Getting around the WSJ.com paywall
Mark Potts writes on the Recovering Journalist site about how easy it is to find free Wall Street Journal content on its Web site, which more than 1 million subscribe to.
Potts writes, “This is the dark secret, and the Achilles heel, of the Journal’s—and Rupert Murdoch’s—paid-content business model aspirations. It turns out that most of the key content of the supposedly for-pay Journal is available online for, um, free. And it’s not hard to find. No, Google isn’t stealing it, nor is some aggregator. It’s all sitting right there on the WSJ.com site, if you know where to find it. Hiding in plain sight (or site), as it were.
“This isn’t rocket science. Basically, I just had to change a couple of my longstanding Journal URLs. It turns out that about half the paper—especially the excellent ‘soft’ features in Personal Journal and Weekend Journal, among the WSJ’s best content—is readily available on the WSJ site, unprotected by the paywall, for some reason. (You’d think that’s the kind of unique stuff they’d want to charge for.) The best of the Journal’s technology coverage, including Walt Mossberg’s computer column, is free on Mossberg’s affiliated site, AllThingsD.
“My most personalized use of WSJ.com, the stock portfolio (and related news coverage of specific companies) is on the “free” side of the WSJ.com paywall, though it’s easily replaceable elsewhere. Even the legendary Wall Street Journal a-heds—the quirky, eminently readable front-page features that have been sadly diminished under Murdoch—are on the free side of the WSJ.com paywall.”
Read more here.