How Cute: NY Times, WaPo & Gannett Build Their Own Walled Garden Most People Will Ignore

from the tend-away dept

This is just a bit bizarre. As the NY Times and others keep moving towards a paywall, it and the Washington Post and Gannett have apparently funded a bizarrely pointless operation called OnGo, which appears to be an excessively limited, high priced, walled garden aggregator. For a mere $7 per month, you can get access to content from those three companies along with a few other big newspapers. Of course, there are limits. You only get the top 20 stories from the NY Times, for example.

Or, you know, you could just use an RSS reader. Or Twitter. Or Facebook. And not pay the monthly fee.

I’m reading through the various details and stories on this project, and the one question I keep asking which isn’t answered anywhere is what is the additional value this brings to the table. When the very best that the operation’s boss man can do to explain his value proposition is to say “this is another option,” you’re in trouble. This isn’t providing any more value for the (much higher) price. It seems to be targeted at fools, which is no way to build a business these days.

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: gannett, ny times, washington post

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Comments on “How Cute: NY Times, WaPo & Gannett Build Their Own Walled Garden Most People Will Ignore”

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Benny6Toes (profile) says:

Additional value

The supposed additional value is that it will be ad-free and laid out in a “useful” format closer to a traditional paper layout. so that means multiple columns and, according to Ongo, will require no, or at least less scrolling. They think that hasn’t been done before. Somebody should probably tell them about Huffingtonpost and Dailly Caller (among others).

Perhaps “Nogo” would be a better name for the new site/company…

chamadatoo (profile) says:

Funny, I would go for an aggregator – $7 a month would be fine, if:
1) I could have the headlines from all the major sections of the newspaper – don’t need every last article but the top 10 in each of the main categories
2) I could have quick and easy offline access to ALL of this content.
3) The selection of newspapers was wide enough to matter.

Anyone remember AvantGo – back when the Palm Pilot was king? It was PERFECT and it was free. They had a HUGE selection and very quick offline sync so you could read your morning headlines from 6 international newspapers on the subway on the way to work.

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