The current state of Reforma.com
In 2003, to my surprise and disappointment, I wrote that Reforma.com closed its content and made it available only to users who paid the equivalent of $ 30 a month (at that time, now it is less). It was a year when making these kinds of decisions was not uncommon, the New York Times I did it and the best example, in our language, The country from Spain too, the two, years later, reopened their contents.
Now, in 2009, the traditional mass media are, for the most part, in crisis. Some stop printing, others don’t sell advertising like they used to and are laying off employees. People no longer read paper and are turning to the Internet. Under this premise, I enter Reforma.com (I literally had more than 2 years without seeing the site) to see if they still have closed content and surprisingly Yes.
For me it is a case of professional suicide, maintaining after 6 years, a business model that has failed all over the world (Jesús del Rio, from The country, in a round table where we participated together described it as “a big mistake”). So, if the future of the media is on the Internet, if the accessibility / availability of content reinforces and makes an electronic medium grow, why does Reforma insist on keeping them closed?
The current reality is that Reforma.com it is irrelevant for the web: almost nobody can read them, nobody can link them (because most could not access your contents) and as an informative medium your reach and influence is close to null. Even when they publish exclusive notes, information that could have a lot of impact, it is as if they had never published it. The site’s traffic has also suffered over the years, unsurprisingly. According to Google Trends, the trend in their visits has been down for quite some time:
This is the graph of Alexa (for lack of something better) that I published in 2007 where I spoke of something similar, it is worth to see it again:
What good is it then to Reform keep content closed and paid? it is probably a mixture of an extremely conservative current in the internal decision-making of the company. The lack of a “premium” offer to those who have already paid if they decide to open content to everyone, and the bad advice that is maintained by those who originally did the redesign of Reforma.com and they helped to implement the closed business model: Danilo black.
This web design company in recent years has been touring, together with its consultants, different newspapers in Latin America offering everyone the same advice: start charging for contentIt is as if they stayed in 2004 and fervently believed that this business model could become viable.
But is not. Each and every one of the electronic media (or Internet versions of paper newspapers) that closed content in past years became remote and isolated islands that saw their traffic, relevance, influence and importance on the web decrease faster than the average. popularity of George W. Bush in his last years of government.
… for that reason they are a thing of the past, less in the strange world of Reforma.com.