The Scotsman (Scotland's national print newspaper) had an idea about ten years ago: Let's put our nearly 200 years' of archives online and make lots of profits from them! The newspaper spent a lot of money digitizing old issues and placing into an online database. Results were less exciting than what the managers had hoped for. A few students, researchers and libraries bought subscriptions, but the rest of the world ignored them. The project floundered.
Undaunted, a year ago The Scotsman.com launched a new archive site with a slightly different spin. Why not appeal to genealogy fans? After all, sites such as MyFamily.com are raking in more than $100 million a year.
In a little more than a year, Scotsman Archive consumer subscriptions have soared to more than 20% beyond the company's goals. Alistair Brown, General Manager for The Scotsman.com, describes the thought process and the success of the project in an article on MarketingSherpa.com. Every genealogy society and company that has archives of old genealogy information should read the article at http://www.contentbiz.com/sample.cfm?contentID=3133
NOTE: The MarketingSherpa web site typically leaves articles online for only a few days. The article is available now as I write these words but it probably will not be there next week.