The site is aimed at attracting and retaining News-Sentinel subscribers, who have exclusive online access to all Sentinelgold.com content.
Sentinelgold.com includes an ensemble of stories, puzzles, blogs and special offers from local merchants.
As an industry, newspapers are innovating ways to keep and reward print subscribers.
"We want to recognize the value of our print subscribers, and we know many of them use the Internet," said Marty Weybret, publisher of the News-Sentinel. "This is a way of giving them added value."
Sentinelgold.com has been under quiet construction for several months. Sentinel employees have worked to create a mix of content and discounts they believe will have strong, unique appeal to local readers.
Announcements of the Sentinelgold.com program, with access information, are being sent out to all home delivery subscribers. Some arrived earlier than expected, drawing readers to the site before all of the Sentinelgold.com features were up and running.
Most of the elements are now in place, and several more will be added in the days to come.
"We hope readers will visit us frequently and understand this is a work in progress," Weybret said. "There are good things on the site, and good things coming up."
The effort reflects a wider movement within the news industry to provide premium services and access for subscribers. For instance, the Sacramento Bee has a Web-based Press Club, with offerings that include tickets to certain concerts and other events, tours of the Bee and screensavers based on Bee photography.
The New York Times offers its subscribers TimesSelect, including exclusive online access to Times columnists.
Sentinelgold.com is a blend of content, special access and commercial offers.
A new blog on parenting by local journalist and new mom Jennifer Bonnett is featured, along with a blog on wine and grapes by Jon Bjork, Lodi-based writer and vintner.
Other offerings include local real estate transactions, early access to classified ads (starting at 5 p.m.) and an early look at Lodi Living content.
A key ingredient: Deals and discounts. For example, the site now features offers from local car dealerships and restaurants.