With little fanfare, and what sources tell me was quite a bit of bureaucratic delays, The Gazette has lifted its subscriber wall, for all but its letters to the editor (which is a shame, because its letters are actually pretty good this week).
It’s an experiment. A newspaper’s content is its commodity, and giving it away free online does little to encourage people to subscribe. On the other hand, blocking original content behind a wall means it won’t turn up in search engines, can’t be linked to from blogs, and ends up not being talked about online.
Will the experiment work? Will the increased exposure make up for those who ask themselves why they should pay for something they already get free? Only time will tell.