A number of news and commentary sites I’ve enjoyed reading for years have recently set up for-subscribers-only sections. Those sections are only accessible after one agrees to a yearly payment. In effect, the subscriber must trust the site with access to one of his credit cards. I’m absolutely unwilling to do this, no matter how much I’d like to read the articles in the paywalled-off sections.
So I have a suggestion for those sites. Offer an alternative: a one-time donation of $X that would grant the reader subscriber privileges for one year, and a one-time donation of $10X that would grant him subscriber privileges for his lifetime – in both cases payable through PayPal or some other credit-card-concealing mechanism. The immediate revenue would be welcome, I’m sure. In the case of the lifetime donation, having that much “up front” instead of receiving bits of it in yearly dribbles might also be attractive.
If this is impractical, I’d like to know why.