Why You Can't Go To Your Local Newspaper For Restaurant Reviews
from the why-not? dept
Many times we've discussed the folly of newspapers putting their online material behind registration walls and into inaccessible archives. The obvious problem is that it prevents the site from realizing its full potential by drastically limiting the amount of traffic to it. Blocking off the archives of news articles violates the whole concept of the long tail, which explains how the internet can help companies derive value from their back stock of goods that are rarely seen or read. Rich Skrenta has an interesting post explaining how this error is particularly glaring when it comes to service journalism, like reviews of movies and restaurants. Unlike news articles, which do lose most of their value fairly quickly, the value of these articles endures, as people routinely come back to them when they're deciding where to eat, or what DVD to put into their Netflix queue. As it stands currently, when someone does a search, looking for a restaurant review, they're going to find plenty of reviews at sites other than that of the local paper. This kind of thing should be the paper's bread and butter, as it's one area that can differentiate them from other news sites. Ultimately it's really not surprising, that along with all of the other things that papers do to damage the value of their sites, they would hurt themselves in this way too.