Newspaper Subscriptions & Killing The Commute

There was a great article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle last Friday, Killing the Commute by Kate Carter. Unfortunately, to read the entire article, you have to subscribe to the paper. I hate it when that happens! I find something that peaks my interest and I click over to read it only to discover part of the article followed by a notice like this one:

I don’t begrude bizjournals (and newspapers and magazines) who are trying to stay profitable, but why do they do that?! Why do they toss a subscription blurb up once the article is already all over the place online via their own circulated content mills? Does this actually drum up subscriptions for the Atlanta Business Chronicle? Surely no one signs up based on a single article they can get elsewhere. My options, when I see a paid subscription notice, are 1) immediately sign up and subscribe so that I can read the article or 2) do a quick Google search for the article title and author to see if it’s available elsewhere. Surely everyone else online does the same…

I really do think there’s a definite place for paid subscription content online–so don’t get me wrong. Writing isn’t exactly easy and businesses that make their living from the written word (magazines, newspapers, online media) should certainly look at every viable way to earn a dime from their endeavors. It’s not the fact that they’re charging folks for the content that gets my feathers ruffled… it’s the fact that they put up this notice on content that’s already freely circulated around the ‘Net. If you’re going to have paid subscription content, let it stay hidden and viewable only to those who are paying for it. Otherwise, I think it just wreaks of a scam. Something akin to me writing an article on Friday, placing a “oh ya gotta pay for it before you can read it” blurb in the middle and then posting the thing live for public consumption on Monday. Wouldn’t that make you mad if you’d shelled out your hard earned cash?

I also love when I do have a subscription to something and they give me something extra online in return. It feels like a freebie and I never, ever search to see if that little tidbit can already be found elsewhere because I like to think I’m getting real added value for something I’m already subscribing to. I think Consumer Reports should provide the online content for free with a print subscription, but they don’t. I have a print subscription, but haven’t paid the additional fee to access the full content online…

But enough of my paid-subscription-based content angles rant, and back to Kate Carter’s awesome article called Killing the Commute. You can read the article, in its entirety, over at MSNBC today. The article takes a look at how teleworking initiatives are gaining ground in the business world, so much so that even the smaller businesses are starting to initiate telecommuting programs. Here’s the opening blurb (which is what grabbed my attention in the first place):

As cash-strapped employees grapple with gas prices, and managers consider the bottom line, teleworking is gaining momentum as a necessity rather than a perk.

Michael Dziak, chief operating officer of Inc., helps companies like Aflac Inc., Microsoft Corp. and AT&T Inc. implement teleworking. He said teleworking was a novelty in 1990, trendy in 2000, and now becoming “very common.”

“In 2015 it’s going to be a standard practice for everybody,” he said. “In 2015, if you don’t do this, you’ll be in the Dark Ages.”

Want to read the rest of the article? Pick a spot:

Or you can subscribe to bizjournals in your local market. There are 55 cities represented throughout the United States, so there’s probably one near you. Besides getting acess to all printed articles online the DAY they are published, you also get 4 free issues, a copy of the book of lists when it’s published, a PDF E-dition and daily update emails. It’ll cost you anywhere from $99 to $227 depending on how many issues you’re willing to go in for.

Hopefully that subscription info makes up for my complaining about the print world’s online paid subscription revenue methods. 😉


  1. I think they do that because otherwise how would you know there was something great to read? By sending out one great article to the web periodically, then requiring you to subscribe to get it in it’s entirety, then you will keep coming back to read other articles they might not publish to the unfiltered web. Those would be ones that only subscribers could view.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing us to the free version 🙂


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