For today only, the Bloomington Herald-Times has dropped its paywall and is making its online content freely available to all.
I normally try not to encourage people to visit HTOnline, the Herald-Times’ online news site, because I’m deeply opposed to the paper’s decision to maintain a paywall. I believe this decision is short-sighted and dangerous because it deters Bloomington’s college-aged population from engaging with local news and events and from becoming lifelong newspaper readers ; because it insulates Bloomington news from non-local readers and from the larger news-sharing communities, which operate primarily through hyperlink and which have no use for content that’s stuck behind a paywall; and because it limits community members’ access to information in times of crisis.
But for today only, we can show the Herald-Times what happens when a news site drops its paywall. Certainly a one-day window can’t be used to show how much more long-term traffic a site gets when people hyperlink to persistently free articles, and it can’t even help show the snowball effect of people sending links to each other, who send other links to others, and so on.
But we can use this opportunity to send as much traffic as possible through the Herald-Times site. Please visit the Herald-Times today and look around. Let them know you’re paying attention; let them know you’d pay even more attention if they dropped the paywall for good.