Roman Around

combating liberalism and other childish notions

ROMAN AROUND … BIGGER THAN NEWSDAY? HOW MANY SUBSCRIBERS COULD I GET?

Posted by Andrew Roman on January 26, 2010

I am not a big-time blogger. Indeed, I have my regular readers, and I do get my share of new traffic, but in the grand scheme of things, phrases like “small potatoes” and “who the hell is he?” come to mind.

In recent times, I admit I’ve felt more than a little bit despondent because readership here was not going up as quickly as I had hoped.

It is what it is.

Thus, I thought I might take a bit of a blog sabbatical – a vacation from having to craft funny phrases, off-key commentary and comma-rich prose. After all, I reasoned, why keep writing if no one is reading?

(The real question is how does one define “no one”).

But when a little do-nothing pip-squeak cyber-scribbler like me gets more “return visitors” than a big time New York newspaper gets paying subscribers, it may be a sign that I need to rethink my decision to walk away from the blogosphere.

John Koblin of the New York Observer talks about the woes of New York Newsday:

In late October, Newsday, the Long Island daily that the Dolans bought for $650 million, put its web site, newsday.com, behind a pay wall. The paper was one of the first non-business newspapers to take the plunge by putting up a pay wall, so in media circles it has been followed with interest. Could its fate be a sign of what others, including The New York Times, might expect?

So, three months later, how many people have signed up to pay $5 a week, or $260 a year, to get unfettered access to newsday.com?

The answer: 35 people. As in fewer than three dozen. As in a decent-sized elementary-school class.

That astoundingly low figure was revealed in a newsroom-wide meeting last week by publisher Terry Jimenez when a reporter asked how many people had signed up for the site. Mr. Jimenez didn’t know the number off the top of his head, so he asked a deputy sitting near him. He replied 35.

Michael Amon, a social services reporter, asked for clarification.

“I heard you say 35 people,” he said, from Newsday’s auditorium in Melville. “Is that number correct?”

Mr. Jimenez nodded.

Hellville, indeed.

The web site redesign and relaunch cost the Dolans $4 million, according to Mr. Jimenez. With those 35 people, they’ve grossed about $9,000.

I think I will re-evaluate my plans to walk away from this thing. Sure, I thought my visitation numbers were pathetic. But at the going Newsday rate, I should be able to pull in about $250,000.

Thanks, Newsday.

There’s hope for Roman Around yet.

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