

Me either.

Michael said...

I experienced the same issue Sunday. No viewing without logging in. It was obviously a coding error, but a truly telling one. It shows the shape of things to come. It's fairly obvious that the Star was testing something and the public got a view of it. Sometime in the near future we can look forward to a registration system, no doubt. Possibly even a paid subscriber system. It won't work, mind you, but that's likely what's coming.

Chris Spangle said...

They are gearing up to charge for online access to all Gannett Newspapers. I am for it, because it means the newspaper will continue to exist. Man can't get news from blogs alone.

Mike Kole said...

Again, refer to the title of the original post. If Gannett wants to charge for viewing their website, I'll never view it again. It's really simple. Their track record for covering local news is dismal at best, and I'm not going to begin to subscribe to it. I can get the national stuff elsewhere, easily.

My best friend worked for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, and the New York Times, as a programmer. He has a great interest in websites that draw viewers and the free/pay argument. He points to the slimmest handful of pay sites that make it, such as the Wall Street Journal. They make it because they have something nobody else can offer, and that people want. That's the key. The Star? Most papers don't offer something nobody else has, so they haven't got a prayer. As soon as they go to pay, their hits will drop off by 90%. They will then lose advertisers. They will become solely dependent upon the subscriber revenue. It isn't working for the hard copy edition, so why should it magically work for the online edition?