When you've built a business based on artificial scarcity for years, and then suddenly find yourself in a much more competitive market, it's no surprise that some of the ideas you come up with will be to run directly towards more artificial scarcity. That's what the Philadelphia Inquirer appears to be doing with its new policy to not put many types of stories online until they hit the physical paper
. This doesn't apply to breaking news (thank goodness), but pretty much everything else: "investigative reporting, enterprise, trend stories, news features, and reviews of all sorts." You can sort of understand why the paper would like to coordinate, though it does seem to treat online as a second class citizen. It also leads to one odd and highly questionable decision:
For our bloggers, especially, this may require a bit of an adjustment. Some of you like to try out ideas that end up as subjects of stories or columns in print first.
Apparently, that's no longer allowed. Of course, for columnists, that's one of the main advantages
of having a blog. It lets you try out ideas, get feedback, and generally make the final product that much better
. But apparently the Philadelphia Inquirer would rather come out with a lower quality product -- as long as it all comes out at the same time.