From the post:
…on July 6, 2015—exactly 150 years after the publication of our first issue—we’re relaunching TheNation.com. The new site, created in partnership with our friends at Blue State Digital and Diaspark, represents our commitment to being at the forefront of independent journalism for the next generation. The article page is designed with the Nation ambassador in mind: Beautiful, clear fonts (Mercury and Knockout) and a variety of image fields make the articles a joy to read—on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Prominent share tools, Twitter quotes, and a “highlight to e-mail/tweet” function make it easy to share them with others. A robust new taxonomy and a continuous scroll seamlessly connect readers to related content. You’ll also see color-coded touts that let readers take action on a particular issue, or donate and subscribe to The Nation.
I’m not overly fond of paywalls as you know but one part of the relaunch merits closer study. Comments on articles are going to be open to subscribers only.
It will be interesting to learn what the experience of The Nation is with its comments only by subscribers. Hopefully their tracking will be granular enough to determine what portion of subscribers subscribed, simply so they could make comments.
There are any number of fields where opinions run hot enough that even open content but paying for comments to be displayed could be a viable model for publication.
Imagine a publicly accessible topic map on the candidates for the US presidential election next year. If it had sufficient visibility, the publication of any report would spawn automatic responses from others. Responses that would not appear without paying for access to publish the comment.
Viable economic model?