Making Communications Buzz

Thursday, August 24, 2006

BizJournals Abandons Search Watch E-mail Alert Access: A Disappointing Decision and Poorly Handled

This week BizJournals.com shot itself in the foot by discontinuing access to stories identified by the Search Watch feature of its e-mail alert service.

You can still signup for the service, select keywords and receive notice of stories in the 41 local business journals around the country that contain those keywords, but unless you subscribe to the print edition in the city where the article was published, you can't read the story.

Assuming you would like to read the stories that you get alerts about -- and that stories might come from any of the 41 journals -- you would need to shell out $4,059.00 ($99 x 41) a year for the privilege.

This is disappointing, but what was really short-sighted on the part of BizJournals.com and its parent, American City Business Journals, is that they made the switch from free access to Search Watch stories to the prohibitive fee-based "system" without telling customers that they were going to do so.

That is decision-making characteristic of a poorly run corporation. I experienced it from Aldelphia Cable in 2000 and 2001. And I experienced it from Verizon broadband before I switched to another provider.

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