Back in November of 2013, the newspaper announced that it was going to put up a paywall to force us to pay for reading their content online. They told you that you could read a few articles and then you would have to pay a stipend to them in order to read more of their material. It was supposed to be a revenue source for their operation.
Except that in their ineptitude, they have done nothing more than to annoy readers and implement a system that could not generate any money for them because they clearly do not understand the Internet and how the news media has evolved through social media.
Today, most individuals get their news from social media channels. Even the El Paso Times, in their ineptitude, acknowledged this when they finally announced the paywall and told everyone, don’t worry it won’t interfere with your reading when it is shared via social media channels. In other words, you could bypass the paywall by reading stuff your network shared with you by clicking on the social media link.
As a matter of fact, almost all of my local newspaper reading derived from social media and thus I forgot about the paywall. Except that today I was reminded about it. As, I was researching the municipal identification issue for tomorrow’s post, a message popped up telling me I needed to allow cookies for my session.
I keep my cookies off on my browser as a standard practice.
What made me laugh is that I immediately realized that it didn’t matter because the article was still readable. All I had to do was scroll up above the popup and continue reading where I left off.
Had this been one of my clients, I would have set up the “hey pay me” feature in such a way as to encourage the reader to pay my client. I would have blurred the content just enough to keep the captive audience intrigued enough to pay the fee. Instead, the local paper’s answer to generating more revenues is too make it convenient for the reader to ignore their plea for payment.
I realize I should not be giving free consulting advice to the newspaper but, hey, their management’s incompetence has no equal and thus it probably wouldn’t make any sense to them anyway. After all, they have the city keeping them afloat as long as the press releases keep coming out.