I want to have an archive of the newsletters that have gone out at my site (it's new, and there's only been one newsletter so far). Would it be an acceptable practice to have the archive password protected, and that password given out when someone subscribes to the weekly newsletter?
The Fixed Odds Forum
You could do it that way but you would end up limiting your subscribers. I for one tend to read a few back issues before subscribing to a newsletter to make sure the content is what I need. I am sure others think the same way especially if they get half of the email I get, which is around 300 messages a day not counting spam.
Internet Media Provider
Ask your subscribers. They are the ones who are going to see the consequences of your actions. Ask them how they would feel about remembering yet another password. They might be frustrated that they have to type in something... a lot of internet users hate typing - but love clicking.
Like wluke, I would read at least one back issue before signing up to a newsletter. I know many other 'cautious' people who do the same thing. To get round this, you could put your latest newsletter on a public page, but all issues previous to that in the private area.
One added consideration: if you have a public forum, it's a possibility that some devious fellow will post the password on the forum for all to see. If you have a modest number of visitors coming to your site, this could be a problem.
Daniel Irvine F-Free - Free Stuff and Freebies!
Thanks for the advice. I think that you have both raised good points. To be honest, it's a little early in the site's life to have much of an archive, but it's something that I'd definitely like to do (much in the same way as Webmaster-Resources - indeed, I doubt that I would have subscribed if I hadn't seen the quality of the Tribune in the archives). Maybe in the future I could have 5 or so issues on public display, with the ones before that password protected. Although it always seems to me more than a bit tight when someone has password protected something. I would perhaps be more inclined to subscribe to someone who was completely open.
Any more thoughts?
The Fixed Odds Forum
If they like what they read, and they can read all of the archives, then they'll subscribe to the e-zine. They wouldn't want to come back every week or so to see if you had a new one when they could just get it in e-mail, would they? No one would go through that much trouble...to...accomplish what?
If you hid some, it'd be like the movie previews on TV when you only see the best parts. It's a widely accepted fact that the previews only show action- or drama-packed scenes. Your visitors would think that too and they'd say what the heck, I've already seen the best issues; the other ones aren't as good so I won't subscribe after all.
Information wants to be free.
P.S. As one slashdot reader remarked, he'd be rich if he got a dime for every time someone said the phrase above.
Who the heck is Gen. Failure and why does he want to read my hard drive?
Soon to come: Aspology.com