Where is the SFGate Paywall and Why it is a bad idea

Over one month ago, it was reported that the Hearst Corporation was considering a paywall for SFGate and the associated Chronicle content. With rumors of pricing around $10 per month, that would potentially be a huge revenue stream for the ailing paper. It was expected that the paywall would be active by the end of April.

The whole paywall concept to me just seems odd. The newspaper industry has put themselves in this position by giving away content for years, and their current paywall solution seems counterintuitive. The way to revive the industry would be to innovate and reinvent how you do business, through growth and driving new traffic to your product.

Instead, a paywall would to do the opposite. Already faced with dropping subscription numbers, increasing costs, and less profits, why make it harder to access material? Over the past year or so, we have seen SFGate team up with the likes of Bleacher Report and other sourced content sites in efforts to lower costs. They have essentially traded expense for quality content. Not to say that there cannot be quality in those mediums, there can be. However the medium is diluted.┬áIf you’ve looked at the front page of SFGate recently, it is the perfect example quantity over quality.

I would guess that syndicated and sourced content would have to be excluded from the paywall – if not done away with completely.

But my question is this, would we, as consumers, be worse off without the Chronicle content? Their stable of journalists seems to dwindle by the day and now their proposed solution is to reduce access to that content even further.

ok, discuss!

Chronicle to Charge for Online Content – The Bay Citizen.

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Caltrain and HSR – A Match Made in Heaven

According to SFAppeal, politicians are urging the California High Speed Rail Authority and Caltrain to partner together in order to build a “blended system that integrates high-speed rail with a 21st century Caltrain”.

While Caltrain and the HSR have had their issues in the past, with right of way issues and rail improvements along the peninsula corridor, this seems like a no-brainer. Starting with Caltrain’s massive budget and funding issues, they should be looking to partner with anyone and everyone who approaches them. The investment is desperately needed and the HSR funding can go a long way to improve the budget strapped railway.

Politicians Urge High-Speed Rail Authority To Integrate Plans With Caltrain: News: SFAppeal.

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SFPark Pilot to start today

SFGate is reporting that the first test of the new SFPark pilot program will begin today. Those fancy new parking meters can start charging you up to $6 an hour based on demand and will extend parking times up to four hours in some areas and no restrictions in others. I, for one, am all for it. Anything to help ease congestion and raise revenue. So, what do you think? Will you be taking advantage of the new program? I for one can’t wait to pay $6 an hour to go hit up the marina on a Friday night! I am going through so Jager withdrawal…

First test of expanded parking meter hours launches in the Marina : City Insider via SFGate and the City Insider

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Total Weekend Domination

Alpine Meadows, CA

Originally uploaded by Ryan Bjorkquist

Being that it was a solid 81 degrees in the city by the bay this past weekend, I found it incumbent to do what any normal, sane person would do in early April – I went to tahoe!

The snow is still absolutely ridiculous up there as shown in this photo.

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Another Beautiful Day in the City

Nellie Street, Noe

Originally uploaded by Ryan Bjorkquist

enjoy it while we got it people!

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Sun, it’s the sun

Normally, seeing the sun isn’t headline-worthy, but being that the last time we saw it here in the City was probably six months ago, thought i would mention it. Get out there people and enjoy it!

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The Daily Alta Goes to Scottsdale

The Daily Alta has picked up and migrated to Scottsdale for the weekend. If there is anything relevant in beautiful Scottsdale I will pass it along. Cheers!

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