Cyberview 07/12/01

Another bold move at trying to get people to pay for content has just been launched by the cricketer’s bible, Wisden (www.wisden.com). For £2.50 a month, subscribers will have access to every edition of Wisden’s Almanac published over the past 138 years. While it is good to see Wisden advance the cause of paid-for content, one

irritating aspect of the site is the use of "pop up" adverts. Hard sells for advertisers online just don’t work. If sites are to charge successfully for content, it really has to be done in a subtle way and, more importantly, show people compelling reasons why they should pay for it rather than leave the site and go to someone else offering it for free.

 

PeopleBank (www.peoplebank.co.uk), the recruitment site backed by Associated Newspapers and Carlton, has been taken over by Workthing (www.workthing.co.uk), which is itself owned by The Guardian. Meanwhile, DMGT’s Northcliffe Newspapers has started revamping its network of This IsÉ websites.

This is Leicestershire, This Is North of Scotland, This is Lincolnshire and This is Hull and East Yorkshire now have a much clearer and cleaner look. It certainly is a solid way forward for rolling out the look to its other This Is sites.

 

News International closed its online auction service Fired Up earlier this year, but now Times Newspapers has teamed up with QXL (www.qxl.com) to offer a range of auctions for users of The Times and Sunday Times websites. Auctions are a great way to pull in users and provided the auctions offer something different that people can’t get elsewhere, then it could be a interesting development for Times Newspapers, which is seeking to revamp its online offering.

 

If you still haven’t decided which way to go for an unlimited internet connection at home, then BT Openworld (www.btinternet.com) is seeking to attract people with a £9.99 a month offer for three months before reverting back to £14.99 a month. But probably still the best deal around is from Freeserve (www.freeserve.net). New users get the first month free and then pay £12.99 thereafter. Reliability has certainly improved dramatically since the new offering was launched and connection speeds throughout the day have been good.

 

The winner of last month’s competition to win a new £200 C-Pen, which allows you to scan text and is no bigger than an actual pen, is Donald Fullarton from Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. He answered correctly that the pen is "mightier than the sword".

Leslie Bunder

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