Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Hidden Costs of the Storms

We subscribe to both the Washington Post and the NY Times, home delivery.  This week's storms have interrupted the delivery service, though the Post man is doing very good. Sometimes I have hit the local Starbucks to get caffeine and Times, but other days I'm forced back on reading online. The Post has a regular web site, while the Times has both its website and a new, standalone, Times Reader app. 

There's no comparison between the two for ease of reading.  The Times Reader is legible, fast, and easy to use. The best thing about the Reader is the ease of scanning through it. In the old days I used to read almost every word of the Times, but as I age I skim more and more, and the Reader is great for that. The Times might end up the loser from the storms, because I've found it so easy to use I'd almost be willing to sacrifice the paper copy and rely only on the Reader (which I think would be $4 a month, compared to like $90 for the paper version). If that's true of others, and if their profit margin is still bigger on home delivery, that would be their hidden cost.

I say "almost" because my wife wouldn't agree--she likes to take the paper paper and the cats off and read in bed.

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