The Globe & Mail has just locked down their site. For months, the G&M has been an excellent online paper: All the headlines were easily listed, along with links to editorials, commentary, or ‘deeper’ articles. These have all been free for the viewing.
Recently (about 4 months ago, if I recall correctly), they added in a registration requirement. Which, while I don’t like much as a user, as web developer & business owner, I understand. Collecting useful demographic data on your users is incredibly important, for all sorts of reasons. It should help them boost ad revenues, create more targeted content, etc. So I was willing to live with that.
But now, all of a sudden, vast tracts of the site are completely off-limit unless you get an online subscription. And it’s not even that cheap – the Globe is asking for $14.95 a month to access their online content. Now, compared to a print subscription, that’s pretty cheap, I admit. But, assuming their content remains somewhat the same as it has been, I don’t know if it’s worth that much. Given that for the most part, all news stories are available somewhere else online for free, in some manner, it’s a real hard sell. Had they made the cost negligable (I’m thinking like $5/month), I might have considered it. But $15/month seems a lot to me. It’s above that significant mental barrier of $10 (I think it’s the extra digit that makes it seem so much larger).
So now I feel like I need to change my homepage. The G&M has been my homepage for years and years now, but I’m so annoyed by this. Seeing those little keys indicating locked content over every article just pisses me off. But who to make my new homepage? There’s a lack of great Canadian news sites now. I won’t use any of the Canada.com sites (incl. the Nat. Post), I don’t like the CBC.ca site (to cluttered/narrow), I no longer like the Globe, and the Toronto Star is, well, Toronto. I suspect I might just pop up, say the BBC or Guardian site (which both provide startlingly excellent N. American news coverage). Or perhaps the NY Times, which likewise has good coverage (and seems to still have full access to recent articles to registered users).
Anyone have any good homepage recommendations? What’s your homepage?