[FoRK] archive delivery for magazine

kelley <kelley at inkworkswell.com> on Thu Feb 1 05:00:48 PST 2007

I have a friend who's on the editorial board for a print magazine that's 
been publishing monthly for 50 years. They're raising the price of a 
subscription and want to provide access to their digital archives as part 
of the price hike. They scanned and pdf'd the content and they'd like me to 
create the information design to make it easy for newbz to navigate the 
archives. no problem.

However, what's bugging me is the solution they're using to deliver the 

The only pub I'm familiar with and have used that does this is Science 
Magazine. Buy a sub, get access to their archives. IIRC, I got a special 
number, either printed on the print mag's address label or e-mailed to me. 
Logged in, registered for archive access, voila. They also made it 
difficult for the ordinary user to save the content in the archives, so 
they couldn't easily send all their friends a copy of the archived article.

Right now, they're considering using an add-on for Miva Merchant: Softgoods 
produced by Viking Coders. It delivers digital content as part of the 
shopping cart.

My first instinct is to say, "Ugh. Not for people who are not used to using 
the Web. They'll see shopping cart environment and immediately assume 
they're going to get charged."

Next was to say, "Ugh. They'll buy the sub, get the info to login for their 
archive access, but they won't use it right away. Then they'll forget to 
login information and will be pissed that they can't login or feel that it 
was a deliberate way to scam them or send email/phone calls to complain and 
get new login information."

Next, "Ugh. If I want archive access, I want to know that I can log in any 
time and read what I want to read. Will the add-on for Miva merchant do 
that for me?"

Next, "Ugh, are we talking download one PDF's magazine at a time? Or are 
they talking download the entire 50 year x 11 mags each year archive, right 
on to each and every subscribers hard drive?"

I could go on with the UGHs.

Is anyone familiar with off-the-shelf (or close to off-the-shelf) 
alternatives that aren't terribly spendy? They really can't justify 
spending a ton since the point was to add a bell to justify the increased 
subscription price hike.



More information about the FoRK mailing list