Sunday, February 19, 2006

Some research is clearly needed....

I had a nice Saturday.Went to the new Atlanta Aquarium (will be covered in another post plus pics to boot!)
Anyway unlike many Kenyans out here I try to keep in touch with what is going on back home.Yes I do know some Kenyans out here who are very ignorant and out of touch with what is going on in Kenya, they often talk about it like some foreign land.For me I embarked coming to the States like going to war.Any seasoned general will tell you that you never enter a battlefield without an exit strategy.You do not intend to be in the field of battle indefinitely incurring casualty after casualty.So I do have a 7 year plan and a back up to that plan because I do intend to go back home.My stay here is just a learning experience that's all.I have met many Kenyans whose stay here is what the swahili would say "haina mbele wala mwisho".The thing with the States is that if you do not have a plan for your life is that someone else wiill, the credit card companies will enslave you for the rest of your life after you fall for their "low interest" credit cards,dieticians will all tell you what you are meant to eat,fashion designers will tell you what you are meant to wear, Oprah will tell you what to read, Siskel and Roper will tell you what to watch and the list goes on.
Anyway I didn't plan on blasting people on the ability to think for themselves and the virtues of long term planning.
What I wanted to talk about was The Nation and East African Standard Online.Standard first started the trend by ceasing to publish all the articles from their daily magazines and instead offering access to a digital edition for $216 per year (36 issues free - I'm still trying to figure out if that is access to the magazine or the whole paper ), Nation has recently jumped on the bandwagon and is offering access to op-ed content for $175 per year but at least their free content is more extensive then that of the Standard.Now compare and contrast that with my New York Times select membership for only $30 that gives me the following benefits (apart from the daily news):
Daily columns from influential Op-Ed writers
Features and analysis from award-winning Sports, Business, New York/Region and International Herald Tribune columnists
Personalized e-mail news alerts
Virtual file drawer to save articles from and around the Web
Early access to Sunday Times articles
Breaking news and award-winning multimedia
Today's Headlines e-mail and breaking news e-mails
Online classifieds,Access to The Times Archive back to 1981

Unless you know how to use Google to search a specific websites you will note that the search engines of both the Nation and the Standard are not of much use.I would like to know how much Nation and Standard are making from their digital editions.They are both taking advantage of the duopoly to screw the people.First of all, the labour in Kenya is cheap; so they didnt put that much money into it and the market for Kenyan news isn't that large so it would be wiser for them to make it more affordable for those of us who want to find out what is happening in Kenya.I did send Standard an e-mail but I am well aware that most of these big companies do not read e-mails that are sent to their info or help addresses.Anyway I just find it pathetic that a half baked product can be sold for so much money, if you're going to charge us that much then throw in all the bells and whistles like the NY times folk and that's easy because both are connected to Television stations so if you join up as a premier member you should also get to watch some clips from the daily news and some in the archives.
Anyway a man can hope, let me go enjoy my NY times select membership.
ps:If any KBW member needs an article from the NY times archive send me a link to the article and I will get you the full article!


Keguro said...

You are too kind: I want all the articles from all the years that can be had for free from before.

(University access rocks! Free at last, free at last, and hopefully, always free!)

Speaking of, I wonder if the Nation and Standard were thinking of targeting international institutions (which is kind of dumb; but let's not talk about strategic planning.)

It's not worth it, but I'd have been willing to pay up to $5 a month.

Their loss.

Oh, yes, and they also forget bloggers, who, to my mind, provide access to "the real news!"

acolyte said...

@ Keguro
There is some pretty good stuff in the archives.I am limited to 100 articles per month.I too would have been willing to pay upto $5 per month, as for their planning the less said about it the better.I dont think those dinosaurs in the board rooms even know what a blog is.......

Prousette said...

Am one of those who was totally pissed off at EAS for limiting access to the juicy parts of the magazines. There is no way in hell am paying that fees coz if I was desperately in search of an article I have access to a library. Their loss indeed.
I shall keep you in mind for access to NY times articles. Thotful of you indeed.

m said...

I've been having a struggle for the last 2 years with Nation. Convincing them to even deploy RSS technology was a royal pain.

I don't know where Nation and Standard got this idea that they are so popular and have so much leadership that people will be willing to pay 200+ dollars for their content!

But it's all good. Reality will soon check in.

KenyanMusings said...

Oh yaaay! will be calling on you with that. I have been trying to get hold of some stuff for a while. Be so blessed! LOL @ Keguro $5....
enyewe the Nation and Std guys are mad crazy.....some of us still have the pleasure of reading the office copies, so I really cannot offer the shoulder needed here....

Milonare said...

I'm tempted to ask some from home to be scanning the Pulse magazine and attaching it to an email addressed to one Milo...

Those sh8tty ba*tards katsiad my Friday morning must read entertainment!!!

Those prices are so high its almost like you'd expect them to send the reporter to your digs to give you the storo verbatim!!!

acolyte said...

@ prou
At least you have a library, some of us have to make due with the little that we get from them.
@ M
At least your persistence paid off.I may go into correspondence with them about the cost of the digital edition but I know it will be an uphill task.I do think that they have been listening to the wrong people when it comes to product pricing.Have you seen the price for Taifa leo online?It's ridiculous!
@ Kenyanmusings
Kenyan papers are so expensive that not too many people buy copies and have to read the office ones like you.The government needs to reduce taxes on newsprint.
@ Milo
I used to love the Pulse!I tried to get someone to be scanning it for me but seems kubaffs back home were too lazy even though I was willing to pay!Those prices are so high that I put it out of my mind at once!

spicebear said...

it's good to know that i'm not the only one who has written letters of protest to the standard - those prices are absurd! could it be that maybe someone told them that abroad $216 (approx KSH15,530) is not a big deal? that's robbery, and even if i want to be entertained, i am not that desparate to read the pulse. and most of the older newspaper bigwigs dont know what a blog is - tried explaining the concept to one and he was fascinated but i doubt that he actually went ahead and had a look for himself.

Acolyte said...

@ spicebear
I wonder if a deluge of e-mails and letters would help?

dangerously_shy said...

Interesting post abit harsh vile though the same swahili saying could be attributed to most of our peers in Kenya?

As for being cut off from my beloved pulse, ill keep my comments to myself lol, would you believe they pulled that trick on the one day i got smitta to feature something i emailed him? anyway thats another storo for another day..

Good luck with your 7 year plan

acolyte said...

@ dangerously_shy
Well it does sounds harsh but I do feel you coz many of our counter parts at home too have no long term plan.I would love to read the story smitta wrote coz of your email!Thanks for the good wishes!