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Business Class: Freemium for News? (informationarchitects.jp)
41 points by pwim on May 4, 2011 | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments

It struck me that not everything that was taken out was "noise". For example, the "Most Popular Today" and "Most E-mailed" type stuff. They provide a handy way to find the most potent stories of the moment that editorially directed front pages can be a little slow highlighting.

Perhaps as well as the layout, the "business class" service could also include better (and more immediate) forms of discoverability and curation to help with the above, or even the ablity to create filters (so I could block out all political or environmental stories, say).

I think news sites think of Most Popular, Most Emailed, etc as ways to generate more pageviews, which is basically revenue. They're not based off any personal relevance to the user. Which is why in the authors model of things, they can be disposed of.

But without the ads and other true "noise" on the page, highlighting stories isn't a revenue maker and, instead, provides the reader with a useful service. BBC News has no ads (since I'm in the UK) and still uses a lot of content highlights, 'popular' and similar boxes - they're very useful from a reader's POV.

Perhaps that's a good starting point for business class

Would 'access' be a business-class service? It seems rare to see a response to commenters on eg. the NY Times blogs (I'm not an avid reader, so it may be far more common than I think). So commenting and interacting with the journalists & editors would be restricted to paying customers.

As massively anti-competitive as it sounds, it'll take an incredibly brilliant news service and a fantastically cheap price for me to move away from the BBC as my main source of online news. Relatively clean presentation, ad-free, and a generally decent quality of reporting.

Rupert Murdoch is interested in solutions too after doing many private and public ways for reducing BBC.

This is such a great idea. We already know, from companies like Spotify and Netflix, that people will pay for convenience. (See the article about how Netflix is killing BitTorrent from the other day.) We also know that the paywall model is broken.

By creating a Business Class, news providers are creating a premium product that is actually better. They could also add other value-added services, by (for example) providing tailored notifications. They have a ton of data; why not charge people to make better use of it?

To an extent, this is already happening for some companies. For example, back when NYTimes was still free online, I paid for the iPad app because the experience was far superior.

Same thing with The Times' iPad app here in the UK (although I don't subscribe to that because I hate their content, but I do love their iPad app.)

So it's not entirely a new idea, it just hasn't been pushed to its logical conclusion yet.

Or... use https://www.readability.com/bookmarklets

There are a lot of (free) ways to end up with what they are showing, so I don't think this matches the business/economy class comparison.

Except that, with a business class flight, I don't need to bring my own bottle of champagne and comfortable seat.

Obviously readability/etc. isn't that much of a hassle, but I want to be able to browse through the site and have a nice interface right there, not browse through a nasty site, find an article to read, then move over to another site to read it, then go back to keep browsing.

True... except for another big difference: you're not going to get all your news from one site, so in a lot of ways having a decentralized way of handling the way you view it is better since you get consistency across everything you read.

That reminds me of the porn sites offering deals in packages including multiple sites. Why can't news guys do the same? Several sources, put together, make a package! (no pun intended).

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