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Get your e-newspaper delivered weekly

March 30, 2011

If apps are the news delivery system of the future, news digests sent directly to your inbox are the way of the Internet past.

Which is not to say they’re not a good idea.

Now, when you visit certain (all?) Glacier Media websites, you first have to get rid of a box asking if you would like to subscribe to a web edition of the paper to be delivered to your e-mail on certain dates.

This isn’t a new idea and doesn’t exactly involve advanced technology. Heck, you can sign up for an email subscription to this blog by clicking the button on the right toolbar. But for people who aren’t web savvy consumers (a group that includes the vast majority of Canadians and newspaper readers) being confronted with the option to sign up for an email digest is the best way to make the option known.

The email digest, in turn, allows newspapers another way to brag to advertisers about dedicated online readers. Each one of those subscribers is probably far more valuable than 1,000 page views.

Of course, you don’t want to make visiting the news sites annoying (like the feeling that comes from that pop-up video ad on many Black Press websites).

You can make the alerts stop by checking a box. But remember what I said above about the Internet literacy of Canadians? I bet most people will miss that. Glacier, then, will have to be careful not to make the box a permanent and regular feature of visiting their sites. (They seem to have done so. I can’t get the subscription box back up on my screen, even though I didn’t click the box).

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