It's even worse than it appears.
Monday February 17, 2020; 10:01 AM EST
  • I have a test account for Scroll so I can figure out what it is.#
  • Scroll is interesting because it comes from Tony Haile. He's a real product guy, having created Chartbeat. For the last few years, as I understand, he's been going to various future-of-news conferences. I met him at the Newsgeist show a couple of years ago. He's been talking about collaborating with news orgs on a new distribution system, and that's Scroll. There's a page for Scroll on Crunchbase and they have a Twitter account. #
  • Once you're logged on you see a list of partners, and a section called reading activity. I wasn't paying attention the first few times I went there, but I assume they gave me a cookie, so that when I show up at their partner sites, it knows it's me, and they share the fact that I read that article with Scroll. I assume then that they give the publisher a micropayment from the monthly fee I pay them. The reading activity section shows me the partner stories I read. #
  • I guess the theory goes like this. Paywalls are a pain in the butt. Users hate them. But you can go to these sites, without subscribing, without caring about the paywall. Read the story, and the fee is deducted from your Scroll balance. #
  • This page has a list of their partners, not sure if you can read this without paying. #
  • If every pub adopted it, I could cancel my subscriptions to the Washington Post, NY Times and The Athletic. And I would be able to read as many articles on currently paywalled sites like New York, New Yorker, The Atlantic and a few others that I usually run out of free reads on before the end of a month. I would no longer have to ration my clicks, and I would feel free to share links to all sites, as I did before there were paywalls. #
  • So that's the trick. Tony has to get the paywalled sites that are in demand, the ones which people are on the edge of subscribing to but don't. He already has the sites without paywalls. But I don't see the ones I miss there. And until they are there, while I like Tony and expect great things from him, honestly, there's no reason for me to use Scroll.#

© 1994-2020 Dave Winer.

Last update: Monday February 17, 2020; 4:39 PM EST.

You know those obnoxious sites that pop up dialogs when they think you're about to leave, asking you to subscribe to their email newsletter? Well that won't do for Scripting News readers who are a discerning lot, very loyal, but that wouldn't last long if I did rude stuff like that. So here I am at the bottom of the page quietly encouraging you to sign up for the nightly email. It's got everything from the previous day on Scripting, plus the contents of the linkblog and who knows what else we'll get in there. People really love it. I wish I had done it sooner. And every email has an unsub link so if you want to get out, you can, easily -- no questions asked, and no follow-ups. Go ahead and do it, you won't be sorry! :-)