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The Wall Street Journal website — paywalled from the very beginning — turns 20 years old today
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Dec. 18, 2008, 10:40 a.m.

Morning Links: December 18, 2008

— If you’re not following our Twitter feed, The New York Times announced yesterday it had 1.04 billion pageviews in October. Which is a lot. But maybe not enough: Analyst Lauren Rich Fine thinks they need 1.3 billion to build a profitable online-only business model. (And, it should be noted, that’s 1.3 billion in an average month, not a month just before a presidential election.)

As with many things about measuring web site traffic, all these numbers are open to questioning. One web research firm estimates the NYT had only 173 million pageviews in October, although its numbers are certainly based on a lot more guesswork than Times internal numbers.

— Meanwhile, Henry Blodget has a plan to “save” the Times (and, by extension, just about any other news organization): “…fire two-thirds of the newsroom. If they did this, traffic would NOT decline by two-thirds. In fact, it would likely barely decline at all (because a lot of the pageviews are likely to the archives and because 20% of the stories are probably producing 80% of the pageviews). Beyond that, there’s always prayer.”

— TechCrunch, a tech-news blog with high traffic and a reputation for not playing well with others, announces it will unilaterally break all embargoes from now on. Setting aside the motivations in this case, the shift from a world with only a few media outlets to one with an infinite number does require a rethinking of the embargo concept.

POSTED     Dec. 18, 2008, 10:40 a.m.
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The Wall Street Journal website — paywalled from the very beginning — turns 20 years old today
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