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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Some Print Media Still Don't Want Links to their Articles

SmugMug Chief Executive Officer Don MacAskill, who blogs at SmugBlog,  has a convincing argument about how some traditional media outlets are on the road to doom because of their approach to online publishing, especially inking. He cites his recent experiences with BusinessWeek and the Los Angeles Times. Writes MacAskill:

Recently, I had the pleasure of being interviewed for a front page story at the LA Times and a feature spread in BusinessWeek. I have a huge amount of respect for both publications, and was honored to beimage interviewed. And the interviews themselves didn’t disappoint - both reporters were extremely thorough,  knowledgeable, and detailed. There were lots of follow-up calls, and both stories were then exhaustively fact checked and reviewed by an army of editors. Everything top-notch publications are supposed to do, they did, and then some.
MacAskill adds:
"Where these august publications fell down was in their online presentation. Someone running these businesses hasn’t figured out that their online business model is advertising. They’ve made it impossible to link to their articles directly (ie, drive money-making traffic to them).
I know exactly what MacAskill means. There have been dozens of articles I would have liked to read or link to but I didn't because they were behind a wall or the publication had a no link policy. These articles simply weren't compelling enough for me to subscribe to the publication, just to read them.  Also, 99.9 percent of the time I try not to put TBJ readers in a position where they have to register or subscribe to a publication to read one article.

My personal view is that although I may want to read an article behind a wall, the world won't come to an end if I don't read it.

Anyway, if you want to read MacAskill's entire post, see "Why traditional ‘print’ media is doomed." Also see The Globe and Mail technology writer Mathew Ingram's January 26, 2007, post headlined "Media: Still grasping for a clue."

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