Reader Dan Trombley wrote to us this morning on Facebook to criticize the digital subscriptions we offer:
Have you noticed your online readers have declined, Chronicle? It really does suck not being able to view a damn article because I read 7 in a month, and do not want to pay for the “online subscription”….Limit it to 7 articles a week, and you’ll notice a positive change.
This is just one in a string of similar notes and emails I received over the weekend. All have the same basic message:
It’s a travesty that you want us to pay for this. I don’t like you anyhow. You’re not worth my time. I won’t be subscribing.
I’ll use Trombley’s post as an example since it’s possibly the most civil and printable I received.
As I have been doing with these user comments on this blog, I’m going to take this one line by line.
Have you noticed your online readers have declined, Chronicle?
I have noticed that the week-over-week stats are very consistent with what they were before we launched the metering system on our site. The number of comments has declined somewhat, and for some reason engagement on Facebook has declined a bit too. However, our number of pageviews, visits and Facebook followers remains consistent. It is really too soon at only two weeks out from launch for the analytics data to show any meaningful change in our traffic.
It really does suck not being able to view a damn article because I read 7 in a month
You should buy a subscription for unlimited access to the site.
and do not want to pay for the “online subscription”
Oh. Well, you’ve got a problem there.
Limit it to 7 articles a week, and you’ll notice a positive change.
I’ll bet we would. I’ll bet we’d get an even more “positive change” if we just gave them all away for free. Heck, I’d bet we’d get more subscribers if we just gave the newspaper away for free too, while we’re at it.
Look, just because you hit our meter’s limit, sir, doesn’t mean the meter is set too low. It means you are reading so much of our content that you probably ought to be paying for it. It means you are a regular reader.
Mr. Trombley, we are not looking to inconvenience you any more than the barrista at the coffee shop is looking to inconvenience you by asking you to pay for that latte.