Inside our pages: Hatchet faces Web Reality

There is little doubt that the age of the internet is upon us. With this comes faster, more convenient means of getting information. But the added luxury does come with some inconveniences, too, as our Web readers found out when they logged onto our Web site last week.

The Hatchet has been forced to enter the ranks of The Dallas Morning News and New York Times by requiring registrations to get our Web content. The reasons are fairly simple to understand: Web advertisers are wary of investing in an internet site if they don’t know who’s logging on. While the decision came from College Publisher, the company that hosts our Web site, it is one we must embrace in order to ensure the viability of our site.

To read our stories online, readers must simply enter their e-mail addresses and are given passwords. If your computer accepts “cookies,” you will never have to remember your password and will not be asked to sign in after your first visit. If your computer does not accept them, then simply jot down your password and enter it when you log on daily. You will also be asked some demographic information that will help advertisers decide if our readership fits their clientele and that will help fit our content and special Web features to you.

While most basic questions readers will have about this policy are answered in a FAQ section on the front page of our site, let me answer the most obvious one now: no information you give us will be sold or given to any other company, organization or person. You can elect to receive our newsletter, which includes a weekly calendar of GW events and headlines from each issue, but you will not receive any outside e-mail.

I ask all of our readers to make this transition with us. It is understandably an uncomfortable transition for many, but one that will have benefits for you in the future. While knowing who is logging onto will help us engage advertisers who make it possible for us to function, it will also help us provide information you want.

If you want GW basketball results the night of the game, log onto our Web site. You can also get more news, arts reviews and pictures than you get in our print edition, breaking stories, movie listings, national news from our U-WIRE bureau, classifieds, crossword puzzles and a host of other content. If you want to find out about a subject from a past article, simply use our newly revamped search engine. And, did I mention, it’s all free.

-The writer, a senior majoring in journalism, is Hatchet editor in chief.

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