Why we’re moving more content behind a membership paywall…

I wanted to give all our Ogle Moles, commenters, readers and haters a heads-up that we’re tightening our membership paywall restrictions across the site.

Yep, that’s right. We’re going full capitalist on you! Well, kind of.

Effective immediately, most – if not all – of our new TLO content will remain free for 24 hours after we hit the publish button. After that, give or take an hour or three, it will move behind a member’s only paywall that you can access for as little as $5 a month. It’s one of many new changes you may see over on this site over the next year as we try to keep up and evolve with the changing times in today’s dire media landscape.

In all honesty, this move is a long-time coming. We launched a voluntary Membership Club back in late March to help keep us afloat after the pandemic hit, and thanks to a few hundred generous members – and government welfare – we’ve been able to stabilize things in the short term. But… for the long-term future and sustainability of this small business, moving more content behind the paywall is the route we have to take. Simply put, The Lost Ogle – like most publications – can no longer depend on a 100% ad-supported model to make money and fund our operations.

This is because:

A) Armed with their terrifying stores of user data, Google and Facebook have monopolized and commoditized the Internet advertising trade. This makes it virtually impossible for a small niche indie operation like ours to compete with them on pricing, scale, reach, demographics, etc. In the old days, an advertiser would come to us to reach local users. Some still do, but most will now just book a micro-targeted campaign on Facebook in a few seconds, further deepening Zuckerberg’s pockets. Ironically enough, many of these businesses are the same ones that preach for people to support local businesses. Go figure.

B) These same monopolies serve as gatekeepers to virtually all Internet traffic. To survive on advertising revenue alone, a successful publication needs to generate millions of pageviews a month, and even that’s pushing it. Reaching that many views was challenging enough during the blog boom of the early 2010s, but now – thanks to Facebook, Google and Twitter algorithms that limit the reach of small niche sites like ours in favor of large corporate mainstream media outlets – that’s virtually impossible.

Although I’m sure our critics and the cheapskates who complain about paying $5 to park in Bricktown will complain about this, I think it’s a good move in the right direction. Having a base of paying members will give us more freedom and flexibility on what we cover, help connect and interact with our most loyal readers, and also give us more resources to provide more content and do new things. Hell, maybe we’ll even hire a proofreader. You never know.

Plus, it’s not like we’re moving everything behind the paywall. That day may eventually come, but you can still read an article for free up to 24 hours after it publishes. I’d guesstimate 70% – 80% of article pageviews come within that timeframe. If you miss that window and don’t want to pay 16-cents a day to read our stuff, it’s probably not worth your time or our time. I think we’ll all be okay.

Anyway, here’s a breakdown of our membership levels. If you want anytime and anywhere access to all TLO content, pick a level below and sign up. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We’ll keep you advised.

$5 Junior Ogle: Anytime / Anywhere Site Access
$9.99 Ogle Mole: Anytime / Anywhere Site Access + Collectable TLO Pin + Collectable TLO Koozie
$19.99 Oil Overlord (Best Value!): Anytime / Anywhere Site Access + Collectable TLO Pin + TLO Ink Pen + Collectable TLO Koozie + Certificate Acknowledging Ownership of Portion of TLO founder Patrick’s Soul

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17 Responses


  1. Patrick must have his eye on Lawler’s house.


  2. If you would followup with details of the December 2020 Sarah Stitt car crash..i would consider forking out some money.


  3. ¡No lo compres ya!


  4. The fact that it costs hundreds of millions of dollars per month to produce a website such as this is a travesty! I wish I could help, but I am already being nickeled and dimed to death by $5 per month+ subscription fees for everything from other websites, video streaming services, and apps on my phone that now require a monthly payment. This trend I predict is going to come crashing down before long once people realize that they are spending hundreds of dollars per month on these monthly fees. I tried cord-cutting, but to get all the streaming services I need to keep up close to the same level of TV watching, it costs exactly the same as cable or satellite. I just don’t need or want any more subscription fees. It’s been a great run reading this site, and I hope that once the pandemic ends and advertising dollars begin to flow more freely again that I can come back and read the good content you folks produce. Best of luck to you.


    1. Dang guess under a joe biden administration things are not quite what you guys hoped for. This is a perfect opportunity to play a advanced victim role if you guys could just get a new grift I’m sure you’ll bounce back bigly.


      1. Completely rational take to make political. But you are correct. I really enjoyed not having to pay for any of my subscriptions for the 4 years Trump was in office. He never gets enough credit for that. I’m beginning to wonder if in fact you might be the real Jonny Manziel?


      2. You may talk that noise on the inter webs, but I know in real life, even if you don’t agree with Biden, you’re secretly happy to not have to wake up everyday to what that ass clown was saying or doing. I get it man, that ass clown had me pining for the days of George W. Bush, I thought he was bad, but at least he wasn’t embarrassing himself, his supporters, and the nation in such monumental and bizarre ways as Trump.

        I know you won’t admit it, and I know it doesn’t mean you like Biden, but I know you are at least happy about that.


    2. You don’t have to subscribe to all the streaming options at once, I rotate every 3 months, that way I get to see everything I want. If you live in the metro area, the library gets just about every show and movie when they hit DVD, and if they don’t have that one, they can usually get it for you through inter library loan. Speaking of the library, if you have a library card, you can get a streaming service called Kanopy for free, it’s got lots of movies and tv shows, although, I admit, the tv shows are on the older side. I cut the cord years ago, and have no interest in ever going back to cable.

      As for paying a monthly fee for LO, nope, just can’t bring myself to do that. It’s a fun place, but I only make so much money.


    3. All good points but while I’m looking at many of the same issues I’m also going to take in to account how nice it is to actually find out about Gov. Stitt’s Wife crashing an SUV we all pay for into some poor person who just happened to be in the way. Would I even know Ingrids Kitchen existed? Could I drop the NYT, WaPo, or the Palm Beach Daily News and still survive? Or what about that one poker site that still has 60$ left on my credit account? All serious considerations that make up important business decisions.


      1. I get at least 25¢ worth of enjoyment per weekday from my Lost Ogle subscription. So I’ll keep subscribing. Nothing else covers Oklahoma happenings like the Ogle Mole Network. Maybe I’ll even finally figure out how to access TLO’s “premium” content, which I haven’t been able to do yet.

        I can see how it has become impossible to maintain a website like this during plague times without having a day job too.

        Yes, subscribing to numerous pay sites can nickel–and-dime a person to death. The NYT and WaPo let a subscriber give free access to one other person, so my brother who lives back east shares that perk with me.

        The Tulsa World has an annoying paywall, but there’s an easy workaround for that. There’s even an easy way to avoid most of the TW’s extremely numerous and annoying ads. I peruse it every day, but there is very little there worth paying for. They suck, actually. Lots of Oklahoman content is behind a damn paywall, but the little bit of meat in their articles is usually in the first paragraph anyway.

        I make monthly contributions to two NPR stations that I listen to. I consider that to be money well spent.

        I have been neglecting to support NonDoc for too long. They are another worthwhile Oklahoma news outlet.This discussion has inspired me to go there and sign up.

        For those of you who are embittered by discussions of hot-button issues here, hang in there. I expect the temperature to gradually drop since they took that one noisy guy’s Twitter account away.


  5. I’ve been coming to this website forever! Just like with movies, television and music, I haven’t changed much with times and like the content I consumed 10 years ago more than I do today, and as a result, I now only read and comment on the site (for free) three or four days a week as opposed to seven. Sure, the site’s always covered politics, much of which I don’t agree with, and therefore think it’s too political, but I’m still happy to support this independent media outlet as a member.

    (Editor’s Note: Comment Moderated for clarity)


  6. Sorry to hear about that but until you put me on the writing staff I’m gonna have to say “TA TA”. Cheers.


  7. I’m really not clear on how one covers the insanely hypocritical situations that come up almost weekly in this State? The Governor’s Wife wrecks a State SUV. That fact is reported in this state in one of 3 ways: It’s not reported at all, the accident is blamed on the driver who got in the way, or it’s reported in a way that might keep a reader from bashing his head against the wall in total anger. Personally I’ll take laughing over crying or head bashing any day.


  8. Patrick, this is a great idea! I’ve been a long-time reader and commenter over the years, and am happy to support The Lost Ogle moving forward. Keep up all the great work!

    (Editor’s Note: Comment moderated for clarity.)


    1. Yep, the deletions today are running rampant….wow just wow!


    2. So you don’t delete this the second time but remove and disallow ratings. Come on, man…


  9. Good business decision. I don’t regret my $5/month subscription at all.

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