Why paywalls are counter productive #fail

There are many reasons why paywalls are a bad idea - here's one that happened to me. A reporter for a specialty magazine interviewed me recently about some pending legislation.  The article was to be published now - so I checked the website.  The site shows an image of the front page of the current edition - which has the article at the very top of the page.    Beside that image is a list of articles from the publication.

But when I click on it - it just gives me a message saying I need to be a subscriber or registered as a guest.  Normally, I would stop there and not bother - but since I was interviewed for the article, I decide its worth the pain of registering as a guest.   So I answer all their questions (none of them were privacy invasive - but a pain to do) and get signed up.

So I log on and click on the article link - only to get a message saying:

"You do not have sufficient permission to view the article requested. To gain full access to all articles please click here to take advantage of our low introductory offer."

I guess they don't want people to actually read their publication.  How many people that find them online are actually going to buy a subscription?

By insisting that people buy subscriptions to see even a small part of their publication, they prevent casual readers from seeing it at all.     Assuming I liked the article, I would have mentioned it on my blog and linked to it, bringing more attention to their publication.

And yes, I realize  that the attention I would bring is not in itself significant (I'm not Techdirt or Boing Boing), but every bit helps, and every bit adds up.

GeneralDavid Canton