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Four Observations (And Lots Of Questions) On The Boston Globe’s Lovely New Paywalled Site [Headlines]

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The Boston Globe's website has undergone an entire redesign and added a paywall. Joshua Benton asks, "is it what Boston readers want?"

Amelia Riley Swan
  • 13 september 2011

This morning, The Boston Globe took the cloak off its brand new website,BostonGlobe.com. And I really do mean “brand new” — this is no redesign. Years ago, rather than building its own separate newspaper website, the Globe decided to focus on building Boston.com, a site that featured stories from the Globe but also lots more, aimed at creating something more like a community portal than a traditional newspaper site.

The strategy worked: Boston.com is one of the most visited newspaper sites in the country, far ahead of most of its major-metro rivals. But for a company that still (like all U.S. newspaper companies) gets the vast majority of its revenue from print, the content created especially for print — newspaper stories — could get a little lost online.

So the Globe is creating a separate BostonGlobe.com that will contain primarily the same stories that run in the newspaper and putting it behind a paywall. BostonGlobe.com will cost $3.99 a week, once a free trial has ended on Oct. 1. But its main source of readers will be Boston Globe print subscribers, who’ll have free access to the site. Meanwhile, Boston.com remains free for everybody and loses most of the Globe stories it used to run. Most…but not all. Nieman Journalism Lab

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