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May 30, 2009, 11:23 a.m.

It’s not the price — it’s the wall that hurts

Scott Rosenberg clarifies an earlier post and, in the process, makes an important point about why so many are wary of The Wall:

“When we talk about “charging for articles” we sometimes mix up the impact of charging itself and the impact of the steps taken to make sure people pay. …

“The problem is that the steps publishers take to maximize revenue end up minimizing the value and utility of their Web pages. Building a “pay wall” typically means that only a paying subscriber can access the page — that’s why it’s a wall. So others can’t link directly to it, and the article is unlikely to serve as the starting point for a wider conversation beyond the now-narrowed pool of subscribers.

“In other words, when you put up a pay wall around a website you are asking people to pay more for access to material that you are simultaneously devaluing by cordoning it off from the rest of the Web.”

The full post is here.

POSTED     May 30, 2009, 11:23 a.m.
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