J-Source Newsletter - Addressing Canadian journalism's diversity issue; In science reporting, when does background ...
Posted on 10 April 2015
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Posted on 21 October 2012
Posted on 5 April 2011
Posted on 29 March 2011
Posted on 24 January 2011
I think the amount of quality online news sources is shrinking. I want to see quality news supported. But I notice that MANY people are annoyed with paywalls and regularly use adblockers. Does no one realize there is a connection with paying reporters well and getting quality content? Do people really want to see quality news outlets like the NY Times go away and be replaced with Business Insider? Or worse... do people really believe that the way reddit posts news stories, with hard to read "live" threads and lots of hearsay is a good way to consume news? I don't get it...
EDIT: So far this conversation has been great! Some good points:
\u\ItIsOnlyRain\ mentioned BBC as a great example of a news outlet that has no ads and free content! Interesting example and very unique! (also one of my favs)
\u\caw81\ mentioned Vice... although not exactly the type of news outlet I was thinking of (they are more of a news magazine/docu type) they are making their money in ways other than ads.
\u\antihexe\ has caused me to actually reconsider my position with this very important thought: those who need the news most are the poorest and most disenfranchised and could use that news the most, so why prevent them from getting it for free?
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Posted on 13 November 2015
Posted on 6 November 2015
Sometimes we like to have discussion threads about non-game topics. Today's is about idea of online multiplayer and co-op being tied to PS+ this generation (as well as the related service Xbox Live Gold).
What is your stance on the online play paywall?
Is it a necessary sacrifice from a consumer perspective?
Is it a necessity from a business perspective?
What is your opinion of competing services that don't paywall online play (such as Steam or Nintendo's online service)?
Is enough being done on the backend of PSN to warrant the requirement in your mind?
Share your thoughts/likes/dislikes/indifference on those points or anything else related to the topic below.
Posted on 15 October 2015
I tried to find a link to this news story, but the only coverage of this important announcement sits behind a paywall (and so cannot be used as an /r/australia reddit link).
Media ownership and concentration is possibly the most important lawmaking Governments can make, other than perhaps laws affecting voting and political donations. The reason for this is that media ownership is an enabling set of laws.
They allow one company to have a wall-to-wall saturation of newspapers and television in particular geographies, and so allow media houses to push particular (potentially biased) viewpoints to build support for political direction.
Today, the laws prohibit all media being owned by (say) Newscorp or Fairfax. If you remember the last election, where Newscorp imported a policital campaign manager to coordinate an extended partisan campaign to which many credit Tony Abbott's election, you'll understand the risk.
Generally, media houses will support relaxing these laws, because it works in the industry's favour. It is much less certain that relaxing these laws work in the public interest, for obvious reasons. Maybe in 10 years time, when huge numbers of people are no longer reading newspapers and watching TV as their primary newsfeed, these laws will become merely important to a free democracy, not critical.
Until then, I pose two questions for discussion.
Should we be worried that this indication of a major change in policy direction is getting almost no coverage in the media, and then only behind paywalls?
Is this an issue that, regardless of our fondness for Turnbull, no party should get a free and unopposed run at?
Posted on 27 September 2015
Posted on 29 June 2015
Okay, it seems like once a week we get one of these threads - you know the type - about how GSL quality is terrible, how it's absurd there's a paywall for content everyone gives out for free, etc.
Also every week we get the replies - "Is $8 really that much to pay?" "Don't be cheap!" etc.
Online monitization is kind of my shtick... so these sorts of threads always bother me, because there's such a huge misunderstanding of why the GSL operates the way it does. This takes a slight fundamental understand of how advertising works.
I don't mean to be condescending, but I genuinely believe some people on this subreddit don't understand this-
Advertisements are only worth money if they're relevant. That's why Facebook makes so much money without selling anything - they sell your info to advertisers to make their ads more relevant. If ads aren't relevant, they're useless.
One common gripe is "Other organizations make their events decent quality for free. Why can't the GSL do the same?" But think again about sponsor relevancy. When you watch basketball on TV, you see sponsors that are relevant to you. That's why they're worth so much money. If you're watching the NBA and you see a Papa John's commercial, you can pick up your phone and order Papa John's. When you watch the GSL, it doesn't matter how much you want to drink a Hot6, you can't, because it's a KOREAN product. The GSL is a KOREAN production for KOREAN citizens, sponsored by KOREAN sponsors.
That means, the ad viewership for western viewers means LITERALLY NOTHING for GOM, Especially if you consider the 80% adblock rate. They make essentially $0.00 for providing a free english stream - but not only do they do it, they pay the salaries of Tasteless, Artosis, and the other guest commentators, as well as social media admins, an english production guy, makeup, wardrobe, etc etc AT A COST DEFICIT.
The fact that there is even an english stream at ALL is a charity from GOM. The fact that people complain about paying 12 bucks for 3 months for a hobby they supposedly love is a joke.
tl;dr - Other tournaments are free because sponsors are relevant to YOU. GSL/SPL only can exist because of Korean sponsors, but Korean commercials mean there's no way to monetize YOU without a paywall.
edit: so i thought about addressing the obvious question: "why not target international advertisers?"
I didn't address this because I don't know the inner workings of GOM. I had an unofficial internship at SPOTV last year, but that is an entirely different organization. My experience is more general, and isn't specific to GOM. I don't like talking about things when I'm not at least MOSTLY sure about them. But since the question keeps getting brought up, I'll give my opinion based on what I know about SPOTV.
If the money was there, they'd be idiots for not taking it, right? GSL is a program of GOM, and therefore the needs of the former don't override the needs of the latter. What I mean is, GOM services a lot of other audiences other than the ~10k viewers who watch GSL 3 times a week. The Big Bang Theory producers don't choose what ads play during their show, that's up to CBS. In the same light, GSL might make more money if GOM had international advertisers, but chances are their DOTA and WoT programming would lose money. Since GOM has had international sponsors before (Coca-Cola, Pepsi, etc) it probably worked out that they make more money targeting Koreans.
tl;dr 2 - International ads might specifically benefit GSL, but GOM has a lot of other content outside of SC2 that may affect their global advertising strategy. Korean advertisements (probably) make more money for GOM than international advertisers
Posted on 11 June 2015
Posted on 23 May 2015
All this talk about paid modifications got me thinking. Valve is trying to implement the same model we currently use to sell games to modding. But this ignores that in some parts modding culture gets it more right than the current business around games. The modding culture is based on freedom and sharing that neat thing you made without demanding anything in return. Seeing people enjoying what you made is the reward. I don't think paywalls are good fit for that kind of culture.
Paywalls do not really work for open source games either, like 0AD. Since the game uses free GPL license, paywalling a game on Steam would feel disingenuous. Currently the only sensible option is to release the game free on Steam. That's not optimal either. Instead if Valve would focus on building better tools for voluntary payments and ways too incentivize players to pay for what they like, it could open up all sorts of possibilities and would also make open source games more feasible business model. And wouldn't that be great if open source would become the standard for games? Just think of all the inventions gamers could do if they were completely free to modify GTA5 and distribute and make money off it. That would completely revolutionize gaming culture.
When you think about it, paywalls are really primitive form of payment. On fundamental level it's based on distrust that the gamer doesn't pay for what they enjoy, so better charge them in advance. But why is that? We could just as well be pirating games if we don't want to pay for them, but instead we choose to support the developers. I see no reason why players couldn't handle the payment like we do in restaurant, after they've enjoyed the delicious meal and they know what they are paying for.
You see a fine looking game, let's say Bik - A Space Adventure that currently costs $7. You download and play it. If a certain threshold is crossed in playtime (developer can decide this themselves from fixed minimum to upwards), a page opens up urging you to pay for what the developer asks for. You can now pay that $7 and throw tip on top of that if you really enjoyed it. It keeps popping up that invoice with encouragement to pay every time you exit the game, until you pay for it.
It's a fact that not everyone will pay, but that's okay. It's part of the system.
If on Steam API level we provide the information whether the player has payed, it makes it possible for devs to limit functionality of the game or for the game to remind the player to pay every now and then, between levels and so on. Both should be fine, but it should be clearly stated on the store page if the game is partly paywalled. There could be "Payment model" info, which could hold values like: paywall (traditional model), partly paywalled, play and pay, free. And even free games could add donation button if they wish but it wouldn't pester the player about it.
The partly paywalled games would be basically sharewares all over again. Everyone liked those. They were even full campaigns in many cases like in Doom and only the additional campaigns costed money. And they are very different from demos. You don't even need to download anything, you already have the full game.
This is not like free-to-play where the business model relies on whales.
While not a game, Sublime Text uses this model as well and it has worked well for them. It bugs the user every now and then to register but the editor is full-fledged. I like that because the dev has trusted me to pay for the editor. And it's not cheap, it costs $70.
There's a Finnish idiom "climbing a tree ass ahead". While I think Valve had the right idea with modders getting payed for their work, they were approaching it the wrong way. Maybe they should take some of what is good about modding culture and spread it to game business first.
edit: It seem like lot of people take it that I'm suggesting this as a replacement for the current way of doing business, which was not my intention at all. On the contrary the intention was to provide more freedom for developers to charge for their games as they wish. Naturally this kind of pay-later model requires a different mindset for gamers, a different culture that can't or shouldn't be forced from top-down. Instead it's something that indie devs could experiment with and provide data on. If it looks feasible more devs would adapt to it, if not, than no big deal.
Posted on 28 April 2015
They did the same thing for Rome II. The only reason why I pre-ordered that abomination was so I could play as the Greeks without having to pay extra. Now they're doing it again with Attila and the Norsemen faction. Obviously if these DLC's are available with a pre-order, they are already developed and should be in the base game. So basically they're taking an enticing bit of the base game, putting it behind a paywall and telling us we have to pre-order the game to have it. This means they want us to buy the game before the reviews and let's plays potentially show us how buggy/broken the game really is like Rome II was. Why do we, as consumers, let them get away with this? I personally will skip on Total War for the first time since being introduced to Rome as a kid.
Edit: Some really fishy/unethical voting going on in this thread, y'all.
Posted on 9 January 2015
Posted on 8 December 2014
The moderators feel that /r/Atlanta is here to benefit everyone. Links to paywalled sites don't benefit everyone, and instead cause frustration for many. We already have a few low quality sites on the blacklist, and we're contemplating putting MyAJC.com on that same list. The reason is that useful news is being hidden behind a paywall, making links to MyAJC.com useless for the majority of /r/Atlanta users. They click through, and just see the headline and a paywall.
The proposal is that on August 1, MyAJC.com link will be marked as spam automatically. Yes, MyAJC is a way for the AJC to raise revenue, and they're completely entitled to do that. However we have no responsibility to help them raise their revenues. We're not simply an advertisement for the AJC. There are many other quality news sources in Atlanta, and we want to draw from all of them. We encourage people to find other sources for their links, which Google News should be able to help with.
We want to hear from you, do you agree with this? Disagree? Tell us here. If the popular outcry is against this idea, we won't go forward with it. If the general tone is agreement, then we will.
Thanks for your time.
Edit: So far we have exactly one top level comment with a "nay" vote.
Edit 2: Still only one no vote, so on August 1, we'll be banning MyAJC.com. If you're an AJC employee, and would like to change our minds, whitelist reddit.com referrers like WSJ and NYTimes does for Google. Otherwise, bye bye MyAJC.
Posted on 17 July 2014
Posted on 13 July 2014
This is just a brief news item to inform you about the new paywall at Hearthstoneplayers.com - mission accomplished. Go there and see for yourself.
I also would like to explain why I hate this kind of paywall with a passion, but I'll do that in the first comment below so that you can upvote or downvote it depending on whether or not you agree with me.
Posted on 12 June 2014
Posted on 14 May 2014
It seems that more and more Canadian news outlets are using Press+ paywalls to limit access to content above a certain number of views per month. Some, like the National Post, are quite restrictive at only five views per month.
Fortunately, all these paywalls do is use a script to hide the content behind a DIV. The actual article is still there. Now, you could right click and delete the DIV elements each time, but that's rather onerous. A better solution is just to block the script with a couple of Adblock rules. Just add these two lines to your Adblock definitions:
There, you never have to worry about that stupid paywall ever again.
Posted on 26 April 2014
Posted on 5 February 2014
Since the first Xbox I have been a huge supporter of Microsoft and their gaming console. I've put hundreds of hours into single and multiplayer halo, into curating my Viva Piñata garden, in exploring outside of my emerged bathosphere, and I regret none of that time spent.
I adore my Xbox One equally. I wouldn't trade the reliability of Xbox live for anything. And while I love the tech behind the machine, I find it painfully archaic that it still prevents people from using free services, that are available virtually everywhere, unless they pay for an annual online subscription.
As a next gen machine, it needs to stop relying on old policies. It needs to evolve and by making people pay to use apps like netflix, they are just reminding people of tired and old practices that harken back to a day that we've all matured away from.
If the Xbox one is truly a console for everyone, then this is an obvious boundary that needs to come down.
Edit: Basically, Xbox live is a service worth paying for. But charging for access to other subscription services makes the platform look bad, especially considering that no other hardware on the planet does that.
Microsoft is creative. Create content and new features in place of holding these apps hostage behind a paywall to draw in paid users.
Posted on 14 December 2013
Posted on 26 November 2013
After Netflix, Hulu Plus, and various other subscription based services have remained behind the Xbox Live Gold paywall for such a long time, should that requirement be taken down with the launch of the Xbox One? It did make sense that Netflix was once behind a paywall solely for the fact that Microsoft was developing the Netflix app for the Xbox and it featured things such as Group Video Watching and such, but is there really any reason for it to still be as such?
Posted on 1 August 2013
Not everything obviously. But for apps that someone can get on a Roku or Apple TV or PS4 for that matter.
Make deals for exclusive content apps and keep them behind the paywall, but let's free up the popular ones that are on every connected device. Would give someone one less reason to avoid the One.
EDIT: I believe Microsoft's position on this is that they are more valuable on the Xbox due to kinect integration (motion & voice commands)
Posted on 21 June 2013
RotoViz.com really values the Reddit fantasy football community and so we changed the way our paywall works just to make it easier for you to read our articles without seeing a subscription message.
Our paywall was always meant to allow a free view per day to accommodate discussion forums like Reddit. But that didn't work in some cases because people would click to our site, then click back, and then try to click the site again after having used up their free view. We've changed the code on our site so that if you're clicking from Reddit, it should let you read the article you're clicking to even if you've already used a free view.
tldr: We like you guys and we changed the way our site works to make it easier for you to read it.
A great example of the kind of content we're trying to put out is this post on the Giants backfield and Tom Coughlin's historical use of running backs:
Posted on 19 June 2013
Posted on 7 June 2013
Posted on 18 May 2013
Posted on 14 January 2013
*Article at NewsAndTech: * http://www.newsandtech.com/news/article_5e3596ce-bc68-11e0-86c3-001cc4c002e0.html
I'm an employee of Lee who has made arguments against the "paywall" from the very beginning. My reasons include...
Our sites are already unattractive enough as it is, and offer little value to existing print-edition customers.
We sell local advertising on the basis of exposure (e.g. "Your add will receive 30,000 views a month in our 'Sports' section!") and the numbers of our most-viewed sections will now tank as a result of requiring people to pay after 15 articles. In turn, my department's revenue will also drop substantially.
Rather than taking suggestions from the people who actually work with the websites, it was simply decided that this is what we're doing, and it's non-negotiable.
Disabling the Lee paywall in Google Chrome (All MT Sites):
Click the wrench icon in the upper-right corner, and chose 'Options'
Click 'Under the Hood' on the left, then click the 'Content Settings' button
Add the following two entries to the "Pattern" field, with 'Block' in the dropdown box:
Close the 'Options' tab - You're done! No more paywall at any of the Montana Lee newspaper sites.
Disabling the Lee paywall in Firefox (All MT Sites):
Install "BlockSite" from the Mozilla Add-ons website (Just click the green 'Add to Firefox' button, then allow the add-on to install.)
Restart Firefox when prompted
Click the 'Tools' menu, then choose 'Add-Ons' (or in Firefox version 4+, click the orange Firefox menu in the upper-left, then choose 'Add-ons')
Click 'Extensions', then click 'BlockSite' and then 'Options'.
On the "BlockSite Preferences" window, click the 'Add' button to add each of the following (without the initial "http://" value):
Click the 'OK' button at the bottom of the "BlockSite Preferences" window, quit Firefox entirely, and then open Firefox again.
You're done! No more paywall at any of the Montana Lee newspaper sites.
Disabling the Lee paywall in Internet Explorer (All MT Sites):
Posted on 1 August 2011