Ben Marrison: The Era of Free Snowman Pictures May Soon End
From Ben Marrison’s latest pompous column. This time, it’s about this highfalutin new concept called “checking weather forecasts online”:
Two of the top stories on Dispatch.com last week were weather stories — one involving the road-closing mess on I-71 and the other about the seemingly endless snowfall. And our link to the weather team at WBNS-10TV is visited frequently, taking you to forecasts by the pros.
The traffic on Dispatch.com — up more than 160,000 page views over a two-day period — was a clear indicator of your satisfaction.
Another is your words, in letters and e-mails.
“Thanks for the snowman video,” one Dublin reader wrote. “What a day brightener.”
She was referring to the “Snowpeople in Ohio” slideshow set to music on Dispatch.com. The one-minute gem was produced by photographer Courtney Hergesheimer using dozens of snowman images captured by our staff.[...]
The suggestion that we might someday charge for our work online rankled our Web readers. That is what we expected. News on the Web has been free for a long time, but that model doesn’t appear sustainable. We’ll wait and see how it evolves.
If Papa Ben puts his snowman pics behind a pay wall, how many people are really going to subscribe?