I know and fully understand that news sites need to make money. In fact, I willingly pay my annual subscription fee to the Wall Street Journal to access their content online. The writing is excellent, the content is topical and insightful. There is nothing wrong with paying for quality. Indeed, it seems to me that paying for quality is a good thing.
Still, I often come across something really interesting in wsj.com that I want to share with others. But if others (meaning you) don't subscribe, I can't share. And knowledge kinda just sits there like a lump of cold oatmeal in a pot (once yummy to me, kinda useless and ugly to you).
So, how about if news sites gave individual links for free, but charged for full access to all content. By this I mean that I, a subscriber, could offer a link to a full WSJ article that you, a non-subscriber, could see without paying squat. Thing is, though, you wouldn't be able to see anything else in the WSJ without subscribing (other than an ad or two and an invite to subscribe). You and I get to share quality information, but the WSJ doesn't give it away the store (one of us is a subscriber, so they do get something). True, I could create a whole bunch of links to WSJ articles for you to peruse, but to do this all the time would be a pain - the digital equivalent of photocopying the paper every day. Possible, but not really practical to do manually, and eminently traceable if automated (which could be a violation of the subscriber agreement and legally actionable, just as photocopying the paper on a mass scale would be). Such single article links would be easy to implement technically, and, IMHO, a win-win for everyone - we share information, WSJ reaches a potential new subscribers with the most seductive sales pitch imaginable - a personal recommendation from a trusted source and a free sample.
Is this idea lame or brilliant? let me know