Today is a big day for us at The Swarthmorean. Ever since Todd and Rob purchased the paper at the start of this year, a primary goal has been to increase our following. This means providing great community coverage in any format you want — print or digital.
Readers have enjoyed our printed newspaper for over 125 years, and we will continue to offer it for those of you who crave the tactile bliss of flipping pages front-to-back. And while there have been a few incarnations of our website in the past, there wasn’t a strategy in place to provide all of the content you read each week online, in a reader-friendly format that can sustain our publication over time. We’re now happy to say we’re on our way, and it starts with the brand new digital version of The Swarthmorean.
Available now at swarthmorean.com, the new digital version offers all of the great content you love in the print edition, and then some. The site features color photographs, the ability to comment on articles, a comprehensive search function, links to share our content on social media, and a community event/exhibition calendar that’s viewable both as a calendar grid and a chronological list. All events have location information (including links to Google Maps) and the ability to save event information directly to your own calendar program. But that’s just the start.
While we’re launching our new digital version with content primarily from this year, in coming months, we plan to add past editions, starting with issues dating back to 2015. We also have a longer term plan to digitize content from old print issues dating back decades. It’s ambitious, but something we think our communities will value.
It’s also our intent to embrace other engaging methods of delivering hyper-local stories that highlight our community and its people, such as video features, surveys and podcasts.
We have taken great care to craft the aesthetics of the swarthmorean.com digital experience. We are as tired as you are of being bombarded with ads on news sites. While advertising will be a component of our digital offering, it won’t overwhelm you. No deceptive links, no ads that follow you down the page (or worse, take it over), no distracting animations, no auto-play video.
Many readers rely upon services like Nextdoor to keep informed of community events, recommendations, and questions. While we don’t anticipate our digital version will fully replace these platforms, our goal is to provide thoughtful, curated tools over time that will encourage the civil sharing of thoughts and ideas relevant to all aspects of life in our area. And if you haven’t seen it yet, we encourage you to follow our new Instagram account (@swarthmorean) and our Facebook page for regular glimpses into life in our area and featured content in each week’s issue.
So, how does all of this happen? With support from both our loyal subscribers and the greater community, of course. As a reward to our current subscribers, all Swarthmorean print subscribers as of today will have access to the digital version absolutely free for the balance of your subscription, up to one year — visit our subscription page by June 30, or register and get a special code.
If you are not a current subscriber, be sure to become one by June 30 to receive our special launch pricing. For a limited time, the digital-only version is $3/month (cancel anytime) for the first year. Until June 30, we’ll be offering new print/digital combo subscriptions for $5/month (cancel anytime), and print subscriptions at the current price of $38/year. Pricing for all three of these subscription options will increase after June 30, so be sure to take advantage of our special pricing offers for early adopters.
As we jump head-first into digital, we always welcome your questions, comments, and feedback. Please email me at email@example.com and share your thoughts. We couldn’t be happier to get this off the ground.
Greg Hoy is a co-owner of The Swarthmorean and has led the paper’s digital transformation efforts. He was the principal of pioneering digital studio Happy Cog, and has been a Swarthmore resident since 2011.