There’s a lot of speculation about how some news sites will start charging for their online content, typically via a subscription service or metered content intake. It’s hard to say what will or what won’t work yet. While I’m only speaking for myself when I throw the question of how people will get the wall, I think it’s worth asking. How are people going to trust what content to pay for? Is a reader likely to open their wallet to something that they don’t know is any good? Brand trust isn’t the same online as it once was in the golden age of big brother brands. However if a person’s trusted sources passes on a link or suggests that the article is indeed worth reading a person is more likely to be attentive to reading it. And if a pay service for online content actually does work, the person likely to pay to read it. The thing is, shouldn’t the person that just forwarded on the “sale” of the article get some sort of commision? Chances are that if the source had never said anything, the article may not have been read, clicked and paid for.
It’s totally inverting the pay wall but it does makes sense. Amazon has a service for recommending books, why shouldn’t pay wall news services not do the same? Obviously people will argue that people should have the right to link, others believe that news is a fundamental right while others ask how does quality reporting happen without anyone getting paid? While I doubt that a pay wall will actually do anything more than create a barrier that isn’t going to help the financial issues of most news sites and the morals of a commision to pass on links is sketchy. But if three equal news sites offer different incentives for people to link to sites, which one is going to do better? The free site, the pay wall site or the site that has a metered service that rewards other people that link to them with financial incentives?