I am subscribed to a variety of weekly emails, indeed I eat my morning serving of Bacon quite happily, from GroupOn (more and more I class this as spam) to The Social Penguin Blog. One daily offering which I simple refuse now is the one I receive from FT.com for a number of reasons:
- Their news is yesterday’s (if not the previous day’s) news
- I can only actually read a small chunk of articles due to their limits (why do they expect people without corporate subscriptions to read old news?)
- The articles patronise their audience
I understand that FT.com is a powerhouse and I am sure they have a cleverly crafted profitable (lucrative?) business model- but I don’t understand this flagrant abuse of position.
Supposedly I am signed up for a cutting edge technology blog which should cater for my particular need with current affairs. This morning I am presented with an article with the title ‘TechCrunch blogger to invest in Start-ups’. Now unless I have seriously jumped the gun and put lead into an innocent man, I’m pretty sure that Michael Arrington of
TechCrunch announced at least 3 days ago his intention to step down as editor and form a New York based investment body CrunchFund. Why, I ponder is FT.com delivering this to my inbox – perhaps it is for archival purposes? Surely anybody seriously involved in tech with their ear to the ground gets fresher news from twitter, word of mouth, blogs, RSS, and mainstream news – putting my email from FT.com around 6th in the pecking order. I would suggest allowing readers to choose the time of day the email arrives (an afternoon round-up of today’s news), ensuring journalistic speed and offering/promoting customised FT.com twitter feeds.
Two. God only knows why they insist on putting their articles behind closed doors. Surely the authors want readers. What is the actual cost of delivering an article electronically? Which is more valuable to an author, having fewer readers and being paid a small contribution from readership fees or attracting as many as the right sort of new thinkers as possible? I mention this last point only for competition – are people really going to pay to read old news? – clearly some do.
To see a prime example of the sort of patronizations taking place one only needs to read FT.com’s new review of the Apple MacBook Pro shipping with the newest version of OS X Lion. The author appears to have never used a Mac before, talks of the difficulty in using the OS, dismisses the laptop using it but then gives it an OK review seemly because everybody else rates Apple products.
Until FT.com addresses these issues I can not join their readership.