moz://a, which has positioned itself as a browser company concerned about privacy, is now harvesting your data with a new Firefox extension – but for good causes.1 The Mozilla Rally extension allows researchers at the Stanford Graduate School of Business to track your browsing habits in order to “understand how citizens consume news and which funding models may sustain local journalism.” The study is called “Beyond the Paywall.”
There are also other studies in which you can enroll, including two done by Princeton and one by Pixel Hunt. I’m happy to donate my data to help local journalism. The cost of our local newspaper, the News & Observer, keeps going up. Every time I try to cancel it, I feel more than a small pang of guilt, as I want to support their work. They always lower the price for me to stay on as a customer, but then it steadily rises back up again. I would love to see viable alternatives to the traditional paywall that could keep these news organizations funded.
In related news, I’m excited that Axios is going to be doing a Raleigh edition of its local newsletter and has hired the tech and innovation reporter from the News & Observer for the venture.
It’s completely opt-in, of course. ↩︎