by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 21st 2009 10:57pm
Kevin Stapp writes in to highlight a simple fact that has been discussed time and time again: that if a newspaper locks up its content behind a paywall, it will lose a ton of traffic beyond just the regular readers who refuse to pay, because the sites that send you links (and traffic and new readers) will simply point elsewhere. As an example, Kevin points out that with Slashdot's post about Craigslist suing Henry McMaster, it initially had a paywall-blocked WSJ link... but quickly added a free link from another news source. This is a key point that old school newspaper folks keep forgetting. They think that their job is to deliver the news, and the readers' job is to read the news. But that's not the way it works anymore. These days, the community helps spread the news -- and by making that more difficult, you decrease your value to everyone, and make it more difficult for readers to help spread the news and promote your paper's coverage.
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