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...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 3:21am

    and perhaps give customers more reason to visit?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 3:32am

    so are you then gonna remove all the advertising on your site??
    or of course you want to make some money, you just don't want to charge the readers for it?

    just wondering

     

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    •  
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      The eejit (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 3:38am

      Re:

      You do realise that ads probably only make maybe $100 for the site/month, right? Which would probably be just enough to cover hosting costs.

       

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    •  
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      abc gum, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:31am

      Re:

      Not sure what your point is - did the Globe & Mail state they were removing ads?

       

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    •  
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      Bas Grasmayer (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 4:56am

      Re:

      10 points for not understanding the difference between "not charging readers money directly" and the desire to make money off of a website.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Lord of the Files, May 11th, 2012 @ 12:28pm

        Re: Re:

        The trolls around here truly do make for an excellent example of why one should stay in school. Either that or it shows just how badly the education system is failing our society. Looking at the troll brigades track record, I'd wager it's probably a bit of both.

         

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          iambinarymind (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 1:04pm

          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.

           

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    •  
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      ltlw0lf (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 7:04am

      Re:

      or of course you want to make some money, you just don't want to charge the readers for it?

      Techdirt has ads?!? Oh, oops, turning off adblocker for this site. Sorry about that Mike.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    FM Hilton, May 11th, 2012 @ 3:39am

    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.

     

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  •  
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    justok (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 4:02am

    Only make the people that don't visit your site pay.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 7:52am

      Re:

      of course, by not visiting the site they are literally stealing as that prevents ad impressions and takes food out of Mike's mouth.

       

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    identicon
    David, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:09am

    i didn't think to read the Globe when it was free, now that they are charging definitely won't now either.

     

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    identicon
    John Doe, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:10am

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

    I, John Doe, pledge not to charge news outlets for my time reading their content. Not only will I not charge them for my time, I also pledge to allow them to make money serving me ads.

     

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      abc gum, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:37am

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

      Filthy eyeball pirates can go rot in hell. They think they can just steal your time and attention serving up their flashy trashy whilst demanding payment for the privilege!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:42am

      Re: 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!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 7:58am

        Re: Re: 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

        Fnaaah

        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?

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 8:51am

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

          If you can't make money while being payed to show people content which you were already payed to show them, you probably deserve to go out of business.

           

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    identicon
    ASTROBOI, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:41am

    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.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:51am

      Re: 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.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Yogi, May 11th, 2012 @ 4:44am

    Dreams

    "If you build it, they will pay"

     

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    SUNWARD (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 4:51am

    building not an issue

    the building will be a multi-tenant one with.

    With the price of real estate in Toronto, the paper is just taking advantage of the increase. Currently their building is a 2 or 3 story one.

     

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    Bennett (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 5:47am

    One Less Source of Old Repetitive News

    I will no longer be reading the Globe, and I'm not that broken up about it. One less news source that's generally a few hours behind the rest of the Internet anyway. Unlike the NY Times, I doubt the Globe can even afford a $50,000,000.00 pay wall that sort of works.

     

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    Ninja (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 5:51am

    Aw snap.. Maybe if you add a paywall the trolls will go away? There go my hopes =////

    /sarc

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 6:00am

    oh yuuck, paywalls.

     

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  •  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    So your supposed to say Candy Man 3 times to get him to show up. You say Bloody Mary 3 times to get her to show up.

    How many more times do we have to say paywall to get bob to show up!?

     

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      technomage (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 6:52am

      Re:

      Bob/TAM/AD usually show up when "Free" is mentioned more than three times in a single comment/post. Then they do their best to give their "free" opion on anything that is "free"....oh hell.....3.....2.....1.....

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 6:57am

      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.

      HAHAHAHA!

      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.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 8:55am

      Re:

      paywall
      paywall
      paywall

      you're welcome

       

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    Tech42 (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 7:46am

    Oh no, not a paywall!!

    This means I'll be forced to read copied-and-pasted Canadian Press releases on one of the other several hundred news sites which "report" the same, word-for-word, story, but not with that nice G&M font!!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 8:04am

    Pretty sure the top of this site says "Reasons to Buy."

    Also... if only we all could get $$$ to act as IP haters from Google and friends, we could all write for "free"...

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

      Re:

      Wow! Who's getting paid to act as IP haters from Google and friends? I'm pretty sure the shills have been crying for stronger IP, not saner, and few have said no IP.

       

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    McCrea (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 8:15am

    Lifetime subscription

    I paid $1200 for a lifetime subscription to Techdirt. Do I get a refund?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    NullOp, May 11th, 2012 @ 8:27am

    Da Net

    This is a case of one party understanding the internet and one party that does not. And besides, the other guys are Canadian so what ya gonna do...

     

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    The Groove Tiger (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 8:34am

    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.

     

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    technomage (profile), May 11th, 2012 @ 10:47am

    Found Bob.....he's playing HBO shill while torrenting GoT and getting payola from the *iaa's and blowing it on smack and "cultured female mobile GPS units" found at 1st and Broad...

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 5:47pm

    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.

    /soapbox

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, May 11th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

      Re: Sorry Mike,

      Aaaand....? What was the point of your rant, precisely? He knows people run Adblock. The adverts aren't even the primary monetization. The business (you know? Floor64?) tends to pay for Techdirt...

       

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      •  
        identicon
        F!, May 20th, 2012 @ 6:26pm

        Re: 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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