Sun Times New Paywall Accepts Bitcoins & Tweets

Digital publishing news for January 15, 2014

An upcoming paywall change at The Chicago Sun Times will have you paying with a tweet or bitcoins to access content. Mashable’s Jason Abbruzzese writes, “On Feb. 1, The Sun-Times’s site will prompt readers to either donate to, in the form of bitcoins, or tweet about the Taproot Foundation. The paywall will be up for 24 hours to test the technology, which has been created by micropayment startup Bitwall.”

The paper has been struggling financially over the years. Last May the paper removed its entire photography department, reporters are now expected to create multimedia elements for stories. The Sun Times has been working on this new paywall with the Bitwall team since December. Will you be paying for content with a bitcoin or a tweet?

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Facebook’s News Reader May Be Launching Soon

Facebook is expected to launch a news reading service similar to Flipboard this month. Recode’s Mike Issac writes, “The product is known as “Paper,” according to a source familiar with the matter, and it is similar to Flipboard, a buzzy mobile-focused news reading app. Paper looks to be either a standalone mobile application or a Web experience suited to mobile devices, according to this person. Facebook could launch the app before the end of January, this person said, though the timetable could change. Paper and Flipboard share a number of similarities, according to this person. Both essentially act as aggregators of rich media content, displaying a mix of news stories from publications like the New York Times or the Washington Post, along with status updates from Facebook users — all in a visually stunning “paper-like” format hearkening back to a time before digital devices.” Will the masses want to use Paper? Time will tell.

Mobile Email Open Rates Beat Those on Desktop

eMarketer is reporting about a new study done by Return Path in December 2013 that showed “more than half the emails opened worldwide were done on a mobile device this past holiday season.” Desktop and webmail (email viewed on a web browser on a desktop or laptop computer) were about a quarter of email opens each. eMarketer also mentioned that a Yes Mail study done in Q3 “showed that revenues per click on mobile marketing emails far exceeded those on desktop, at $7.14 vs. $3.26.”

Forbes is Headed to New Jersey

After occupying office space in New York City for 97 years, Forbes Media is moving to New Jersey. Keith J. Kelly for The New York Post writes, “Forbes Media surprised staffers Tuesday with the news that the “capitalist tool” is moving to New Jersey — vacating the Greenwich Village HQ it has occupied for 49 years. CEO Mike Perlis gave the word but said the company is looking for “strategically located office space in Manhattan to serve as a New York office.” Perlils said the new HQ lease, arranged by the LeFrak Organization, is at 499 Washington Blvd. in Jersey City.” The decision to move comes during a period where Forbes Media is set to be bought in the next couple of weeks.

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