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!