Next week the Iola Register will launch its new Web site.
Besides a new look, the Register will begin charging non-subscribers a fee to access stories.
Those who already pay for a Register subscription will also be given access to the newspaper’s Web site, which will remain iolaregister.com. To ensure access, the Register needs all subscribers’ e-mail addresses.
The move to a paid Web site is justified because of the labor involved to report the news, said Register publisher Susan Lynn.
“Just as with our paper product, the Web site involves the entire Register staff to make it happen. Giving our services away for free is not a viable economic model,” she said.
Two items will remain free for all viewers — obituaries and classified advertising.
“Many people from out of the area go to our Web site to read about the death of a loved one,” Lynn said. “It would be punitive to make them subscribe to the newspaper when all they want is the time and place of a funeral service.”
As for classifieds, Lynn said “advertisements are one of our biggest draws to the Web site,” noting they provide job postings as well as items for sale. Blocking access to ads customers have paid to post would be counterproductive, Lynn said.
THE NEW Web site will include a search function for all previous issues once available in digital form.
The Register is having issues as far back as 1867 digitized by Heritage Microfilm of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The search capability should be good to go by spring.
The new Web site will include interactive forms for readers to submit social announcements such as engagements, weddings and anniversaries.
It will continue to allow posting of classified advertisements from one’s home computer and the purchase of pictures from sporting and community events.
An entire “picture” of the newspaper will also be available at the new site. Besides being able to view individual stories, the Register will be downloadable in a PDF format, allowing readers to view the newspaper in its entirety, including comics and crossword puzzles.
The PDF images carry a fringe benefit for the Register’s rural subscribers. They can now read each day’s paper without having to wait a day for it to arrive in the mail.
Lynn encouraged all subscribers to call 365-2111 or e-mail Gita Johnson, Register circulation manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with their e-mail addresses to continue access to the Register’s online edition.