Orange County Register Paywall Creating Traffic Bump for Food Journalism Rivals AND Jobs!

Categories: Really?!?!?

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Over at our Navel Gazing news blog, we have been ridiculing The Orange County Register's decision to erect a paywall around its so-so writing. Here, we mostly ridicule the Reg's food section, especially its execrable food "star," Nancy "Fast Food Maven" Luna.

But let us praise the Reg, for once: because of its boneheaded decision to go with a paywall, especially in the Food section that was proving to be one of the paper's most popular sections, it is leading to increased traffic in OC's food-blogging scene, as readers who can no longer read Luna's rewritten press releases are flocking to other places. How much? Someone now has a full-time job because of it--HA!


In an email sent out to subscribers, the OC Restaurant Network let them know that its website, OCfoodies.com, "has had a major traffic increase since the paywall has been put up at the OC Register site. As a result, we have brought on our dear Lauren to be full-time at making sure OCfoodies is providing all readers with everything they need to be in-the-know with the local OC food scene."

I also know that the very fine OC-based website Foodbeast has seen its profile rise in the month since the Register put up its paywall, and our traffic has bumped up as well. Plus, readers are posting full stories on Luna's Facebook page to circumvent the paywall, leading to Luna (who understandably despises the paywall, according to sources) scolding her own audience--HA! So, gracias, OC Register, for your paywall, as it's making your competition stronger! See you at El Farolito . . . or not!


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32 comments
WaywardTexan
WaywardTexan

"Readers who can no longer read Luna's rewritten press releases are flocking to other places."

BLAM!!

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Then how come I ain't getting the same thing with my posts? What's wrong with this scene?

949girl
949girl topcommenter

I used to go on the Register daily but since they started charging I have not once been tempted to subscribe.  Everything you need is on the OC Weekly and LA Times in terms of local news. 

JohnnyT
JohnnyT

Register has two things going for them 1) Brad Johnson and 2) Ben Wener (who should be writing for Rolling Stone in my opinion)

I am not going to pay even $1 for online content.

Eric Bergstrom
Eric Bergstrom

Shhhh! Don't say anything and maybe they'll keep the paywall up. I think they just want to speed up the process which is fine by me.

OC Weekly
OC Weekly

You know it! And thank YOU for saying that!

Tim Voll
Tim Voll

Thank you OC Weekly for becoming the #1 source of news in Orange County.

Aimee Monahan
Aimee Monahan

As much as I love my alma mater, Cal State Fullerton, I am devastated by their decision to pay the OC Register for fluff special segments they dare call "journalism." As someone who has written for both print journalism and PR, I know the difference, and I am so disappointed by their trend to hire what are clearly PR writers to their staff. Viva OC Weekly!

Marilyn Brady Murray
Marilyn Brady Murray

They called me and wanted to give me the print edition daily free. I take the Sunday paper because of a fund raiser. She argued with me over not accepting it. I didn't want it daily.

Mike Olsen
Mike Olsen

I took the OC Register off my bookmarks! Buh bye...

Michelle Merker
Michelle Merker

I can't imagine their paper edition subscriptions are going up as a result.

Michelle Merker
Michelle Merker

I now search for the same stories on OTHER news sites as a result of the paywall...

yowsh
yowsh

'But let us praise the Reg, for once' ... Gustavo, you've been praising the Reg QUITE FREQUENTLY for the past month or so, and it's all too obvious as to why.

Brennan King
Brennan King

They (Register) didn't update stories on the web all weekend.

Cindy O'Shea
Cindy O'Shea

Seriously. They don't have any content to charge. OC weekly is my go to for all now. :)

PapaKaster
PapaKaster

I have quit going to that web site all together now. Continue to enjoy Stick a fork in it for FREE!!

David Reinwald
David Reinwald

Totally thought this was going to increase the readership on blogs, and I was right! :-)

Douglas Mason
Douglas Mason

Ha! I have been receiving daily calls (which I don't answer or return) to my voice mail from their subscription department ever since the paywall went up. Never had those before. Ever! Now, back to reading your food columns...

dale_c
dale_c

Any bets as to when they drop the paywall?

Dave_Lieberman
Dave_Lieberman

Actually, Nancy Luna has been posting the data right in her Fast Food Maven Facebook Fan Page (boy, say that five times fast). From today's posting:

"Opening updates: Roscoe's in Anaheim not opening until mid-to-late summer; PIE-NOT reps say they are shooting for May 1; Little Sparrow could open next week in DT Santa Ana, and BJ's at The Outlets at Orange is slated to open August 2013. (Link provided for subscribers only. But I've given all the key info here on this status for those outside the paywall.) :)"

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

"Luna (who understandably despises the paywall, according to sources)..."

LMFAO.  

Of course she does...lower readership may ultimately begat her self-anointed crown being passed on to someone else who's much more deserving 

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

I've also been getting laid more, due to the increased exposure to my searingly insightful and incredibly funny comments on the local food scene

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@JohnnyT Brad's good, but Ben is meh. Their sports section, on the other hand, has always been stellar.

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@yowsh Actually, I haven't, but please tell us why you think so!

GustavoArellano
GustavoArellano moderator editortopcommenter

@dale_c REGISTER PAYWALL DEATH POOL!!! Am stealing this idea but crediting you, good man...

reviews2
reviews2

@JBinOC Nancy is a business writer who about six years ago tried to convince the OC Register to have some of their writers blog. Hers was just one of many of them but when Register writers started blogging the public chose to start paying more attention to them and less attention to the "regular" food bloggers. It wasn't something Nancy was trying to do. But I did see the readership in my own execrable blog go way down and then when Facebook started to get big after that and people wanted to then get 100% of their Internet content through Facebook my blog readership went down even more. Of course, I hardly put any effort into writing on my blog since I don't get paid for it (apart from a pittance in ad money) and I realized I was putting a lot of effort into promoting other people's ventures without anything in return apart from people saying every once in a while, "Hey, great blog."

tongue_twister_for_t
tongue_twister_for_t topcommenter

Is he gonna get paid for the free content?

Like you do Gustavo!

JBinOC
JBinOC topcommenter

@reviews2 @JBinOC  

Nancy Luna is a "business" writer, indeed...

she lovingly writes about businesses, with no regard whatsoever to journalism standards and practices 

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