Dead Tree Media

august 27, 2008

My wife loves coupons, so we have a subscription to the Sunday edition of the San Jose Mercury News.  A little over a week ago, we got a little insert that was advertising the "e-Edition" of the paper.  "It's every page of the Mercury news in digital form," the insert proclaimed.  The promotional rates were $14 for one year and $25 for two years  (use this link to get the promotional prices, which apparently will end August 31, 2008).  At that price, subscribing wasn't painful -- even if to try it out. I signed up for a two-year subscription last Monday and it took seven business days (or, nine internet days) to get my subscription activated!  Huh?  If a dead tree media company wants to show that it is technologically progressive, the sign-up process should be a hell of a lot faster (ie. using carrier pigeons to shuffle around new subscription orders is not a good thing).  I got my account confirmation yesterday, it let me know that starting this morning (5:30am sharp), I would be able to access the site and today's paper. I read the newspaper this morning and the experience itself was not half bad.

There are some issues with the site though. I don't know if the digital edition is worth the full asking price: For a year subscription they are asking $60 and for a two-year subscription they are asking $100.  That is half the price of the print edition, but this is a digital edition, it should really be a lot less expensive.  For the promotional price, the digital subscription serves as a good supplement to Yahoo! News.  Lets see how I feel about the digital edition after my two-year subscription runs dry.  Maybe by then, I will like it enough to resubscribe at full price.  Maybe not.