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Keith Law Will Find You If You Repost His ESPN Insider Articles

As an ESPN Insider, Keith Law has his articles tucked behind a paywall. You need a subscription to get those MLB nuggets. A couple of Braves fans on Reddit who wanted to read about the latest trade tried to circumvent the Insider tag by posting the article for everyone to read. Law tracked them down and delivered some street justice. Read more...

3 Problems McDonald’s Has That Raising Wages Won't Solve

  NEW YORK ( TheStreet) --  McDonald's made a big splash on Wednesday by announcing that it planned to raise worker pay at the outlets it operates by more than 10%, following similar moves by Wal-Mart and Target to raise the wages of some of their lowest-paid workers. According to The Wall Street Journal  (paywall), starting on July 1, McDonald's will pay at least $1 per hour more than the local ...

The West Australian looks at paywall options, revealing it now has 8,000 digital subscribers

The West Australian has confirmed it will look to follow the lead of Fairfax and News Corp and put up a paywall on its online website, Mumbrella understands. Editor Brett McCarthy refused to put a time frame on the decision but revealed, at a function for media buyers in Sydney, that subscriptions to its digital replica edition were already […] The post The West Australian looks at paywall ...

Regulation – why should it be one rule for the press?

Political stings and welcome verdicts have given Fleet Street a pleasing few days, but it doesn’t detract from the case against self-regulation Fleet Street was feeling pretty pleased with itself at the weekend. Four Sun journalists had been found not guilty of bribing public officials after mounting a public interest defence that impressed the jury. Good. The Sunday Times won an important point ...

Medical pick up Whangamata

Scoop's Operation Chrysalis transformation process is about to enter a new stage. To achieve sustainability it is now necessary for Scoop to seek new forms of revenue.

Hoopla to close after paywall pain

WOMEN’S site The Hoopla is to close almost four years after it launched as a failed paywall experiment caused it to lose speed.

"Operation Chrysalis" - Alastair Thompson "Ask Me Anything" is a website which I am sure Public Address readers are familiar with. NZ's largest independent online news publisher by audience size, Scoop reached 324,791 NZ users over the last 31 days . Over the past four weeks we have been running a crowd-funding campaign for something we are calling "Operation Chrysalis", which as the name suggests, is about transformation.


recent bookmarks tagged PayWall

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Posted on 21 May 2014

Top Answers About Membership Sites on Quora

Top Answers About Membership Sites

What's the best paywall solution for video?

For a recurring billing solution and video-based startup, I recommend using CoinTent

  1. They offer two paywall systems, subscription & micropayment that takes minutes to integrate with WP plugin or a few hours with custom API.
  2. You only need 1-3% of your audience to be willing to purchase premium content through subscriptions or micropayments to create a significant revenue stream.
  3. Free customer support for your users to save you time and an analytics dashboard to help provide data and help you iterate on your paid content strategy.

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Posted on 18 June 2015

Between and, which one is more valuable to register for a pro membership?

I haven't checked out Smartinsights, but I was a Pro member of Marketing Profs last month. I requested for a refund two weeks in, I think. It was their $195 for the whole year sale, but their standard annual membership I believe is $250+

Now just because I requested for a refund doesn't mean they're not good. The thing with Marketing Profs that convinced me to sign-up was their articles. Ironically enough, the ones that interested me were their free ones rather than their "pro" only articles, even when I was a pro member. They were also offering several great classes, but once you click it's a paid class (e.g. you get a $200 discount for a $600 writing bootcamp since you're a pro member, etc.), so it was a minor letdown especially when you think the class is part of your membership.

There were high-quality courses and some talks as well that are part of your membership, but in the end I just wasn't impressed overall. Plus I was looking into international SEO and global marketing as a whole, and they didn't have much content on that.

Still, marketingprofs is a good place to start with digital marketing, industry experts write for them, and it's a great place to keep up with marketing trends.

*Smartinsights seem to be more expensive, but I'll look into it and see what I'll find.

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Posted on 13 May 2015

How do I build the membership features of a website including payment receiving?

To receive payment on your website, you need a payment gateway like Send Money, Pay Online or Set Up a Merchant Account - PayPalAccept Payments Online with 2Checkout’s Online Payment Processing, Home - Authorize.Net etc... and most of them comes with recurring payments. All you need to do is to call their recurring payment API and your payment gateway automatically start the recurring payment schedule for your website. You also need a SSL certificate to host the form to gather people's credit card data on your website though you don't need to store it.

Most of the payment gateways comes with a setting for a callback URL, this URL basically called when gateway charges a credit card at a scheduled date and it throws back the status of the transaction on this callback URL. You need to program it in such a way to catch this data and store in the database and see if the transaction status is SUCCESS or DECLINED etc...which your system can use to allow/restrict the user access to your website/app

I hope that answers your question.

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Posted on 3 November 2014

Is it legal by Google standards to put a YouTube video behind a paywall on my website?

You should read YouTube's Terms of Service and you may also want to consult a lawyer for proper legal advice.
Terms of Service

Here are two small sections related to your question.

"4. General Use of the Service—Permissions and Restrictions
YouTube hereby grants you permission to access and use the Service as set forth in these Terms of Service, provided that:
  1. You agree not to distribute in any medium any part of the Service or the Content without YouTube's prior written authorization, unless YouTube makes available the means for such distribution through functionality offered by the Service (such as the Embeddable Player)."
5. Your Use of Content
In addition to the general restrictions above, the following restrictions and conditions apply specifically to your use of Content.
  1. The Content on the Service, and the trademarks, service marks and logos ("Marks") on the Service, are owned by or licensed to YouTube, subject to copyright and other intellectual property rights under the law.
  2. Content is provided to you AS IS. You may access Content for your information and personal use solely as intended through the provided functionality of the Service and as permitted under these Terms of Service. You shall not download any Content unless you see a “download” or similar link displayed by YouTube on the Service for that Content. You shall not copy, reproduce, distribute, transmit, broadcast, display, sell, license, or otherwise exploit any Content for any other purposes without the prior written consent of YouTube or the respective licensors of the Content. YouTube and its licensors reserve all rights not expressly granted in and to the Service and the Content."

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Posted on 22 August 2014

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

Short answer is yes.

You will need something in place to restrict access to your content - and as Ravi Jayagopal noted - you'll want to automate everything.

What happens when someone doesn't pay? Are you going to go in and manually cancel their account? That will be a lot of work.

Fortunately, membership sites are fairly easy and cheap (even free) to make - so, why wouldn't you go with a membership site?

Checkout this free course if you need help making a membership site: How To Build A Membership Site

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Posted on 18 August 2014

Have prepay eWallets had their day?

I know for a fact that some of the biggest European eWallet/eMoney companies are in deep trouble, and that they have much lower number of active users than is usually claimed, so your hypothesis might be true.

The fact is people do not want to have an inconvenience of having your money split between multiple accounts, i.e. one bank account, eWallets, pre-paid accounts and so on, and having to pay a fee to move the money between them.

There is enough technology in the world to create a seamless account across different uses of your funds, and I suspect one of the future big startups will exploit this.

I think you should be able to for example share your $1000 in the bank between all the different uses of this money, for example for micro-transactions, online purchases, offline purchases etc., but that internally this will be implemented as several different accounts with varying levels of protection/authentication security.

So for example you will be able to make trivial micropayments without too much hassle, while if you want to pay for your vacation it will be more involved/secure.

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Posted on 5 May 2014

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

Fundamentally you need some way of protecting content to create a membership site so yes you need some software, I would recommend Wordpress (free) and WishList member ($97) as the plugin.  However, one alternative would be to create a closed group on facebook and create a sales page away from facebook to take card payments. You would then have to manually tally up the payments taken and the user clicking to join the group. The downside is firstly this is not automated and secondly a facebook group is basically controlled by facebook and if they wanted to shut it down they could. However, it does mean you can set up a membership site without software!

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Posted on 15 April 2014

How much traffic/signups does PRESS really drive?

Probably not as much as you'd think over the short term, but it can be invaluable in building a brand over the long-term.

For example, BuzzStream was mentioned in a New York Times business section article (Thanks Eilene!) about CRM systems for small businesses:

Owners Assess Customer-Relationship Software

This article drove 620 unique visits (most in the first week), and 4 sign-ups (1 canceled.)

That's the New York Times Business section. Yes, that New York Times.

In short, unless you're combining press with content marketing and search strategies, or have invented a way to reliably get press week after week, press is helpful and certainly great to build your brand and get attention, but isn't a scalable acquisition channel.

(If you're wondering how to reliably get press week after week, well, that is a puzzle.  My favorite example of this in the tech space is the AdMob monthly metrics reports - AdMob's Final Mobile Metrics Report: Android Rising, But Apple Still Dominates Worldwide | TechCrunch - which were covered monthly by every tech blog.  AdMob was subsequently acquired by Google, so they don't release reports anymore.)

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Posted on 8 October 2013

What is the market share of various ad servers?

Interested in hearing what ad servers developers are using for onsite installations these days?

We just pulled OpenX from running on our server recently (after it was hacked yet again). Looked around at a few different platforms but haven't made a decision which way is going to go. My only real criteria is we must be able to run the application on our own servers. I have zero interest in an asp solution where someone is collecting data about our users for free.

Interested in hearing what the TechCrunch hive has to suggest.

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Posted on 30 August 2013

What is the market share of various ad servers?

LeadLedger records actual ad server data crawled from over a million websites.

Below please find up to date for the top ten ad servers as of March, 2013:
  • Doubleclick (30.44% of all sites)
  • OpenX (7.93% of sites)
  • Atlas (7.58% of sites)
  • MediaMind (3.04% of sites)
  • 24/7 Media Server (2.78% of sites)
  • MediaPlex (2.43% of sites)
  • Zedo (1.95% of sites)
  • AdForm (1.83% of sites
  • AdTECH (1.73% of sites)
  • AdAction (1.00% of sites)

Find Top Ad Server / DCO tools, sites and technologies at LeadLedger.

Alycia Salsbury

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Posted on 24 March 2013

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

if you want to save a lot of time and hassle, you'll want to start with a membership site software. CustomerHub integrates seamlessly with Infusionsoft and allows you a lot of flexibility with creating your membership site. the automated content delivery will save you a lot of time and customers can easily upgrade with the click of a button. Infusionsoft Membership Site, Subscription Billing Management | CustomerHub by Infusionsoft

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Posted on 11 February 2013

How badly are paywalls impacting access to scientific articles and education/science as a result?

From my point of view, badly, I am a semi retired person with a small income but I am also a scientist (chemistry,computing by profession Astronomy, biology, physics by hobby)
I like to keep up with the latest research but I usually  hit a paywall sooner or later and I find that both frustrating and disappointing.

I made a suggestion once that Quora points should be used to allow Quora users access to selected paywall protected web sites. If I have the points I can then do serious research while I am creating an answer on Quora.
When Quora is big enough and has the cash perhaps this may be implemented. and the improvement of the quality of answers on Quora will a benefit to all of us.

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Posted on 18 December 2012

Why did abandon the freemium model?

We have an interesting twist on freemium. All Meetup Organizers pay Organizer Dues. And most Meetup Organizers were Members (free) before they stepped-up to be an Organizer. So in that sense, we are freemium. 99% of people who are part of Meetups (members) are free, and 1% pay (Organizers). We're profitable (sustainable!) & happy that way, without annoying & soulless ads.

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Posted on 21 October 2012

Is there a plugin that I can use to assign specific downloads to specific users in a Wordpress site?

What I'm reading is that you need digital Ecommerce capabilities. You might find that in a plugin, but you might also be better off with a theme that's dedicated to e-comm. I can't say for sure.

I would just try to avoid doing anything manually. That could end up getting more intense than you anticipate, espcecially if biz picks up ;)

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Posted on 1 October 2012

What are the best tools for building a subscription based membership site?

You'll need several things. What they are specifically depends.

Content Management System: Presumably, when people pay for a membership, they are going to get something - goods, usually, but perhaps a service? You need something to keep those digital goods organised, with CRUD (create, rename, update, delete). To add and edit text, images, video, whatever.

There are many CMS's out there, choosing one depends on your specific needs. They range from free and easy (eg, Wordpress), to millions of dollars enterprise-level, and everywhere in between. Good ones will manage multiple languages, and scale well.

Consider on what platforms it will need to work - mobile phones? Tablets (and sub-tablets)? Desktop/laptop? Home cinema (eg, Apple TV)?

Billing: People are going to pay you for your service. Where those people are located matter. If you're going to have customers from Europe, forget credit cards, you need to use the variety of direct payment methods (most countries have several of their own, but soon SEPA is coming out, and that will be EU-wide and awesome). Obviously in the US, credit cards are the way to go. BRIC countries again have their own methods.

Plug-and-play billers charge 12% to 17% per transaction. If you have a few spare developers, you can make your own systems, saving money int he long run - as low as 2-3%, depending on the volume of transactions.

Access control: the billing company may help you with this, so might your CMS, but as always, it depends on your needs. People who have paid up need ccess. When their sub lapses, they should loose access. Press should not have to pay for access. And staff might need special access levels to administer content. Access control systems will also manage password sharing and hacking (thanks to Bart van Leeuwen for reminding me of this).

Traffic: Any site is going to need traffic, of course, but having a plan (before any other work starts) for traffic is essential.

Content: Stuff that people want to pay for, that they cannot get elsewhere, and is of a reasonable quality. If you produce it yourself, it'll cost more, but be more unique and higher quality.


The rest, is the same as you need for any site - sys admin, design, hosting, accounting, content creation.

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Posted on 27 September 2012

What is the best payment solution available to a crowdfunding platform in Europe?

From the perspective of a WePay insider, here are a few things:

1.  Our approval process for crowd funding companies (donations, rewards and equity) is typically 24 hours or less.  Get started quickly.

2.  We work with a lot of crowd funding/donations companies and understand the needs of the market.  Split payments (fees), delayed payments and conditional payments available.

3.  Our account creation process (OAuth 2.0) is super simple.  Your fundraisers can start collecting money in just seconds.  Our clients love it.

4.  We minimize our interaction with your fundraisers and your donors.  Donors can checkout without redirect and without a WePay account.

5.  We provide your platform, fundraisers and donors with responsive customer support

Documentation at

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Posted on 6 August 2012

What is FoundersCard?

A "member" would have to give you the full value proposition of membership, but here is the opening definition from the FoundersCard FAQ:

FoundersCard is a members-only community for industry leaders and visionaries, providing elite access to the entrepreneurial lifestyle and business opportunities.

You also might want to consider being more specific with your question to help people answer more appropriately.

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Posted on 4 May 2012

What is FoundersCard?

FoundersCard is a Members-only community for leading entrepreneurs and innovators. Among the Members are the Founders and CEOs of many of today's most successful companies and tomorrow's most promising ventures.

Members are entitled to unprecedented rates and benefits from premier travel, lifestyle, and business brands as well as access to invitation-only Networking Events.

For any questions about FoundersCard or for information on becoming a Member, please feel free to contact me at
Gina RaysonMembership DirectorFoundersCard

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Posted on 4 May 2012

Are there any alternatives to Google One Pass other than Cleeng?

Sure there are. As a matter of fact
there are quite a few out there. Right now in the US there is Press+
which was started by former WSJ exec. Editor Gordon Crovitz and
Steven Brill. It has set up metered pay-walls in the US and is doing
about 300 implementations this year alone (2012).

Don't forget about Apple's Newsstand
either although this is really only working for ipad and iPhone apps,
not on the web. But they have to be considered a major player.

In Europe there is Piano Media which
runs a common subscription payment system. Started by Tomas Bella, a
former newspaper Editor at Slovakia's largest news web-portal, Piano
bundles together publishers and sells their content as a group, like
cable TV. Piano is active in both Slovakia and Slovenia and has plans
to expand in 2012.

In Croatia there is a company called
Knospo which runs Vingd. They are only working with one newspaper
group in Croatia. Users gain access to premium content by engaging in
discussion forums, contests or making social recommendations to
Croatia’s Večernji list daily newspapers. Users can also purchase
Vingd tokens via sms, paypal, or at newsstands. Tokens allow access
to premium content and can be used to  access premium content and
qualify users for contests and giveaways.

Finally, there is Double Recall which
uses captcha-type engagement to release premium content. DR asks
users to scan a page for two highlighted words which they enter in
the box to release the rest of the article. This method doesn't take
money from the audience it asks advertisers to pay for increased
engagement. They are active in Slovenia, the US and Japan.

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Posted on 5 March 2012

If the Times' paywall works, will other newspapers follow suit?

The fact is many traditional newspapers are losing hard copy readers and online ad revenue does not compare with offline. Therefore most newspapers are having to consider other ways of paying their bills and online this cannot be through advertising alone. Paywalls are not the only options and there is an argument that people will only support a limited number of news subscriptions. Therefore be prepared to see a whole raft of new monetisation methods including metered access, free trials with fully-locked sites and e-commerce stores appearing within newspapers online.

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Posted on 17 January 2012

What is the market share of various ad servers?

1. Need to define which side of the market (and platform) we're talking about - let's say, 'sell-side publishers' only and web pages (so, not buy-side agencies/networks and mobile/email)

2. Break down the 'sell-side', into giant pure-play digital publishers/portals (Yahoo, MSN, AOL, MySpace, YouTube, Facebook with proprietary ad-server solutions) and 'the rest'

3. Work out what % of 'the rest' use a specific ad-server: DoubleClick for Small Business - ex-Google AdServer - Open AdStream from 24/7 Real Media, AdTech's Display (Helios), aImatch, DoubleClick for Publishers Premium [DFP]) rather than, say, a supply-side platform (SSP) that can be used as a combined direct-sales and ad-server solution (such as AdMeld, Rubicon, Pubmatic, Improve). Even a demand-side platform (DSP) or Ad Exchange (Yahoo's Right Media Exchange) can be used as an ad-server. You may need to understand the difference between paid-for (DFP) and 'free' (D_for_SB, OpenX) ad-serving solutions for publishers, from a commercial perspective. Plenty of content-management systems (CMS) can server items that can be described as 'ads' - some are trackable, countable and clickable.

4. Work out whether we are only talking about IAB-size ad formats (and exclude any other sizes, text ad blocks for Google AdSense, video formats etc)

5. There are solutions that cut across all the above - and geo-skews (like eMediate in Scandinavia, Smart in France, Zedo in US, Switch in UK etc, some much smaller than others)

6. Google AdSense is both text and graphic, so that skews it, as well as Yahoo and Microsoft publisher ad solutions etc...

It's an almost impossible task, unless very precise criteria are applied to all data contributors. But some expensive survey will probably pontificate with numbers that are inevitably not backed up with defining criteria for the survey. You might have more luck asking several large ad-server vendors in the pub late one night what they think their geo-market share is for mainstream, IAB-format, premium publishers (and ignore anything to do with Facebook).

No doubt about it, though, that Google/DoubleClick have the majority (just?) share of the global market for mainstream, IAB-format, publisher sell-side, non-portal ad-serving to web pages. There, I've said it on Quora, so it must be true!

IAB format info:

Disclaimer: I worked in Ad Operations for 11 years and used DFP before joining a market-leading supply-side platform

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Posted on 17 November 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

This questions is very wide, and really depends on which market you are talking about. In most western countries (including France, Spain, Germany, Poland) Smart AdServer is the leader, in terms of market share, ahead of other big actors (AdTech, Doubleclick), just to quote some of them..

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Posted on 14 November 2011

What is the best payment solution available to a crowdfunding platform in Europe?

We've looked at both PayPal and Amazon Payments. Amazon Payments unfortunately considers crowdfunding a "gated" business model, so they ask a lot of questions about your business that are intrusive, but I like how they allow you to adopt an "all-or-nothing" funding approach where donors aren't charged unless the target amount is raised (this is what Kickstarter does but IndieGoGo does not).

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Posted on 6 October 2011

What is the best payment solution available to a crowdfunding platform in Europe?

An application running in seamless mode will appear as if it is part of the parent application that called it.  A seamless payment solution means that the payment processing application appears to be running within the parent application.  If this is a crowdfunding platform, when a project supporter makes a payment, it appears to her that she made that payment within the platform even if in reality outside apps were called.

At JCrowd we use Paypal which runs in seamless mode.  Even though the user is asked to sign in to her Paypal account, it is not at all apparent that control has been actually transferred to Paypal.

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Posted on 11 September 2011

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?

If you want to end up with a professional looking site you need to shell out some money for membership site software. The best I've found is Wishlist, which works wonderfully with WordPress, which is free. All you need is a domain name, a wordpress install, a premium wordpress theme (make sure it's one that's compatible with Wishlist), and the wishlist software. This should set you up nicely. All you then need is a good business idea that people will pay for, and some great content.  Good luck.

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Posted on 9 June 2011

Will the Times paywall work?

The New York Times paywall will succeed because it:

- Maintains a Large Readership: The new paywall has many caveats to allow casual readers to continue to have access to the Times.  In fact, the NY Times estimates that 85% of the readers will be unaffected by this change (the paywall is porous for a reason!)

- Charges for Premium Access (e.g., tablets): Users are spending hundreds to buy a tablet, and they will want to fill it with content.  As this content can be viewed both online and offline, anywhere one goes (just like a print edition), it makes complete sense to segment this channel and charge for access.  Also, it’s important to note that top 10 stories AND front page news will remain FREE (i.e., ad-supported).  Users who want full papers on their tablets will be paying (which makes sense as these users are heavy readers and place a high value on the content)

-Creates a Segment of Loyal, Heavy Users:  Advertisers pay the highest CPMs to reach paying subscribers (this is true for print and digital). Thus, this digital paywall will now create a new customer segment of digital readers who are not only paying for content, but also earning the company higher CPMs. 

Will the times lose some traffic?  Yes, but it will be earning a lot more off the paywall. The average online CPM for a newspaper is $6.99.  This means a reader must view ~2,500 ads in a month before equating to the 4 week paywall price.

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Posted on 11 April 2011

Do I need a membership site software to start a membership site?


Building a website with membership feature has its
advantages. To start with, easier to track user behavior, customize features for user, generate analytics. Do not have to depend on some tool builder to provide you with such features (should you need them), plus addition of third party tools have ongoing cost associated.

If your site (as of now) is not user experience centric (or may be that is something that you want to take time
building), then credit card processing tool should work – for now.It is important that the vision for any website is very clear, and futuristic. Keep the design/architecture simple, modular.  There may be user interactions, features that you may feel are
far-fetched thoughts; but keep wiggle/handshake room for those additions.


Start with just a cc processing tool, but architect assuming you will build your own

user management.

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Posted on 7 April 2011

Are the holes in the New York Times paywall deliberate?

These are all good answers. There's one more: the NYT doesn't really care whether or not people read it for free on the web. The purpose of the pay barrier isn't to limit people's consumption of the NYT on the web but to push them to pay for it in mobile apps. If it were free on the web but paid on apps, the arbitrage pressure would be too great. Now, however, the barrier to reading it free on the web is high enough to persuade a lot of people to pay for the convenience of a mobile app, but low enough to circumvent for those who only want the web experience. And, as pointed out elsewhere, those who do circumvent it are likely to be advanced web users who share heavily and therefore bring the NYT benefits that compensate, somewhat, for their not paying.

Sulzberger's comparison of circumventing the pay barrier with running past a newsstand and stealing a copy suggests that he doesn't quite grasp this argument. The point is not that the Times can't make theft impossible. The point is that it deliberately decided to make it easy. And the right print analogy isn't newsstands but newspaper vending machines. You can steal a copy by sneaking up behind someone who has just bought one, or putting in money but taking two copies. The cost of these few free riders is set against the benefit of wide distribution. The Times is making the same gamble on the web.

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Posted on 5 April 2011

Are the holes in the New York Times paywall deliberate?

Absolutely. The idea behind this is called price discrimination.  Ever wondered why somebody pays three times what you pay for a flight?  The reason is that people who need to travel a lot on short notice for business simply don't care that theoretically they could do 2 hours of research to find the cheapest tickets.  Airlines know this so they try to sell the same seat for lots of money to business travels and for hardly anything to students and artists.

The NYT is trying to charge those that would rather pay the reasonable amount of $20-$35 than to go through the hassle of trying to figure out how to get it for free.  And the hackers/students who can't afford this amount - well the NYT is happy if they come and read for free - they still look at the ads and link to articles for them

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Posted on 29 March 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

I can shed a light about the Scandinavian market (Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland) speaking about solutions for publishers (data are approximated and based on the list of the actual publishers in those markets): roughly, in this market, 35% is belonging to EmediateAd, 25% to Ad:Tech and 18% to DoubleClick. But I agree with the others that these numbers are depending on some (sometimes subjective) assumptions made in the calculations.

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Posted on 24 January 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

My rough estimate for buy side ad serving solutions in the UK market goes like this  (combined standard, rich & video serving)...
 - Google's DoubleClick DFA at 50% (and dropping as agencies/advertisers move to alternate plats i.e. away from Google)
 - Microsoft's Atlas at 15% (and dropping)
 - Mediaplex at 10% (high end estimate - flat)
 - MediaMind at 10% (and growing)
 - Other (incl. Flashtalking, Facilitate Digital, Adform, Weborama, etc)

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Posted on 24 January 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

Ari's answer shows the difficulty in getting true "ad serving" market share numbers.  Even when you exclude ad networks like you clarified in the question, the reality today is that most ad calls end up touching multiple ad servers or platforms that serve different purposes.

I think most of the time when people are looking for ad server market-share they are looking for the sell-side number.  Here's some somewhat recent data on this:

It should be noted that the data above includes Adsense, which most technically consider an ad network, not an ad server.   There are other ad networks included as well.

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Posted on 24 January 2011

What is the market share of various ad servers?

I ran DoubleClick DFA for the last several years. I'm not going to provide share data since that would be confidential info from my former employer. However, I will give some guidance about who the players are and how to calculate.

First, you need to distinguish between buy-side and sell-side ad server markets.

On buy-side, it is pretty straightforward:
-DFA (Google)
-Atlas (Microsoft)
-A couple of others, mostly small guys

The only tricky question is whether to include DSPs and Rich Media vendors in your share list. For now, it is probably safer to leave them out since the majority of clients who use the products also track using a "primary" ad server.

On the sell-side things are more complex. First, you have to decide whether you're going to include the home-grown servers from Yahoo, AOL, MSN, etc. Second, you have to decide whether to include yield managers like Rubicon, AdMeld, etc who do get a "first look" at many remnant impressions. Finally, you have to consider whether to include video and mobile specialists like Freewheel, etc. So you're list might look like this:

-CBS/CNet (homegrown) (homegrown)
-DFP (Google)
-Google Ad Manager
-Open AdStream (24/7 Real Media)

See Questions On Quora

Posted on 24 January 2011

How can a community website successfully charge a subscription for basic or premium membership? What are some examples?

Here's an example. Check out Jason Falls' Then check out Notice how he's monetizing his knowledge by creating a social media university.

Currently, is being migrated to our platform—see the newer site at http://exploringsocialmedia.bloo...

Another example is

Both Wellness Works and Jason Falls are charging a subscription through our platform (

See Questions On Quora

Posted on 21 January 2011

How can a community website successfully charge a subscription for basic or premium membership? What are some examples? has had a monthly subscription 'VIP' option since late 2006.

The key to making it work in a community environment is providing people value for their subscription without making the non-subscription people feel like second class citizens. It's a fine balance, but one that can work out nicely in the long run.

See Questions On Quora

Posted on 8 January 2011

Will the Times paywall work?

Interesting that Tom's article above contains a fairly meaty view from a different angle which isn't quite as rosy - Good article here suggests that sales of the trailblazing apps, iPad news apps etc, have declined since the Wired whoosh in the summer. And looking at The Times paywall content, it's a far cry from The Daily Prophet. And though that might seem a fatuous comparison, what's wrong with getting creative with your content, even if it's supposed to be more earnest and highbrow for the most part?

My point here is that it's the content that needs input before the application that delivers it. And because the expectation is that online content is multimedia by nature, there needs to be far more televisual and audio content available, It's more zippy, engaging and direct as the (largely) low-rent stuff on YouTube keeps reminding us. In other words, the newspapers and periodicals need to give broadcasters a fair run for their money in the next few years to return the kind of figures that e.g. gamer (social or otherwise) apps providers are reveling in at the moment.

And I reckon before that all happens you need nothing short of a cultural revolution in the publishing world. Journalists need to know how to become video journalists, simple as. And that doesn't seem to be happening.

Or does it?

See Questions On Quora

Posted on 5 January 2011

Will the Times paywall work?

It's ever-decreasing circles. Content needs an audience. Any move that limits that audience (or any potential additional audience by hiding content behind a paywall) seems dumb when content is so freely available elsewhere.

Once upon a time, you might have come across a discarded copy of a newspaper on the train, enjoyed it and occasionally bought it. Paywall is the equivalent of having newspapers that self-destruct when you discard them so nobody else can experience them. How do you gain new readers?

See Questions On Quora

Posted on 5 January 2011

Now that The Times (UK) has a paywall does it still link to other free new sites? If so, isn't that a bit hypocritical?


No, it's not hypocritical. The Times of London is running a business. It is in competition with other newspapers, not in cahoots with them. Other news organizations may choose to support their budgets with advertising instead of subscriptions (or, more likely, with advertising in the print edition, since Web ads make so little money), and that's also a valid business model. It's just not the one the Times is pursuing.

If The Times's reporters want to point readers to free content available elsewhere on the Web, that is giving value to readers, which is their job -- and what readers are paying for.

(Do you think National Journal magazine, which costs $1,200 a year, should refrain from mentioning Web sites at all? Perhaps it is honor-bound not to mention any publication that charges less than $1,200, i.e. pretty much all of them.)

See Questions On Quora

Posted on 24 November 2010 search results

The REAL Reason Why The GSL Quality Sucks or: How I Learned To Love The Paywall

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

submitted by jib661 to starcraft
[link] [205 comments]

Posted on 11 June 2015

Paywall culture in games and alternative ways to pay

Why paywalls?

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.

More possibilities

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.

submitted by santsi to truegaming
[link] [111 comments]

Posted on 28 April 2015

Why is it acceptable for CA to put certain factions behind a Day 1 paywall?

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.

submitted by Anticreativity to totalwar
[link] [179 comments]

Posted on 9 January 2015

A change in how /r/Atlanta treats links (and other paywall sites) coming Aug 1, input wanted

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 on that same list. The reason is that useful news is being hidden behind a paywall, making links to 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, 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.

The Management.

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 If you're an AJC employee, and would like to change our minds, whitelist referrers like WSJ and NYTimes does for Google. Otherwise, bye bye MyAJC.

submitted by burnte to Atlanta
[link] [81 comments]

Posted on 17 July 2014


Paywalled content [link]

Posted on 14 May 2014

Petit truc pour bypasser le paywall du Journal de Montréal

Même si le journal n'est pas toujours pertinent, je n'aime pas quand le contenu d'un site m'est barré. Pour cette raison, voici les petites étapes pour détourner le paywall.



  • Dans Adblock ajouter l'URL* à votre filtre bloquant
  • Dans Stylebot ajouter le style
  • Tester avec cet article:

Vous pourrez maintenant lire le contenu bloqué sans problème.

EDIT: Merci pour le Gold!! Je vais mettre à jour cette procédure lorsque celle-ci ne fonctionnera plus.

submitted by GotNoob to Quebec
[link] [37 comments]

Posted on 28 April 2014

TIP: Bypassing Press+ paywalls with Adblock

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.

submitted by freyyr to canada
[link] [34 comments]

Posted on 26 April 2014

Drama-magnet and former mod Agentlame banned from /r/technology, SRD recap submission removed and flaired as "paywall"

Former /r/technology moderator and drama magnet /u/agentlame submitted his highly popular SRD recap, "The failed moderation and gaming of /r/technology", to /r/technology hours ago.

The post, which consisted of a direct link to the SRD submission, received a considerable number of upvotes and rocketed to the front page, but was later deleted by the /r/technology moderators and flaired as being "behind a paywall".

Shortly after, /u/agentlame was banned from /r/technology with no reason given. Upon questioning the mods about why his removed post was flaired as "behind a paywall" despite being a direct link to /r/SubredditDrama, he received a response from /r/technology moderator anutensil, saying:

Oops! Must've hit the wrong removal reason.

The post has currently been reflaired as "not appropriate subreddit" but the process took a few hours.

Edit: Another user, Creesch, has resubmitted the deleted thread to /r/technology here:

As you can see, this thread has also been deleted, and flaired as... "Already covered". The only other submission covering it was the one above which had already been deleted and flaired as "paywall".


In further internal mod drama news, the new mods of /r/technology are apparently having continual disputes with top mods. In this screenshot provided by /u/gaget, a recently added /r/technology mod, /u/X019, claimed that he had to remove one of anutensil's comments from a recent /r/technology sticky thread because she was acting "childish at best".

Relevant links:

submitted by BipolarBear0 to SubredditDrama
[link] [288 comments]

Posted on 19 April 2014

As people who appreciate and love Xbox, I think it's time we became more vocal as a community and finally said no to the XBL app paywall.

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.

submitted by Tastybread to xboxone
[link] [553 comments]

Posted on 14 December 2013

Why Should Video Subscription Services be Behind a Paywall?

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?

submitted by NimbusBear to xboxone
[link] [62 comments]

Posted on 1 August 2013

Anyone else think Microsoft should take things like Netflix and HBO out from behind the Live Gold Paywall?

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)

submitted by standard_user to xboxone
[link] [180 comments]

Posted on 21 June 2013

Dear Reddit, We Changed Our Paywall Just for You

Redditors- 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:

submitted by frankdupont to fantasyfootball
[link] [27 comments]

Posted on 19 June 2013

Missoulian, Billings Gazette, Helena IR & MT Standard now have a paywall: Here's how to easily disable it.

*Article at NewsAndTech: *

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.

The company who sold this to Lee, PressPlus (a subsidary of RR Donnelley) essentially sold us a bottle of snake oil, because the system relies entirely on JavaScript, which if blocked, disables the "paywall" entirely.

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

  • On the 'JavaScript' section, you can leave the "Allow all sites to run JavaScript" selection, then click the 'Manage Exceptions' 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):

  • Instructions forthcoming. For now, get Google Chrome or Firefox.


submitted by around_lee_paywall to Montana
[link] [25 comments]

Posted on 1 August 2011