Techdirt To Not Charge Readers For Content

from the just-saying dept

Okay, this one’s just for fun, but seeing that Canadian national newspaper the Globe & Mail has announced that it’s following on the pointless trend of putting metered paywalls up for online publications, and announcing it like it’s a big deal, we figured it might be nice to remind people that some (actually, er, most) online publications are still doing just fine publishing for free. But, if they can get news out of making life worse for their readers and community, why can’t we make some news out of the fact that we like to treat our community right, and let them read our stuff for free, and freely share it and talk about it? I don’t see how making life more difficult for readers, limiting them, demanding that they pay and letting them do less in terms of sharing the content will do much to make people more interested in the site. As for the claims that the Globe & Mail is struggling, as Globe alum Mathew Ingram points out, perhaps they shouldn’t be building new office space…

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Comments on “Techdirt To Not Charge Readers For Content”

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FM Hilton (profile) says:

Pay Walls

Now if they could come up with more interesting news that I’d be willing to pay for.

I don’t understand why all the newspapers with pay walls think that their version of the news is so special that they need their readers to pay for it.

They’re all quickly turning irrelevant and worthless.

Oh, and thanks for letting us read Techdirt for free. Guess that’s why you’re not building a new headquarters, right?

Sorry, we’re cheap that way.


And furthermore......

It should be noted that this site allows comments without opening an account, providing email addresses, facebook accounts, or personal information. It’s a real contrast to other sites that severly restrict who may post yet display comments that are spam ads for Chinese trainers and “my girlfriends auntie makes loads of money with her computer” cons, all apparently made by approved posters.

Anonymous Coward says:

John Doe to not charge news outlets for his time or eyeballs

What about contributions you make to the community through comments? Will that be free to?

Surely you’ll charge when you deign to respond to comments of others. Not charging for that would be CRAZY! There would be no incentive to interact with the populace filth at all!

Anonymous Coward says:

And furthermore......

Even trolling is monetarily free here.

Sure it will cost the troll in terms of lost reputation and discrediting their stance through strawman and ad hominem attacks, fear mongering and other forms of obviously poor logic. But it doesn’t cost any actual money, and that’s the only economic incentive the trolls seem to recognize anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

It’s still kinda early (at least where I’m at). Maybe bob is preparing his completely off topic rant. You know, fact checking it, verifying information with legitimate sources, etc.


Oh man, sorry. I just couldn’t say that with a straight face/without cracking up.

But seriously, an article like this, with that headline. Oh, you better believe bob will be putting in an appearance before the end of the day. In fact several. I guarantee it.

Anonymous Coward says:

John Doe to not charge news outlets for his time or eyeballs

All businesses want to be able to monetize like music labels and banks do, especially banks.

In retail it would work like this.
How much is this chocolate bar? – 50 cents
I’ll buy it, here’s a dollar. – and here’s your 20 cents change
20 cents, the bar is 50 cents I should get 50 cents change – – Well you did check the price with us sir, our price confirmation charge is 10 cents.
That’s ridiculous and it doesn’t even explain the other 20 cents you weren’t giving me – That would be the cash handling charge Sir
I want to speak to the Manager – Certainly Sir, that’ll be 20 dollars, or you can leave him a note if you prefer.
And how much would that be – It’s on special today Sir, only $7.50


All the newspapers want is for you to pay to read the advertisements that they get paid to show you, it’s not a big ask really is it?

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

This is, of course, just another kind of paywall. By giving the content for free, you create a cost for people that don’t come here, thus, it’s a paywall of freeness. People might want to be blocked from this site or have metered reading limits or something, and you’re FORCING them to be able to come here and read for free! See? Paywall!

And Big Search, Big IT, Big Ben, Big Mac and Deuce Biggelow.

iambinarymind (profile) says:

school system designed this way...

The schooling system is not failing, it’s doing exactly what it was designed to do.

“The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed a standard citizenry, to put down dissent and originality.”
~ H.L. Mencken ~

If anyone would like to learn more about the origins & true aim of government compulsory schooling, check out:
The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto [Free on YouTube]

The information contained within the linked video is extremely important context to understanding the reality of compulsory schooling and all that results from such a policy.

Anonymous Coward says:

Sorry Mike,

Ooops, hit ‘enter’ instead of ‘tab’

We now return you to your previously scheduled comment…

Sorry Mike,
Though I understand the value of a website, and the attempt to make money off of it, I run adblock, here’s why:

In a perfect world, The Net would be free. Both as in speech and as in beer, there would be no need to have ads on your site, because the costs associated with your site would be gone.

Information should be free, and open to anyone. Although I realize that in my ‘perfect’ world, favorites such as amazon, ebay et al may not exist, there is something to be said for brick and mortar, Instant gratification.

The internet was designed primarily so people could freely share and exchange information, and quite simply too many are making money off of it, it has become like our american holidays, overtly commercialized.

I appreciate the ability to freely post comments on your site, and have followed it for a while now, but I run Adblock. Not specifically targeted at you, but at the commercialization of the internet.


F! says:

Re: Sorry Mike,

I suspect AC’s point may have been that ads on the internet are bad for the health and overall usefulness internet. They’re like a minor paywall and every site that uses the ad model degrades the internet just a little more. I remember the ‘good old days’ of the free/open web and tend to agree with the AC, if indeed this is his/her point.

I can understand the temptation to run ads, but the websites I run (one of which I offer original digital content under a CC BY-NC license) all provide a choice of paypal(yuck, we desperately need a better alternative!) or Flattr to donate. Another website I have sells my & my partner’s hand-crafted jewelry, so we make money directly from the product and don’t need ads. While we aren’t raking in the cash, my partner has been able to quit their day-job entirely and I’ve been able to cut my hours in half. This actually allows us to focus more time making jewelry & digital content.

Adblock is a godsend and not one to be apologized for. There are alternatives to the outmoded ad model!

(I also intentionally don’t provide links to my sites in comments, as that would qualify as spam, IMHO) 😉

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