Wednesday, January 12, 2011

View the Observer in our E-edition

Our offer of free access to the electronic edition of the Charlotte Observer has proven so popular that we are extending it one more day.

No need to go without your morning newspaper even if icy roads delay delivery today. Or, for that matter, if you’d rather not skate down your driveway.

Simply call up our E-edition. It is an exact replica of today’s newspaper, adapted to your computer screen. See the easy instructions below.

More than 2,000 readers took advantage of the E-edition by early Tuesday afternoon. Most who contacted me about the experience said they still like the look and feel of real paper, but the E-edition was an intriguing alternative.

“Thank you,” said one commenter. “After flipping through it (the E-edition) I do find it to be user friendly – and I like the look of a “real” newspaper.”

There was some disappointment. Wouldn’t you know, our vendor for the E-edition experienced a brief server problem at mid-morning, which prevented some from signing on until later. Also, some readers were chagrined that the E-edition is designed for PCs, but not smartphones or iPads.

“I want to read on iPad and iPhone,” said one commenter. “Get that going and you may have something.”

The iPad, maybe. But remember, the E-edition is a replica of an actual newspaper. For screens the size of an iPhone you are better off with a special iPhone application of the Observer. We released that a few weeks ago and it is enormously popular (you can download it to your iPhone at Apple’s app store at no charge).

We are developing an iPad application, but it won’t appear as a replica of the newspaper, either.

What’s the advantage of an E-edition? For many people, a newspaper remains the most representative record of that day’s events. They like how it is organized. They like its definitive nature.

Think about it. When we experience a historic day, people don’t fall all over themselves to take a snapshot of their favorite news web site. They want their own copy of that day’s newspaper. The printed front page still reflects their place and time.

The E-edition holds this same edge. On top of that, you can electronically search it and print out any portion of it. You can even shrink or enlarge what you print. If the Sudoku or crossword puzzle give you writer's cramp, make them bigger!

Here’s how to make use of the E-edition today. Go to:

When asked for a phone number, type in 704-358-0108. For the home address, type the number 600. Then apply the security code as provided.

If you need further assistance, operators are waiting at 800-532-5350.

I again want to thank our carriers for driving bravely through the snow and ice to get the Observer delivered. I also want to thank you for your patience in instances when we have experienced problems.

And we can all be thankful for the sun as soon as it returns.

(The E-edition is regularly available to print subscribers for an additional $1 a month, and to non-print subscribers for $5.99 a month.)


Shawn said...

For those of us that did not get a paper yesterday, will you automatically credit us?

If I don't see a paper out there today, how about giving us two months of the E-edition for free?

Anonymous said...

Desperation drove me to read the Observer E-edition, as our neighborhood is still holding frozen streets. Surprisingly, my scepticism was unwarranted! Thanks for the free edition.

Rick Thames said...

Shawn, yes, if you did not receive your paper, you can call the 800 number mentioned above and be credited for that day's edition. We have no intentions of charging customers for missed papers. Thanks for the question.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the free E-edition. I enjoyed reading it more than I thought I would! Pretty easy to use and I like that it resembles a real newspaper!

Anonymous said...

Rick I think you should make the iPad and other tablet versions display the true e edition newpaper copy

I can't be the only iPad user who would enjoy the Observer that way. I travel alot and being able to see the "real" paper and flip the pages on iPad (a truly marvelous piece of technology by the way) would be a game changer.

I know Rupert Murdoch thinks so. His "the Daily" iPad only paper debuts in two weeks. I think the Observer and your sister papers would miss a big future proof opportunity by not having iPad/tablet access to the full paper

Anonymous said...

Is this service available for the NOOK?

slow88lx said...

Its too bad for those iFad users, the e-edition looks and works great on my flash-enabled, Android powered, Droid X. It's a shame Steve Jobs has to punish his millions of minions just because he wrongly predicted the end of flash 4 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I enjoyed reading the E-edition. I have the iphone app, but this is like reading the real paper. I'm seriously considering signing up for the E-edition now. Thanks for the trial run.

Anonymous said...

There's already an e-edition on If not what's the difference?

Anonymous said...

Please also consider an Android app for the Charlotte Observer. Droid users are gaining ground. I for one refuse to succomb to Apple anything!

Anonymous said...

Please don't leave the e-readers to the ipad alone! Be sure to include a version for the kindle and nook as well!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous January 12, 2011 12:16 PM said...There's already an e-edition on If not what's the difference?"

Anonymous 12:16...I'd suggest reading the article a little more closely.

festmaster said...

I never knew this existed. I travel almost every week and just paid $12 for the next year. Now I can leave the paper in the box for the missus when I head to the airport (which I hope is running tomorrow)