We have been bullied, threatened, and generally intimated by newspapers such as the New York Times with their new business model known as a paywall. The paywall is the newspaper industry response to its inability to generate sources of revenue on the Internet through Google ads or other tried and true methods. Newspapers have not only lost advertising revenue, but also readership as well with their printed editions. The papers tried the Internet but failed to grasp the nature of the Internet and are now scrabbling to justify why we consumers need to now pay for something that once was free.

But the New York Times does not wish to alienate the blogging community who enjoys linking to the news items. The Times will continue to offer free news items, but will be limited to a certain number. Here is what the Times says:

So if the Times puts up a wall, it could see its links dwindle, because bloggers don’t want to point to paid sites.

Right?

Probably not. Because that theory requires the Times management to work hard to scare away bloggers and other linkers (from Twitter, Facebook, etc). But the Times says it’s going to make the common sense move of encouraging links to the site.

Remember that the Times is building a “metered model” where visitors to the site can read a certain number of articles per month for free. That’s designed to keep attracting the casual, drive-by readers that make a up a large chunk of most sites’ traffic. Even better:  Bloggy links to the site won’t count against readers’ limits.

This paywall experiment will be interesting to follow. I personally believe that the newspaper industry is not going to survive since I am sure someone, somewhere is going to offer all the news we can absorb for free.

Comments welcome.

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