Online Newspapers and Paywalls: It's The Relationship That Counts, Not The Traffic | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: At GigaOM, Mathew Ingram has a very good article on online newspapers and their rising problem with monetization.

If I had to synthesize its content and re-title it, I would write: "Traffic Is Worth Zero If You Are Looking for New Revenues - Try The Open Journalism Model".

Here a few key excerpts from the original article: "The problem for both the Post and the Guardian is the same as that confronting virtually every other major newspaper: print-advertising revenue, which a majority of papers rely on for the bulk of their income, continues to fall off a very large cliff..."

The alternatives, non-standard solutions, may be using the so-called Open Journalism model.

"Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger described them fairly succinctly...

in a nutshell, readers can contribute by providing their time, their information or their money.

Ideally, a truly interactive digital-media outlet would make use of all three of these, in order to build relationships with readers that are about more than just a cash grab.

"...trying to increase the ways in which its readers can contribute to or become involved in news stories — including opening up its story-assignment schedule to the public for commentary."

"...think of the relationship with readers as being about more than just money, and then let the monetization flow out of that relationship, rather than the reverse."

"...try the “reverse paywall” method suggested by Jeff Jarvis and former Washington Post managing editor Raju Narisetti...

...that encourages readers to “level up” and provide either more information about themselves or more effort in a variety of ways, and then gives them benefits as a result."

Truthful. Insightful. 9/10

Full article: