We've explained plenty of times before why walled gardens don't make sense in the internet age, and here's a good example of why. Both John Battelle and JD Lasica are complaining that they never read former "must reads" like the Wall Street Journal and The Economist. It's not that these sites are subscription only (since some are clearly willing to pay for them), but that it's impossible to link to those sites -- knowing that most readers can't get into the site. So, these former "must reads" are put on the dust-collecting pile, not because these readers can't read them, but because they can't share them. Just last month we wrote about how the importance of breaking news is in how people want to share it, not just receive it -- and how that changes how news organizations should think about presenting and delivering the news. The sites that offer up only walled gardens, with no way to let people share end up losing out. Battelle suggests that even sites that offer paid subscriptions should let people deep link in, letting visitors coming from those links see that specific page, but none others without a subscription. That seems like a much more reasonable idea. It keeps them as part of the discussion -- which is increasingly all that matters for a news organization that wants to stay relevant.
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