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July 30, 2007

Free Access to Wall Street Journal and Other Subscription Sites

Subscription is not the best model for the online version of a newspaper or magazine: less people link to you or quote you, your audience is more restricted and you forget that not everyone affords to pay for your information.

If you don't have a Wall Street Journal subscription, you must have seen articles that look like this (most of them are fully indexed by search engines, so you can see them in the search results):

You're able to read a preview, but to see the full article, you need to pay $99 for an annual subscription. For recent articles, you can do a search on Google News and read the whole article from there: Google has a deal with Wall Street Journal so that all the articles can be read for free. It's called first click free: "The very first article view by a Google News user (identifiable by referrer) doesn't require subscription. While the first article can be seen without subscribing, all clicks on the article page are trapped. This means that if users click anywhere else on that page, they will be prompted to sign up."

But to read articles older than 30 days or to be able to actually browse WSJ's site, you need something else. Congoo Netpass is a free toolbar for Internet Explorer and Firefox that lets you read articles from many subscription sites, including Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Morningstar, Encyclopedia Britannica. You just have to create a free account and install a toolbar. Some of the sites are accessible directly, others only if you search from the Congoo toolbar, but the catch is that your access is limited to a number of views per month.

The Netpass uses patented technology and creates a free bridge which spans the divide between expensive information services and the mass of information available on the free Web. Millions of information seekers want access to subscription content but do not require a full subscription. These users just need access to view a few articles from many different subscription sources monthly. Congoo's technology unlocks hundreds of these subscription content sources without having a paid subscription so you get access when you need it.

Congoo also has a news site similar to Google News and has recently started to build a social network around news.

This blog is not affiliated with Google.