As Chris Potter first reported here, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is offering a members-only web site.
From the Post-Gazette:
At midnight tonight, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette will launch PG+, a members-only Web site with interactive features and exclusive content by Post-Gazette staffers above and beyond what the Post-Gazette already provides in its daily print and online versions.There's an annual membership fee of $36 vs. a monthly membership of $3.99.
PG+ will not replace post-gazette.com, which will continue to offer the same breaking news, features and multimedia content as always. Rather, it will allow subscribers access to a new stream of exclusive blogs, videos, live chats and behind-the-scenes insights into the news of the day.
The new site, hosted by a team of PG bloggers, will emphasize user interaction, with commenting throughout the site. Members also will be able to create a social networking profile to keep the conversation going.
The content will be provided by some of the Post-Gazette's best-known personalities, including Ed Bouchette, Mackenzie Carpenter, Doug Oster, Gene Collier, Reg Henry and Jack Kelly.
You can tour the PG+ site here.
Potter had floated the rumor that PittGirl would be part of the new site, but from his Slag Heap post yesterday -- and the tour -- she appears to be MIA (at least for now).
As Potter also points out:
...this online membership fee is being applied to everyone -- including those who already pay for the print edition. So I'm afraid the P-G just lost a print subscriber: me.
I'm not sure losing print-edition readers is the kind of revenue enhancement the P-G has in mind. But I doubt there's a lot of overlap between print and online readership anyway. So this could be smart business even if it ticks me off.
I think he's right about the lack of overlap.
I guess the perks of the new site include the ability to "interact personally" with P-G writers/bloggers, or is that blogger-writers? The regular online edition of the P-G still does not allow reader comments on it's news stories/columns -- something that many online editions of newspapers have included for some time.
One of the features includes something called "FACE OFF LIVE!" Which is a daily "live right-left chat on the world of politics" between Reg Henry and Jack Kelly. It behooves me to point out that Dayvoe has been fact-checking Kelly FOR YEARS now.
I may decide to splurge the $3.99 and give the site a whirl even though a large chunk of it appears to be sports-oriented -- not my cup of tea -- but undoubtedly something to attract the huge Pittsburgh Diaspora crowd.
Anyhoo, I still find the whole newspaper writers as newspaper bloggers phenomenon to be strange -- especially when the writers are columnists as opposed to journalists. I mean, what do they have to say on a blog that they can't say in their columns? What is the point? What am I missing?
Are we supposed to take their blogs as somehow being less serious than their columns? Or, does it just allow for a more diverse range of topics for them to cover?
I guess I just don't get the mentality behind it.
They are still responsible to a corporate entity -- no? -- something that regular little ol' bloggers do not have to worry about.
I guess I'm asking if corporate bloggers are truly bloggers...