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Notice to readers: Changes coming to NIT


This news story was published on August 13, 2012.
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by NorthIowaToday.com Publisher and Owner Matt Marquardt –

As NorthIowaToday.com prepares to enter its third year of offering North Iowa news to the world, changes to the web site are on the horizon.

NorthIowaToday.com continues to add more stories, photos and videos everyday.  Our audience continues to grow rapidly; nearly every month since the site was launched on October 1, 2010, page views have risen; overall visits have risen and perhaps most importantly, the number of unique visitors has risen.  As an example, traffic to NIT approximately doubled from January 2012 to July of 2012.  I anticipate 60,000 unique visitors and 3 million page views this August.

Of equal significance, the response and participation from the public in developing news stories has grown at an equally brisk pace.  To all of you who regularly contribute to NIT, even in the smallest of ways, you have my thanks.

In order to continue to grow NIT and offer more of the news that our readers have demonstrated that they want and demand, I will be asking for the support of each you who see the value in NorthIowaToday.com, the content it offers, and its role in the community.

On or before October 1, 2012, the purchase of a very inexpensive subscription will be offered at NorthIowaToday.com.  Some of NIT will remain free.  Important stories and notices will be delivered for free in many instances.  Most importantly, I will work hard to find a balance between keeping the NIT community vibrant while growing our number of paid subscribers.

A subscription to NIT will cost only $2 per month.  A year subscription will be needed to take advantage of this opportunity.  This will be an introductory price available for a short time.  After the introductory period, the regular subscription price will be $4 per month until further notice.  There will be prizes and giveaways for new subscribers.  Details on that will be released soon.

Subscribers will have full access to all content and features inside NIT.  Subscribing will be very easy and all forms of payment will be accepted.  Special contributors may receive a free subscription at my discretion.

As I stated earlier, much of NIT will not require a subscription.  For example, all stories prior to September 1, 2012 will remain free.  Our calendar will have no restrictions.  The home page will be free, and all the section home pages will be free.  As a new perk, our Classifieds section will be 100% free.  Anyone may view and post ads at no cost at all.  An important feature for our bloggers: The popular Whiner’s Den will remain 100% open to everyone.

I recognize there will be some growing pains, but I feel this move is in the best long-term interest of NIT and the media in general.  I ask all NIT readers for their patience as this transition is navigated.

As always, the on-going and overwhelming support from NIT readers and the public is appreciated and cannot be understated.  You have my thanks for making NIT a success for two years.  You also have my promise that most of the revenue generated by subscriptions will go right back into NIT to produce more content.

Please feel free to offer your feedback and questions as a comment below or via email at staff@northiowatoday.com.

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39 Responses to Notice to readers: Changes coming to NIT

  1. Avatar

    Kim Koenigs Reply Report comment

    August 18, 2012 at 8:00 am

    AWESOME! I love how you publication is no BS and no politics. Nothing but the truth. Rock on NIT! Can the blogs be by real names only?

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 18, 2012 at 10:17 am

      I’d like to see that Kim. One would hope people would post with their real names but in most cases they refuse. Too much fear out there. What is confounding is people will do it on Facebook many times. We may move to it in the future. Thanks for the comments!

      • Avatar

        Anonymous Reply Report comment

        August 26, 2012 at 3:13 pm

        I was kind of hoping that it was still Oct. 1st that we had to get a subscription at 2 dollars. I already had Sept. 21st penciled in to get mine. I know its not much at all but my budget wont allow me to get it till Sept.21st.

  2. Avatar

    Sign me up Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    This site is totally worth paying for. Go read the article on the council being so stupid about You Tube. It is breathtaking.

  3. Avatar

    Judy Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    NOT stupid Just GOOD business

  4. Avatar

    Gma Jean Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2012 at 10:52 am

    This is just stupid. Period.

    • Avatar

      My Voice Reply Report comment

      August 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

      It sounds to me like you are the stupid one with this comment and the comments you posted about your stupid grandkid Jared over on the other thread. Hopefully this change will weed the likes of you out. Matt has contributed a lot to the betterment of this community. You are a user. You want to use his contributions and leach off of them for free and not contribute yourself. Hey, much like that waste Jared. Figures…birds of a feather.

      Anyone else agree?

  5. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 13, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Good point. What are YOUR stats on your site?

  6. Avatar

    Buzz Crumcutter Reply Report comment

    August 12, 2012 at 7:20 am

    The handful of people that will complain about paying for NIT are most likely going to be the same ones who find they are always “too busy” to go vote.

    I would be willing to bet, in the very near future you will also see some of the new copy-cat sites start charging for their lesser quality/content sites.

  7. Avatar

    Sandy Servantez Reply Report comment

    August 12, 2012 at 7:06 am

    Matt, I am behind you 100 percent! I’ll be sure to try and beat Larry to being your first subscriber!! Just waiting for the info.

  8. Avatar

    My Voice Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 9:25 pm

    Matt, you could charge 3X that, put it in a hat, take a crap in it and it would still be worth more than that rag that Howard Query puts out. Keep up the good work bringing the truth to North Iowa.

  9. Avatar

    Observer Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Matt, tell me where to send it. I value NIT as a reader and citizen, to help keep me infomed in local news.

  10. Avatar

    Larrey Loeckle Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Matt,

    Wise move. This site is worth every penny. You deserve to be paid for your hard work and dedication to your trade. Your format has opened the world to truth and instant knowledge, as ugly as it can be.

    I have always preached, “KNOWLEDGE IS POWER”.

    May I be first in line to subscribe?

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      Larrey, it would be an honor to have you as NIT’s very first subscriber.

  11. Avatar

    Howie Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Matt, very reasonable and well worth it. I was a critic in the begining, but I think you and your staff are hitting on so many issues that went unaddressed previously. You are doing the community a real service.

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 3:45 pm

      Howie, really, thank you. I accept that I’m not always right, maybe far from it, but I feel like simply introducing / uncovering an issue and letting the public hash it out is a service to the community that was lacking. My intention is to enter into the dialogue and offer my perspective based on what I know and what I learn and see. I’m always ready to learn from others. Again, your supportive words mean a lot.

  12. Avatar

    OneEyed Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Awesome! This should hopefully keep out a lot of the rifraf, spammers and all those other annoying people. I love the articles here and the comments that follow, but too often it turns into a pissing contest or a spelling bee…

    I look forward to a better and more productive NIT!!

    Keep up the good work Matt!

  13. Patrick Palmer

    Patrick Palmer Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I welcome the changes and thank you and your staff for getting out in North Iowa and covering the Good News around the area as well as the daily drama of Mason City. It is much appreciated on this end.

    Thank you for all you do to help promote my business as well.

    Patrick Palmer
    Hampton, IA

  14. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Is this subscription fee going to go towards increasing your bandwidth and/or hosting capacity so there is not the latency when moving around the site? Or this could just be the issue of your hosting company as well.

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm

      My host tells me that NIT needs its own dedicated server due to the traffic demands. I’m sure this issue will be addressed in the near future as our traffic is growing more rapidly. I have noticed this latency as well, believe me. We’ll get it worked out.

      • Avatar

        RM Reply Report comment

        August 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm

        Matt, Drop me an email. I have access to local dedicated servers as well as quite a few other resources. I’d be happy to throw you a few suggestions.

  15. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    Will I be able to pay for my subscription with a debit card???

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 12:34 pm

      Yes. Pretty much any form of payment will work in the system NIT will implement.

  16. Avatar

    Katie Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Matt, I understand overhead and I know how hard you have to work to keep this site constantly updated and monitored. I assume you realize that Whiner’s Den is going to become one huge blog with people commenting on everything that is in all the paid articles they can’t read.

    • Avatar

      Anonymous Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm

      How are they going to comment on articles they can’t read?

      • Avatar

        Katie Reply Report comment

        August 13, 2012 at 6:47 pm

        Matt said that everyone will be able to see the Home Page. If it is similar to now, people will be able to see a headline and a synopsis of a story and may go to the Whiner’s Den and start a thread there about it.

        • Avatar

          Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

          August 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm

          And there will be stories everyone can read, too … it will be an evolving process … I just ask for everyone’s patience as it is worked out. This is new territory for all the news outlets. Thanks.

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      Katie, I appreciate your acknowledgement of the effort it takes to run NIT, and it’s not getting easier, just due to the amount of news NIT readers now expect. This is 7 days a week. As for the potential issue you pointed out, I’m OK with that.

  17. Avatar

    Jim Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Matt where do we send the money? my wife and myself…Jim

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 11:31 am

      Jim, those details will be made available within the next few days. My first mission is to inform NIT readers of the change while simultaneously working with my developers on the new system. It will be ready next week and once I feel comfortable, it will be launched. Your support is greatly appreciated. Just give me a little more time to get everything lined up. Thank you.

  18. Avatar

    Ripley Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I suppose we can eek out another two bucks a month if Obama stays in. Sounds like Romney/Ryan is going to get our country on track so that means cutting back. Can’t be paying for two news outlets so that means NIT is gonna go bye bye.

  19. Avatar

    Just My Opinion Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Matt, sorry to be so picky, but you may want to change the following:

    “As always, the on-going and overwhelming support from NIT readers and the public is appreciated and cannot be understated.”

    I think you want that last word to be “overstated”. This is an important statement you’re making. (Hope I’m not offending you by bringing this up.)

    I’m in, but I do have one question. Any chance those of us who subscribe early at the special rate will be “grandfathered in” so our price won’t go up? I subscribed to the music site Rhapsody years ago and they’ve pledged to keep my subscription rate the same for as long as I’m a member. Not a big deal because your price is so low but just thought I’d ask.

    Thanks for NIT!

    • Avatar

      Matt Marquardt Reply Report comment

      August 11, 2012 at 9:34 am

      No offense taken whatsoever. I think when I wrote the word “understated” my mind was saying, “I am unable to not give credit to the readers of NIT.” Confusing, yes. Nice catch, and it shows you read the whole piece, and I appreciate that … and the value of your support cannot be overstated. 🙂

  20. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Please consider Dwolla

  21. Avatar

    john Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Whatever you charge, it will be the best bargin in town.

  22. Avatar

    Larry Snyder Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Matt-I really enjoy NIT and will gladly support you in this modest fee. It is well worth the money to get the REAL story on NIT.

  23. Avatar

    Les Yaw Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Matt,

    Thank you for this web-site. I find your subscription fee to be reasonable and affordable. I’m happy to be able to support your voice covering our region.

    Better value for the small investment.

  24. Avatar

    Craig Eckhardt Reply Report comment

    August 11, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Matt,

    I’m looking forward to the changes and I’m sure these changes will keep NIT far ahead of many other “news sources” just as it is now.

    Will you accept PayPal as a form of payment? Either way, count me in.

    Thanks and keep up the good work as I know you will!