We've been talking for a while about how these days, news is increasingly likely to find people
rather than people finding news. This is a key point to understand in developing any kind of news related business model. It's about understanding how "passed links"
or "earned links" are increasingly important. Many old school newspaper execs still think of news consumption via the old model: that someone chooses to go to a newspaper website and read through the news. But that's increasingly rare. Instead, the more common stories are the ones like Gina Chen explains, where news found her on Twitter
. She didn't go looking for the particular story about the magazine Gourmet
closing -- she spotted it because someone she followed who worked there mentioned it. People are increasingly getting important news from their social network "passing links" or even just passing on the news directly, rather than going to some centralized hub and "finding" the news
This doesn't mean the old model is dead, but it's less important, and less a part of the news ecosystem as it used to be. And you know what's death for news "finding" people? A paywall. If content is behind a paywall, I'm much less likely to send it out to anyone else or let anyone know about it. It's just not worth creating that kind of hassle for others. Newspapers that decide to put up such a paywall are actively putting up a barrier to one of the major promotion and distribution mechanisms in how people find and consume news these days. It's difficult to see how that makes any sense at all.