please empty your brain below

"But I am intrigued by what the effect is, and in particular by how having a commercial partner slants the copy you write."

I'm afraid that I auto-read the word 'copy' in that as 'crap'.

Once a website whores itself to sponsors I don't bother reading any more.
I've found Londonist less worth visiting of late - but not made the connection. Partly the full page ads on every single page which take ages to load for a film I don't want to see anyway, but partly the events are less interesting. A big loss as it used to be a great list.

The psychology on this is very interesting too - there are excellent experiments showing how gifts or sponsorship affect our judgement, even though we tell ourselves that we remain impartial.

Nice bit of 'data journalism' - thanks.
I used to read items on the Londonist website quite often but I stopped when it shifted from its relatively clean layout to the awful one they use now. I still get the emails but they are seldom as interesting as they used to be. Perhaps I should just unsubscribe.

It would be interesting to see Londonist's response to the charge that sponsorship is skewing its listings to the detriment of readers (oysters in Mayfair, indeed!).
Pretty much the same as Harry. I could tell 'something' had changed but wasn't aware of the back-story.
I don't visit as often either. The website is a mess.

I was seriously narked a couple of weeks ago when that bloody Converse ad kept loading and taking over my screen even though my cursor went nowhere near it on the masthead. I just stopped going there for two weeks straight.
As you say, they have to gather their income from somewhere. But if there's one thing I think we can guarantee, it's that we're going to see a lot more of this kind of thing.

The rise in adblockers is severely denting incomes and coupled with the public's reluctance to pay for anything, potential revenue streams are decreasing all the time. Sponsored content is going to have to be part of a publisher's arsenal if they wish to actually make any money.
I'm not against the idea of sponsored content. As has been said, the money's go to come from somewhere. It's more the transparency of it.
Why I always read the tfL sponsored page in Metro with a large dose of salt too - today it was singing the praises of part of a mini-Holland scheme which was shelved six minths ago.
I'm glad my instincts were right! I have stopped using Londonist as it became too clicky (in more ways than one). I had not made the connection.
I view the internet as a bonus, if someone wants to put together a list of events for me, great. If they want to start charging me, giving me pop-ups and the like, I'll stay away. I lived without it before and I can again.
Understand the concern but Londonist still does a good round up of London news and events. I think we all need to be a bit media aware when reading anything nowadays.
The top of every Things To Do post clearly states it's sponsored by YPlan. If you hadn't noticed, you need to read more carefully.
The top of the posts say "Buttons provided by yplan" which is quite different to "content provided by yplan", which is what dg is "charging" them with.
I'm always impressed by the vast quality difference between DG's well thought out posts and what passes for journalism in, say, the Telegraph under the beloved Barclay brothers.

Their churnalists clearly have little knowledge of the stories they're mindlessly copying and pasting, grammar and spelling checking are unheard of, and readers' comments (when permitted, usually only on lightweight topics) often make Alf Garnett seem the pinnacle of all wisdom. I suppose the heart of the problem is that we now expect content to be free, but we're not comfortable that we have become The Product.

Long may DG continue to defy gravity and buck the trend, refreshing the parts that others no longer reach !
Out of the blue, and most refreshingly, the Things To Do post for 1st October contains five free events. [average price: free, yay!]

But then it contains five YPlan events.
[average price: £22.65]

TridentScan | Privacy Policy