It is a shame when I try to read a news article on WaPo or NYTimes, I’m presented with a login curtain forcing me to register. Registering isn’t hard, it just another obstacle to getting the information I want. Many news sites have removed these barriers, but still there are several respected newspapers that believe registrations will result in subscriptions.
I was planning on carving out some suggestions for these sites, but then Howard Owens listed five ways journalists can improve their sites. A lot of what he mentions is your typical suggestions to enter into social media (create a blog, create videos and post them on YouTube, participate on social networks, post hot stories on social news sites, use social bookmarking). I think it’s good advice; but I feel he missed one:
Provide value before requiring registration.
Whenever I visit a news story requiring me to sign up, I simply just go elsewhere for the story. I’m sure many other users do the same. I’ll say it like Nelson said on The Simpsons, “Your medium is dying!” to the Washington Post’s journalist.