The phenomenon of linkrot is well-known. The URL’s of pages can change when a owner changes content management systems. The pages themselves can be taken down and (sometimes) put in for-pay archives. The effect is the same: broken links and diminishment of the value of the Web.
I have a folder on my desktop where I store the URL’s of stories that I found useful or thought-provoking. Today, I double-clicked a link to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (it could have been just about any paper) and I got a message that the story is no longer on the site and that I can search their archives and pay them to see the story.
While I think that newspaper would be better off making their archives free, I’ll defend to the death their right to charge for old news. However, I wish that the old link had yielded a headline, summary and a chance to pay for the full text. This ought to be easy enough to program.
As it is, I have no idea what provoked my interest and the AJC lost a revenue opportunity.