Salon, everyone’s favourite whiny liberal American news and comment outlet, has an interesting scheme. Pay $30 (or something similar) and you get to read all the articles without adverts. Don’t pay the cash and you only get to read the intros to the articles – except if you click on a logo and watch an ad, in which case you can read every article on the site for free that day.
I’ve let my Premium membership, as it’s called, lapse. The trouble is there just aren’t enough good articles on the site anymore for me to bother paying the money. The ads really aren’t that irritating and if all I have to do is click a logo once a week or so, then I’m not that fussed.
Premium does offer other benefits, including access to the Table Talk chat room (like I need to pay to have arguments on the Internet) and various free magazine subscriptions. The trouble is you have to have a US postal address for 90% of those subscriptions. Not much use for me.
Salon did have a survey a while back, in which I pointed out these shortcomings. When my membership was about to expire, I got an email begging me to stay and giving me two free offers – valid only if I had a US postal address. Clearly, they weren’t listening.
Incidentally, what do you think of the Slate redesign? I hate it myself. I can’t find anything on the front page anymore. Thank heavens for RSS feeds.