Author Topic: The Net Slowly Closes  (Read 169 times)


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The Net Slowly Closes
« on: February 18, 2018, 08:47:34 am »
It appears the internet is slowly but surely becoming a paywall.

I see more and more websites that require a login so you can read your "5 free articles this month" or similar. More websites are requiring a subscription to read their better articles, or their archived articles. Even Youtube is starting to force you to watch commercials prior to viewing many of its videos.

I think we're seeing the same evolution as we did with cable TV. Remember back in the 80s, it was sold as "No commercials!" Then it evolved into "Our commercials are shorter than free tv!" Now most channels have way more commercials than free tv.

Do you see this trend, too?

The Gorn

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Re: The Net Slowly Closes
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2018, 08:59:40 am »
Do you see this trend, too?

Of course. It's really pretty simple.

Originally (20 years ago) the revenue models of internet content were overblown. Publishers considered online to be an add-on or adjunct to proper print material, so everything on the net was free. 

Today almost all publishers of written content strain to create working revenue models. A LOT of print magazines and quite a few online portals are on the ropes.

Example: The big thing in newbie freelance writer circles is to write for the Huffington Post for free for the byline (the credit line which names the writer.)  I hate HuffPo's politics in general and they basically get their content from slaves, so go figure the degree of journalistic rigor.

In some ways single person created blogs are a more reliable news source than major outlets, because journalism is pretty much dying due to lack of funding due to the rot of online revenue attrition.

The least obnoxious revenue demand I see is the sites demanding that I disable my ad blockers to view their content. Fine.

The paywalls, IMO, hurt the brands of major newspapers and mags more than they help them.

Private/incognito viewing mode is usually the easiest way to get around paywalls. The cookies are not just browser based - they use Flash cookies, too. The tracking info is lost when you shut down an incognito browser so that works best.  So you can launch a private mode window in order to consume NYTimes content and when it maxes out the allowed free views, you just shut down the browser window. So far they seem to not go by IP addresses for paywalling.

Youtube - I watch enough videos there that it's worth it to subscribe to Youtube Red, $11/mo with taxes, which for me is another cable subscription. Also that subscription bundles in streaming Google music. I object to Youtube's political meddling and censorship but for now avoiding the constant ad interruptions is worth it.

I won't ever pay a newspaper to read them online unless they do some kind of aggregation so that I get multiple papers for one periodic fee. Which they don't and won't.

The problem is that I don't make any one online paper my go-to source of news, so I wind up only viewing a few more times than the max allowed any one paper. I refuse to pay $10/mo to "The Dayton Daily News" when I may only read 10 articles a month there.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 09:15:04 am by The Gorn »
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Re: The Net Slowly Closes
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2018, 01:57:42 pm »
I saw it too. Washington Compost, NYT, LAT and others.  However, there are 10,000 others that are free and using a different model.

Not that I want to read anything from WCompost. It's like paying to see trees in a forest.
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Re: The Net Slowly Closes
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2018, 02:14:46 pm »
I've noticed the paywalls going up and others blocking you from viewing articles unless you turn off your ad blocker.  I keep my IE browser ad blocker free just to view certain sites.  Sometimes emptying cookies will reset the counters on a site or using a different browser to access the article allows you to view it.  I can usually find a way around them.

Sometimes I search Google for the topic being discussed and find a multitude of other sites with the same info for free.  I sure wouldn't pay for any news from anyone.

I don't know how well the paywall model will work for them in the long run if you can get the same info for free elsewhere.  There are so many great alternate web sites outside of the group-think of MSM news like NY Times and WaPo.