Monday, March 26
I feel bad, everyone. I really do want to like the SFChronicle.com site! I ended up reading the digital paper on my phone today, and the SFChronicle.com mobile site is quite nice. Much, much better than the SFGate mobile version (with always only the two news stories to click on), and, to my pleasant surprise, even significantly less frustrating than the NYTimes mobile site.
Just based on the site, though, I didn’t find out much about actual news in the world today. There were two interesting long pieces, one on the Alameda County Medical Center, and one on turmoil in the Brown administration, but neither fall in the category of breaking news, right?
It’s like I have paid $12/month for two articles that would have otherwise run somewhere in the Sunday paper. Or $12/month for two articles that might have run in the old Bay Guardian or SF Weekly. They were good reads, but I don’t know if I had such a burning desire to read them right now such that I would have thrown down my credit card and demanded to sign up for a e-subscription on the spot.
Previously: My First Day With The New Online Chron
Meanwhile, the article I am currently seeing the most buzz about in my Twitter feed and Facebook page is the article about SF babysitter rates. That article, however, I can read on the Gate for free. I am no MBA, but this does not seem like the right business plan.
Okay, here’s the deal, Chronicle. I would happily pay for any and all of the City Hall content you guys already produce. HAPPILY. But: so far, you’re not charging me for that! You’re charging me for the long Sunday pieces that as a non-subscriber I wasn’t reading anyways, and C.W. Nevius’s op-eds, which I only read so that I can mock them more knowledgeably with friends later.
In other words, you’re giving me news I like, but not news I need. I can probably get by without reading Nevius. I would not be able to get by without the City Insider blog. Charge me for City Insider, and give me Nevius for free.
Oh, but one last thing. The funniest article I read all day today was, hands down, the paywalled Matier and Ross blurb mocking Gavin Newsom. Give me more content like that, and I might re-up back to a full 7 day a week paper subscription again.
Tomorrow! Let me think about suggestions for new content the Chron could provide to drive traffic to the premium site, I guess. Also — please tell me you are using the money to pay for your employees’ health care benefits, Hearst Corporation. Why am I paying you extra money in the first place if you’re not going to use it for that?