If you want to read today’s stories from The Forum of Fargo, N.D., online, you’ll have to register first. The Forum recently became the latest newspaper to require user registration on its Web site, In-Forum.com.
Though registration is required, the stories are still free. To access news stories on the site, users are asked to provide demographic information such as address, gender, and date of birth. The simple registration form also asks readers if they subscribe to the print edition of The Forum and whether they watch the local TV stations that are owned by The Forum‘s owner.
Some sections of the site, such as specials, broadcast content, weather, Associated Press articles, classifieds, and marketplace, do not require registration.
Paul Amundson, interactive media manager for Forum Communications Co., said the demographic data will be used to target advertising and for e-mail marketing. He added that the newspaper is considering an enhanced subscription product based on archives and added features and tools, but there are no plans to charge for what’s currently available on the site.
Another new development at the Web site tracks crime reports. Last summer, In-Forum.com started running a daily dispatch log from the local police department at http://new.in-forum.com/crimewatch/. Users also have the opportunity to post questions to be answered by the Fargo police chief, Amundson said.