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Ben Marrison: The Era of Free Snowman Pictures May Soon End

February 22, 2010 at 1:00 am Matt Leave a comment Go to comments

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?

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