Sbj.net’s paywall is up; now what?

Eric Olson, SBJ EditorChances are you’ve either hit the sbj.net paywall, heard about it from colleagues or dodged it altogether as a paid subscriber with full access to Springfield Business Journal’s content and its multiple delivery methods.

On Sept. 1, SBJ built a paywall protecting content for subscribers, and we established an sbj.net “front yard” for nonsubscribers to roam and consume general site content, such as photo galleries, calendar of events, the Life section and business feature stories.

As with any change, questions arose. Here are seven questions readers have asked us since erecting the wall.

1. Why is SBJ now charging for Web content?

Springfield Business Journal is no longer simply a weekly business newspaper. While keeping pace with technology and moving ahead of the journalism industry, we are evolving into a business-to-business news organization offering multiple vehicles meeting the mutual benefits of readers and advertisers. Our Web site, sbj.net is one vehicle.

Because our production process is akin to a manufacturer, it results in hard costs – particularly our people. We are seeking a profitable proposition on the Web through verifying our online audience/subscribers. This allows us to know definitively who we serve and how best to shape our content and to deliver results to our advertisers.

2. I’m already a subscriber, what does this mean to me?

Access to content for individual subscribers should be uninterrupted. In fact, subscribers now have more product options from which to choose: weekly print edition, early Friday digital edition and daily business news at sbj.net. Be sure to register at sbj.net/register for your full access. Also sign up for Daily Update and Movers and Shakers by going to sbj.net then “Subscribe” then “E-Newsletters.” This is a separate process from registering for sbj.net.

3. How does this affect the type of news we can expect from SBJ?

The creation of the paywall raises the bar in our newsroom. We’re placing a greater emphasis on delivering unique, business-to-business content. We aim to build and maintain trust in acting as a filter from mass media news and providing value in our niche coverage.

4. How much does a subscription cost, now?

Subscription prices have not increased. It is $69 a year, and you receive more than ever before, including an sbj.net password, full access to Daily Update stories and the early Friday digital edition.

For $10 more a year, or $79, you receive VIP access for you and nine co-workers. The VIP subscription includes 10 copies each of Springfield Business Journal Early Friday Digital Edition, the Book of Lists Digital Edition, the Monday Morning Business Leads e-newsletter and sbj.net 24/7 access passwords.

5. I share a copy with my boss/co-workers. How does the paywall affect me?

The new subscription model rolled out with the paywall allows you to receive SBJ content immediately and directly. Ask your office colleagues to subscribe to the VIP pass, and you and nine of your co-workers will receive the benefits of VIPs cited above in Question 4.

6. I’ve been receiving SBJ’s e-newsletters, but why am I now told I’m not registered to sbj.net?

It could be for one of two reasons.

1) You’re not a subscriber and you’re attempting to view an article exclusively available to subscribers. Non-subscribers may continue to read the articles with a green unlocked icon and visit most other pages (photos, blogs, calendar, news tip submissions, etc.).

2) You are a subscriber but are not registered on sbj.net. Go to sbj.net/register in order to receive full access to what you’ve already paid for. If you know you’re registered, but have forgotten your username or password, please call (417) 831-3238.

7. How do I register?

Go to sbj.net/register. After registering, it’s recommended to click “remember me” when logging in so that you’re automatically logged in on return visits. If your system does not “remember” you, contact your IT department for direction regarding your cookies settings. To subscribe, go to sbj.net/subscribe.

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