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(SFGate)   This month: The San Francisco Chronicle goes behind a paywall. Next month: "Wow, where did everyone go?"   (sfgate.com) divider line 43
    More: Stupid, San Francisco Chronicle  
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1427 clicks; posted to Business » on 24 Mar 2013 at 10:49 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



43 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2013-03-24 07:38:50 AM
24.media.tumblr.com
 
2013-03-24 07:53:02 AM
I have no issue with this. SFGate remains free, Chronicle becomes premium site.  If there's a model that will work for news, this is it.  Give basics for free and charge for exclusive content.
 
2013-03-24 08:03:34 AM
If you switch your browser's user-agent string to Googlebot, they'll let you in anyway.
 
2013-03-24 09:08:33 AM
Wish the Daily Fail could go behind a paywall
 
2013-03-24 09:37:00 AM
I had a sub for my Kindle to Wall Street Journal and the New York Times but I would never pay for a local rag like the Philadelphia Inquirer. The level of journalism ability and editing is light years and my local daily is sometimes like reading a 12-year-old's rant blog.
 
2013-03-24 10:13:59 AM

The Voice of Doom: If you switch your browser's user-agent string to Googlebot, they'll let you in anyway.


QUIT HACKING THEIR SITE
 
2013-03-24 10:20:43 AM

CPT Ethanolic: I have no issue with this. SFGate remains free, Chronicle becomes premium site.  If there's a model that will work for news, this is it.  Give basics for free and charge for exclusive content.


The thing is, lots of content on old media is just wire service rewrites. The story is still around, in moderately different form, on thousands of click-whoring redirects. Fark being one of course.

If you need that nice branded "SF Chron" like the aging baby boomers because its all they can understand, then sure. Pay extra for the "official" version. Which is not that different than every other version.
 
2013-03-24 10:44:33 AM

Generation_D: CPT Ethanolic: I have no issue with this. SFGate remains free, Chronicle becomes premium site.  If there's a model that will work for news, this is it.  Give basics for free and charge for exclusive content.

The thing is, lots of content on old media is just wire service rewrites. The story is still around, in moderately different form, on thousands of click-whoring redirects. Fark being one of course.

If you need that nice branded "SF Chron" like the aging baby boomers because its all they can understand, then sure. Pay extra for the "official" version. Which is not that different than every other version.


Yeah, pretty-much this.  Paper doesn't work.  Paywall doesn't work.  My guess is the headline is correct - SFGate will continue on, but the SFChron will die.  Or adapt in some other way, and fail to get back all the readers and income they lost from this stupid decision.

Every news source that makes people pay is dying.  Is no one in the news industry paying attention?  Or are they all in denial, thinking "It can't happen to us, we're different"?
 
2013-03-24 10:52:53 AM
Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.
 
2013-03-24 10:54:06 AM
a.abcnews.com
does not approve.
 
2013-03-24 10:55:26 AM
So I guess in five years Fark will just be all CNN, USA Today and sponsored Buzzfeed links.
 
2013-03-24 11:07:37 AM

CPT Ethanolic: I have no issue with this. SFGate remains free, Chronicle becomes premium site.  If there's a model that will work for news, this is it.  Give basics for free and charge for exclusive content.


Really, the only thing SFGate is good for is real estate porn.
 
2013-03-24 11:48:24 AM
You mean that if I want to read the wit and wisdom of Debra Saunders, C.D. Obvious, and (Uncle) Chip Johnson, I have to pay?

Don't hold your breath, HearstCorp. Thanks for moving your idiots behind the paywall; hope they die there.
 
2013-03-24 11:48:34 AM

js34603: Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.


Well folks, that was a nice Democracy we had for a while there. Will the last of the informed citizen electorate make sure to turn off the lights when they go?
 
2013-03-24 11:52:10 AM

Uzzah: js34603: Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.

Well folks, that was a nice Democracy we had for a while there. Will the last of the informed citizen electorate make sure to turn off the lights when they go?


You mean I'll have to do without those slanted downtown pro-developer pro-big business, always posting the police version of events regardless of how it happened? I'll have to rely on eyewitness video, blog, tweet and facebook updates instead? Oh horrors, how ever will I understand the world without a big newspaper corporation digesting it for me first?
 
2013-03-24 12:46:35 PM

Benevolent Misanthrope: Every news source that makes people pay is dying.


I am really interested in seeing an elaborate analysis on this.
Preferably one that's not behind a paywall.
 
2013-03-24 01:06:53 PM

DanZero: Wish the Daily Fail could go behind a paywall


Because your browser keeps forcing you to go to their website?  That line at the top of screen that says "http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/index.html " is an editable field; you can put a different site in there.
</snark>
 
2013-03-24 01:27:50 PM

Generation_D: I'll have to rely on eyewitness video, blog, tweet and facebook updates instead?


These sources have their own biases which are usually much harder to pin down, because usually you're dealing with a lot of sources, as people who don't report news for a living can usually cover only a tiny area of the news specter reliably.
They also have the tendency to report and relay unsubstantiated rumors as news. No multiple source requirements etc. Decent newspapers will report rumors as well but will label them accordingly.

You can weed out non-traditional sources just as you do with the traditional ones, of course: you look for a decent track record. But that's much harder to do with so many sources to choose from.

And that's just the reporting bit. News compilation and analysis is another thing.
 
2013-03-24 01:39:30 PM

Generation_D: If you need that nice branded "SF Chron" like the aging baby boomers because its all they can understand, then sure.


img194.imageshack.us
 
2013-03-24 01:41:46 PM

Uzzah: js34603: Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.

Well folks, that was a nice Democracy we had for a while there. Will the last of the informed citizen electorate make sure to turn off the lights when they go?


Are you serious?   We live in a time where information is more available than it has ever been in the history of civilization.   If you want to know something, there is nothing preventing you from knowing it.  And yet, we still have masses of people believing we fought the Russians in WWII, that Iraq was about WMDs, and that the world was created in six days.

We are the least informed people on the planet right now.
 
2013-03-24 01:45:21 PM
neaorin:
They also have the tendency to report and relay unsubstantiated rumors as news.


You know what?  So do the big corporate news agencies.   Watch what gets reported during the next episode of "BREAKING NEWS RIGHT AFTER THE SHAVING CREAM ADVERTISEMENT!!!"  They fall all over themselves to report whatever the rookie cop's cousin just told them the chief said.  They never correct, and they are always wrong.

Was the gun in the trunk, or did he use it in the school?  I still don't know the answer to that.
 
2013-03-24 01:46:09 PM

LibertyHiller: You mean that if I want to read the wit and wisdom of Debra Saunders, C.D. Obvious, and (Uncle) Chip Johnson, I have to pay?


You forgot Morford, or whatever that whiny little narcissist call himself.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-03-24 01:55:50 PM
Every news source that makes people pay is dying.

News sources that don't make people pay are also dying, and they have bigger bandwidth bills because of all the ad-avoiding leeches.
 
2013-03-24 02:02:38 PM

Rent Party: Uzzah: js34603: Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.

Well folks, that was a nice Democracy we had for a while there. Will the last of the informed citizen electorate make sure to turn off the lights when they go?

Are you serious?   We live in a time where information is more available than it has ever been in the history of civilization.   If you want to know something, there is nothing preventing you from knowing it.  And yet, we still have masses of people believing we fought the Russians in WWII, that Iraq was about WMDs, and that the world was created in six days.

We are the least informed people on the planet right now.


In some ways the increased availability of information has made it easier to become and stay misinformed.
 
kab
2013-03-24 02:10:12 PM

ZAZ: News sources that don't make people pay are also dying, and they have bigger bandwidth bills because of all the ad-avoiding leeches.


Facts have no bearing here, sir.   It's well documented that people creating anything consumable by the interwebz have a duty to be volunteers.
 
2013-03-24 02:21:31 PM

CPT Ethanolic: If there's a model that will work for news, this is it.


I dunno, my local newspaper has gone to this model. I still can't see a reason to pay them.
 
2013-03-24 02:38:23 PM

neaorin: Benevolent Misanthrope: Every news source that makes people pay is dying.

I am really interested in seeing an elaborate analysis on this.
Preferably one that's not behind a paywall.


LOL - got me.  I should have said, "Every newspaper I've seen go behind a paywall is dying."
 
2013-03-24 02:40:22 PM

The Voice of Doom: If you switch your browser's user-agent string to Googlebot, they'll let you in anyway.


Eric Holder has probably already sent agents to kick in your door for your felonious violation of their Terms of Service. Suicide may be your only option.
 
2013-03-24 02:57:41 PM

kab: Facts have no bearing here, sir. It's well documented that people creating anything consumable by the interwebz have a duty to be volunteers.


Yeah, they have to get the money somehow in order to remain in operation. You can't report stuff for free and expect to remain viable. At the very least you need enough money to keep the lights on. If people refuse to pay for the content and use ad-blockers to refuse to let them advertise, the only option left to keep the doors open is find some deep-pocketed benefactor, even if it's one that wants to get the media off their back by becoming their new boss.

Say, the Koch brothers.
 
2013-03-24 03:07:23 PM

neaorin: Benevolent Misanthrope: Every news source that makes people pay is dying.

I am really interested in seeing an elaborate analysis on this.
Preferably one that's not behind a paywall.


Just heard a radio story (link goes to audio story page, did not see a transcript) about this:
Digital pay plans are being adopted at 450 of the country's 1,380 dailies and appear to be working not just at The New York Times but also at small and mid-sized papers Twinned with print subscription and single-copy price increases, the digital paywall movement has circulation revenues holding steady or rising. Together with the other new revenue streams, these added circulation revenues are rebalancing the industry's portfolio from its historic over-dependence on advertising. Link There are other parts of this story that are a mixed message for newspapers. It's very TL;DR
 
2013-03-24 03:49:29 PM
Guess I'll just have to steal the paper copy from the kitchen at work.
 
2013-03-24 04:20:40 PM

CPT Ethanolic: I have no issue with this. SFGate remains free, Chronicle becomes premium site.  If there's a model that will work for news, this is it.  Give basics for free and charge for exclusive content.


Oh yes, all that "exclusive" content from the Chronicle, like photos of abandoned movie theaters and grey haired columnists whining about a city they don't even in live in. That's totally worth paying for.
 
2013-03-24 04:36:05 PM
for a city and metropolitan area as wonderful as sf, it has AWFUL newspapers.

chron is way to self absorbed and douchey. sfgate is good when you want to read about what celeb did whom in a club and when you need a full page ad on the local toyotathon but both are shockingly bereft of good news.

you'd think you were in a second rate midwestern market like... i dunno... cedar rapids iowa or something.
 
2013-03-24 06:16:49 PM

Uzzah: js34603: Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.

Well folks, that was a nice Democracy we had for a while there. Will the last of the informed citizen electorate make sure to turn off the lights when they go?


Not sure if serious...

/if you're serious let me laugh even harder because you think the SFGate is crucial to an informed electorate
 
2013-03-24 06:51:58 PM
Newspapers do very little local news.  I don't mean restaurant reviews or fluff pieces about a local park - stuff you could find on yelp or a blog. I mean actual local news. A few crimes, a little city hall stuff. Not many people buy the paper for that.

So it doesn't make sense for every city to have its own newspaper.  A whole lot of them will go away.

It's a shame to see all of those jobs go away, and it'll make it much easier to be a corrupt city or county official.
 
2013-03-24 09:32:06 PM
Meh.  I can get better sports articles, more comics, more movie reviews and showtimes, and better tv schedules and weather reports on line.  Since I don't have a bird cage to line or fish to wrap, my dropping the paper about 7 years ago is turning out ok.


//Stopped the Chron when they stopped green paper for the Sporting Green section.  Yes, the Chron printed its sports section on green paper for its Mon - Sat editions.

farm4.staticflickr.com
 
2013-03-24 10:22:29 PM

Generation_D: Uzzah: js34603: Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.

Well folks, that was a nice Democracy we had for a while there. Will the last of the informed citizen electorate make sure to turn off the lights when they go?

You mean I'll have to do without those slanted downtown pro-developer pro-big business, always posting the police version of events regardless of how it happened? I'll have to rely on eyewitness video, blog, tweet and facebook updates instead? Oh horrors, how ever will I understand the world without a big newspaper corporation digesting it for me first?


You rely on Tweet and Facebook updates for news?

i3.kym-cdn.com
 
2013-03-24 10:32:45 PM

Uzzah: js34603: Why...oh God someone tell me why...why should I care?

Newspapers can't disappear fast enough and trying to charge money for what is freely available in about a million other places will hasten their demise.

Well folks, that was a nice Democracy we had for a while there. Will the last of the informed citizen electorate make sure to turn off the lights when they go?


THIS.
I don't know about SF, but plenty of people in the flyover states like it when someone in an objective frame of mind attends the local city council or county commission meeting and writes down for the rest of the world what happened in more-or-less literate sentences.

It's not glamorous, but it's how these people prefer to learn whether the highway in front of their house is going to get a new traffic light.
 
2013-03-24 11:35:03 PM
Premium Service = The Crossword Puzzle
 
2013-03-25 01:44:36 AM
The Seattle Times was supposed to go paywall "in March" and kept on warning everyone to buy a subscription starting back in January.  Now we're nearly at the end of March and ... no paywall yet.  My guess is that they couldn't get anyone to sign up.

I go to their website daily (and curse at their complete lack of doing anything to help out a mobile device -- it is the exact same website squeezed down) but there's nothing on there I would really pay for.  Maybe $30/year tops.  If they organized all the news that I read I would pay more.
 
2013-03-25 06:04:40 AM

Gosling: kab: Facts have no bearing here, sir. It's well documented that people creating anything consumable by the interwebz have a duty to be volunteers.

Yeah, they have to get the money somehow in order to remain in operation. You can't report stuff for free and expect to remain viable. At the very least you need enough money to keep the lights on. If people refuse to pay for the content and use ad-blockers to refuse to let them advertise, the only option left to keep the doors open is find some deep-pocketed benefactor, even if it's one that wants to get the media off their back by becoming their new boss.

Say, the Koch brothers.


Maybe we'll see news sources migrate to a non-profit model. News is essentially providing a public service, it's already not that much different from a charity. Being able to make tax-deductible donations to an unbiased news source, unbeholden to corporate profits, would be kind of awesome. I love that we have NPR, but the model could still be more mainstream.

/Nah, what am I saying? They'll just start billing your ISP every time you load their site....
 
2013-03-25 07:35:27 AM

Unobtanium: neaorin: Benevolent Misanthrope: Every news source that makes people pay is dying.

I am really interested in seeing an elaborate analysis on this.
Preferably one that's not behind a paywall.

Just heard a radio story (link goes to audio story page, did not see a transcript) about this:
Digital pay plans are being adopted at 450 of the country's 1,380 dailies and appear to be working not just at The New York Times but also at small and mid-sized papers Twinned with print subscription and single-copy price increases, the digital paywall movement has circulation revenues holding steady or rising. Together with the other new revenue streams, these added circulation revenues are rebalancing the industry's portfolio from its historic over-dependence on advertising. Link There are other parts of this story that are a mixed message for newspapers. It's very TL;DR


When my local paper added a paywall they just tacked $6 onto the 7-day paper subscription so that every current and future subscriber who wanted to have a subscription to the physical paper every day would also pay for a digital subscription whether they used it or not.  Your only two choices were digital only or "full access" with no way to just get the paper only.  That bumped the price up about 30% for some subscribers.  Even with the people like me who balked and stopped our subscriptions that was quite a nice cash infusion.
 
2013-03-25 01:50:44 PM

The Smails Kid: Guess I'll just have to steal the paper copy from the kitchen at work.


Then what will they use to wrap the garbage in?
 
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