NY Post Wants To Stick With Pointless, Broken Registration System

from the good-luck-with-that-plan dept

The New York Post is nothing if not stubborn. After surprising readers with a registration system that simply didn’t work, causing plenty of frustration, the Post has announced that they’ll be keeping the system. This makes almost no sense. First, they’ve pissed off a good portion of their readers who couldn’t actually read the content they wanted. Second, of those who did try to register, many found they couldn’t. On top of that, you have all of the other reasons why newspaper registration doesn’t make sense. Beyond filling your database with dirty, useless data it encourages readers to simply go elsewhere while also (oh yeah!) opening up the publisher to greater legal liability for lying to advertises about who’s really reading a site. Meanwhile, in an age when the ability to share the news is becoming more important than just being able to read the news, putting up a registration gate makes the news immensely less valuable to many people. Coming so soon after owner Rupert Murdoch talked up the importance of news organization understanding the internet, it looks like the NY Post needs to rethink this idea.

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Comments on “NY Post Wants To Stick With Pointless, Broken Registration System”

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glenn says:

what evar!

I don’t think you have any idea how newspapers work. Newspaper websites have been money loosers for quite some time. Good content is expensive. Only after being able to fully segment and qualify their audience have they been able to make money on the advertising side of their sites.

Everyone’s waiting for news organizations to dry up so citizen journalism can take over. That is until they realize the citizen journalists are using the news organizations for their research, and and can’t afford the bandwidth, etc to host a successfull site.

Once you get beyond school, you’ll start to understand what life costs and what it takes to sustain it.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: what evar!

Hmm. Funny that someone accusing us of still being in school needs to resort to insults to get his point across… Also amusing that you accuse of of being immature, but then proceed to make a series of blatantly false assumptions — all of which you could have gotten right with a little bit of research.

We’re very familiar with how the newspaper business works. Some folks at Techdirt actually worked at some well known news organizations for many years. As for the rest of your points, they seem to be based on false assumptions. As many sites have been showing lately, it is possible to make money on newspaper websites — and it doesn’t need to involve registration. In fact, registration tends to do more harm than good. It shrinks the audience, which makes it less valuable to advertisers (and less valuable in terms of getting attention from others). More importantly, the data that they get from registration is so full of dirty data that whatever ‘segmentation’ and ‘qualification’ they do is useless.

As for your second point, I’m not sure why you brought up the citizen journalism issue. We certainly didn’t. I don’t think citizen journalism will “take over.” I think it’s interesting, and there’s a place for it, but it’s quite different than professional journalism. So, please, don’t make assumptions about what we think on that.

If you want to discuss this, we’re certainly willing to engage in a dialog, but considering the combination of insults and false assumptions, it’s difficult to know if you’re serious about discussing this.

dit says:

whatevar brings up some good points

First, newspapers need to have numbers and demographics to sell advertizing. Advertizers pay by visitor count and target audience, which is the whole point of the annoying registration. It doesnt matter to the newspaper if it is inaccurate. They actually get better numbers when the same person registers again and again.

I’m not saying its good to have annoying registrations or dirty data, but it does make sense from their point of view.

Second, the point about research is valid. Most news sites on the internet that are not newspapers/magazines do not pay for their news, nor do they create the content. They aggregate it and summarize the work of the brick and mortor news. If every online only site had to go out and research every story they wrote about, they would be in dire straights too. (and I realize that what passes for most news today is nothing more than cleverly disguised and repackaged press releases.)

Mike (profile) says:

Re: whatevar brings up some good points

Of course, you can get quite a bit of data about who’s surfing your site without blocking it off with registration data. Either just from log files, or by offering *incentives* (rather than blockades) for sharing information.

You’re basically saying that newspapers are better off with fewer visitors and false data, than more visitors and accurate data? Bizarre.

dit says:

Re: Re: whatevar brings up some good points

I’m basically saying what I said, which is I understand why they do it, because that’s how they sell advertizing.

You can get quite a bit of data from log files, but you cant get demographic data. And voluntary input doesnt capture 100% so what, your going to fudge the data by extrapolating to fit the visitor count? How is that cleaner data?

Techdirt corporate intelligence isnt free to the public is it? Even though, according to your logic, you could get more visitors and make up the lack of “blockades” by selling more advertizing.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: whatevar brings up some good points

Yes, but if the demographic data is mostly bogus, how is that possibly worth shrinking your audience? Also, I never said you “fudge” the data. But you market differently to those who do provide the data. Either way, there are ways to get much more accurate demographic data without shrinking your audience. You apparently don’t think so.

As for Techdirt, our business model isn’t advertising, so I don’t see how this discussion applies.

jeff says:

No Subject Given

I agree. All of the hundreds of free registration-free news sites and blogs get their news from the top 10 (or whatever number) elite sites like the nytimes, washpost, etc etc, all of which are registration only. THEREFORE, without these 10 registration-only sites, the rest of the sites would go poof. For instance, set up my.yahoo.com to display, say, tech-related news from various sources. You will see that all of the sites repeat the exact same 5 articles, day after day. On first glance, it would seem that there are many many sites about tech. In reality, all of these sites are summarizing articles from the same 3 (registration-only) tech sites.

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