Ryan McFarland of Liquify says that we ought to be tagging premium content so it can be indexed and searchable on the search engines. This is a killer idea.
Now, I would prefer if all that premium content were free, and I think publishers would be better off. But, if we’re going to move to a world where some content is behind a barrier, we should make certain it’s not a barrier to linking and indexing.
Anybody who has spent time trying to track down useful articles in the current maze of databases knows that it doesn’t work. Furthermore, there’s evidence that no one is making much money doing it this way. Ryan McFarland’s suggestion looks like a good way to harness network effects for paid content.