Monday, May 31, 2010

Ashley Henderson Huff

The women of Warriors Walk.

1st Lt. Ashley Henderson Huff (deceased) in Iraq, circa 2006.

My best wishes and thoughts this Memorial Day to the families of those who gave their last in service.

Update: I don't want to be flip, but I think that picture is just one of the greatest of all time. The "Is this girl serious?" looks on those Iraqis faces say it all. Yes. She was serious.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Michael Jordan

My hat is off to my younger self for holding on to this poster.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Just an example: Free subscriptions

You have been directed to my personal blog, and I hope to test a theory here about charging for online newspaper content. Ignore the date above. This post was written Oct. 1, 2010.

Click here for your free subscription.

Thank you for clicking on Lucid Idiocy's "free subscription" button. Obviously, these blogs are already free. But I'm trying to gauge readers' willingness to click on a free offer for an already free product. I know that sounds strange.

When I was in college some friends of mine worked circulation sales for The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. And they would offer pretty girls free tours of downtown Athens with every subscription.

So you don't always have to have something to sell it, especially when all you want is a name and email address.

My question is whether online newspapers can sign folks up for free subscriptions that don't kick in until the day the newspaper starts charging for online content.

Then as the paper gradually, or not so gradually, charges for extras (I would love to see newspapers charge for commenting), some could be added to an early subscriber's account free of charge. Or, better yet, for a very small fee, and a credit card number.

The goal is to get people thinking that they'll probably have to pay for online news one day, so they might as well start signing up now. Contests, coupons, prizes, these are effective ways to collect information, and they should be employed. But offering people something they already have? If it works, it's golden.

I'm going to keep an eye on how much traffic this post, which is linked only to the ads, receives. If it's low, throw my theory out. Also, I'm not going to collect email addresses, much less credit card numbers, here, so it won't be a full gauge of the strategy.

Still, I expect that enough people will click on a "free subscriptions" link on a couple of Google blogs to bolster my belief that a similar strategy would net interactive readers for a good newspaper. If you think differently, or agree, or have another idea, please say so in the comments.

But increasing interactivity is a route toward charging for content.

For those seeking an actual free subscription to either of my blogs, please consider my twitter feed. Thank you for reading.

This post is part of a brief I've written about online newspaper charging strategies.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A.J. Green

The man is a Michelangelo.

Image: Grant Blankenship, The Macon Telegraph.

If you google "AJ Green is a work of art" you find the shirt I want 30 of.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Also, the GOP candidate for State Treasurer is named Young Boozer

Back a week ago, when I was employed as a newspaper reporter, I ran a political blog. I left my job and put that blog on hiatus. Now I don't know where anything belongs. Pardon our mess.

I have a Yankee friend who went from Notre Dame to the University of Virginia to a law firm somewhere in Alabama. He's been there long enough now that he's not even surprised to see a gubernatorial candidate make fun of the fact that his opponent supported teaching evolution.

Said said yankee friend: "Every Republican in a primary accuses the other Republicans of being liberal. If the ads are to be believed, Alabama is the dream state for Democrats - even the Republicans are liberal."

And, yeah, the GOP candidate for state treasurer is indeed named Young Boozer.

A moment in time

The New York Times asked people from around the world to submit a picture taken at 3 p.m. GMT (10 a.m. eastern) on May 2. The result is nearly a worldwide mosaic of photographs, which you can view here.

There appear to be thousands of them.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Saturday, May 8, 2010

All I do is worry about quarterback

You'd think I'd find time during the day to worry about the defense.

From Scott Howard:
One of the most frequent questions I am asked is "How Larry is doing?." I can report that, on this particular day, Larry was doing very well. The FIRST thing he said to me when I walked inside his house was, “Are we going to have a quarterback?” Vintage Munson. At the time, we still had three guys at the position.