On February the 1st Chicago Sun-Times are giving a test drive for the paywall that allows readers to raise the veil by paying in Bitcoin.
Speaking of paywalls, these work like curtains obscuring the page you are trying to get into until a certain action is made. Usually the action involves payment of some kind or clicking a banner. During the 24 hour experiment Chicago newspaper with paywall provided by BitWall Sun-Times readers would be able to choose between retwitting the news and paying a minor amount of bitcoins.
BitWall is a fairly new product, registered only last year with San Francisco as a base of operations. Their mission in their own words is to “unlock Internet’s monetization potential”, which is a worthy decision indeed. The developer team counts three members. Chad Sahlhoff – CTO, who is responsible for the engineering side of the project, an accomplished mechanical engineer. Alex Meliones – the person working on Marketing of their product. Used to work on mobile wallet venture, developing the digital marketing. Last but not least is Nic Meliones – CEO. Had worked with on mobile wallet Alex before and he is managing business strategy for their product.
The Sun-Times is numbered 9 among the US largest newspapers. Now, with the introduction of Bitcoin into the monetization system, Jim Kirk believes that readers will be attracted to the brand new thing. Jim is the chief editor of the discussed paper. He also states that the Sun-Times will be the first well-known newspaper in US to embrace this tech.
One more thing that must be mentioned – this test is a non-profit action on behalf of Chicago’s newspaper. Of course for The Sun-Times it is a great opportunity to show their tendency to adopt new technology, but let’s be reasonable – everybody does that and especially now, when cryptocurrency is becoming of the most discussed topics in media. The important idea is that all proceeds from this event are going to charitable organization.
The Taproot Foundation – the recipient of the money is a long time pro bono partner of the Chicago Sun-Times. Its function is to provide professional designers, IT specialists, HR-managers etc. for volunteer work for non-profit organizations.
In the end I can also add, that this reminds me of the TipperCoin, which I wrote about, only this time you pay before you decide if you liked the piece you’ve read or not. Some might argue that those two things are absolutely different and unrelated, former being the tipping of a random person for the gag they twitted, while the latter is paying money for a piece of writing made by an author in one of the biggest US papers. However, if you think about it for a second and leave the charitable side of things (once monetization starts it never stops on charity) and flay both ideas to the backbone, it’s paying for reading.
So, what do you think? Would you pay a few cents for something, just because it had been written or because you liked it?