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Old 03-23-2011, 10:07 PM   #46
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The web subscriptions aren't compatible with e-reader subscriptions. The Kindle version & the new web/app version are different; the web/app version has advertisements.
Yeah, that just makes things even more confusing for their users...I'm hoping they manage to consolidate all that into easier to understand plans.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:28 AM   #47
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Requiring a login for the free articles would cut down traffic more than they want. Most people, if they follow a link and it says "create an account & login to read the rest," won't bother. NYTimes plans on letting people read 20 articles/month for free--or as many as they care to, if they come from Twitter referrals.

Free login limits would be easy to get around by having multiple logins.

NYT is trying to figure out how to maintain their current popularity/activity level and charge for access. It's a nice thought, and I'm sympathetic to the need to figure out how to make more money than ad clicks are providing, but I don't think it's going to work--either the paywall will be too easy to get around, and they won't make money, or it'll be strict, and people will stop using their articles as reference points on blogs, and they'll lose traffic.
I think they've got to be like everyone else on the Web, and choose between upfront money or traffic. Their current idea will get them traffic, but very little money.

I understand what you mean about the logins being painful for users, but I think you might be overestimating it. Users don't really have to log in each and every time to sites anymore. They can use their browsers' autologin function to do that. There are a certain number of users who won't want to save their logins, but, because people are lazy, I don't think that will be the majority.
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Old 03-24-2011, 10:38 AM   #48
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I thought the cookie was to remember you after you came back. Once you've logged in, don't they have the IP address as an identifier?
Requires too much overhead on the server side to track by IP.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:23 PM   #49
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Requires too much overhead on the server side to track by IP.
Oh, okay. Thanks.

They're definitely going to have to come up with a better system.I have a feeling they'll trade upfront money for clicks. Being widely-read doesn't seem to be paying their bills.
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Old 03-24-2011, 01:29 PM   #50
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I think they've got to be like everyone else on the Web, and choose between upfront money or traffic.
The problem is the NY Times has been trying both for years-remember TimesSelect? No one else does either
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:02 PM   #51
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Yes, more hypotheticals, I get it, I get it. Do you really think the NYTimes gives a shit about people who have javascript turned off and thus "miss" the warning? We can make up stories about this all night to defend certain behaviors-let's not. I get it.

As I noted before, it is obvious to *me*..in *my* opinion, that the NY Times coders in fact did understand the limitations and workarounds, and proceeded with what they thought was the best balance they could find, given the realities of the web. And some people will drive around the barriers, intentionally or not. And some will actually pay the toll, not knowing how to go around the barriers. And some people will pay, because they understand the whole subscription idea, and find value in it. Even if they don't see the barriers at all.

(FWIW, I think the cost barrier is too high, at least for an iPad user who doesn't currently subscribe to the paper edition. But I'm not turning off Javascript. )
Y'know, maybe that explains the height of the cost barrier. Those who don't go around it will pay Bigger Bucks. And if you think about it, there are a lot of potential Big Bucks purchasers. The library. The corporate employer. The rich. There might be others. Enough for the NYT to make back its costs, & then some.

Maybe it's not a bug. Maybe it's a feature.
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:19 PM   #52
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Y'know, maybe that explains the height of the cost barrier. Those who don't go around it will pay Bigger Bucks. And if you think about it, there are a lot of potential Big Bucks purchasers. The library. The corporate employer. The rich. There might be others. Enough for the NYT to make back its costs, & then some.

Maybe it's not a bug. Maybe it's a feature.
I think they do believe in this feature

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-n...324-1c70j.html

Quote:
We have to accept that. Is it going easy? No. Is it going to be done by the kind of people who buy the quality news and opinion of the New York Times?

"We don't think so," he said.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:21 PM   #53
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It's no different than if I have a "suggested donation" to enter an event, and people choose not to donate.
That's a good analogy when you boil it all down. The way they implemented this, they're really just asking for donations, not enforcing payment.

They want the advertising hits of a free service, but they want the revenue of a subscription service. That's why the paywall is intentionally more like swiss-cheese.
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Old 03-25-2011, 10:33 AM   #54
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That's a good analogy when you boil it all down. The way they implemented this, they're really just asking for donations, not enforcing payment.

They want the advertising hits of a free service, but they want the revenue of a subscription service. That's why the paywall is intentionally more like swiss-cheese.
I think the way they could entice more people to go for the subscription is to include more media in their stories (pictures, video, etc.). You can view the source to see the main story, but the extras aren't going to be visible that way.
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:05 PM   #55
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That's a good analogy when you boil it all down. The way they implemented this, they're really just asking for donations, not enforcing payment.

They want the advertising hits of a free service, but they want the revenue of a subscription service. That's why the paywall is intentionally more like swiss-cheese.
I think you nailed it. It's just like a little reminder that they'd really like it if you maybe, possibly paid for the content, please.
Some will, many won't. It'll be a revenue boost while still leaving content available for the most part.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:07 AM   #56
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Don't forget that the NYT digital subscriptions extend to iPhone & iPad apps as well. Since buying my iPhone almost two years ago, I read the NYT iPhone app daily -- in the subway, while waiting at the doctor's, sometimes in bed before turning off the light etc. It's far superior to the mobile version of their website.

I believe that the paywall won't be as easy to ignore on these devices since there is no article limit but rather only the Top News section will be free while all the rest will be paywalled.

I'm ambivalent about this; $15 for something that used to be free is a lot; on the other hand I believe that some people don't realize what a great newspaper the Times really is. Sure, if you're a US conservative, it's probably not your cup of tea, but comparing them to other quality newspapers around the world, I'm still awestruck by some of the articles they do; the piece on the last hours on the Deepwater Horizon (which was bought by a Hollywood studio, not that that really means anything), for example. Neither the UK's "The Guardian" nor Austria's "Der Standard" (Austria is where I live and "Der Standard" is considered to be among its best newspapers), in my opinion, come close to the sort of in-depth reporting where sometimes months of work go into one single, albeit long article.

So, while I did not install yesterday's update to the iPhone NYT app just to see if the old one will continue working after March 28th, I'll probably end up paying the $15. I'd like the NYT to stay.

I'll bet the NYT hopes that other smartphone & tablet users will do likewise.

Last edited by MattW; 03-27-2011 at 03:10 AM.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:26 AM   #57
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The Wall Street Journal has three tiers: free (shared links, some content free), paid at abt $2/wk, and premium (higher sub fee with access to expanded background content). The middle ground is very comprehensive and reasonably affordable -- half the New York Times fee. Having lived with the middle option for almost a year I can say it meets my needs. I can see something like that working for New York Times.

What I can't figure out is the Amazon rates: $15/mth for the Times on a Kindle for US residents; $28 for Canadian "delivery". Over 3G, I get there might be a premium; but with so many more people on wifi ... it's certainly a deal breaker for me.
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Old 03-27-2011, 03:29 AM   #58
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...snip...
comparing them to other quality newspapers around the world, I'm still awestruck by some of the articles they do; the piece on the last hours on the Deepwater Horizon (which was bought by a Hollywood studio, not that that really means anything),...snip..
Just FYI in the event that you don't know.. the NYT's has been heavily criticized for that article by the AP:
http://www.stinkyjournalism.org/edit...il.php?id=1087

The grey lady ain't what she used to be like back in the days of the pentagon papers.
For a recent example look at the withholding of information to the public on Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Pakistan: the NYT deliberately withheld what they knew to be the case, that Davis was in fact CIA, and produced article after article omitting that fact and misleading the public.
All this at the US governments request!
It wasn't until the Guardian reported it that they admitted all this.
http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/gl...2011/02/21/nyt
Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting on NYT:
http://www.fair.org/blog/category/ne.../newyorktimes/

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Old 03-27-2011, 05:07 AM   #59
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Just FYI in the event that you don't know.. the NYT's has been heavily criticized for that article by the AP:
http://www.stinkyjournalism.org/edit...il.php?id=1087
Thanks, I didn't know.

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The grey lady ain't what she used to be like back in the days of the pentagon papers.
For a recent example look at the withholding of information to the public on Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Pakistan: the NYT deliberately withheld what they knew to be the case, that Davis was in fact CIA,
Yes, I've heard about that. But still, I think that the NYT does remarkably well compared to other newspapers. I do not claim to have a comprehensive overview over all the major news sources of this world -- but from those that I have sampled, I found it to be one I return to again and again. And as long as you get your news from more than one source anyway, you have at least the chance to be aware of missteps.

I like The Guardian as well, but I think that it's not as crazy about the longer background-heavy features that the Times does so well. I enjoy The Guardian mostly because of its "books" section, I have to admit
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:19 AM   #60
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It is difficult to defend news reporting objectively. There are times when information is not appropriate to release to the public due to various aspects of international relations or security clearances. WikiLeaks is a good example, and it is not always in the best public interest to print everything you know. We have to trust someone with that information. Such decisions are a huge responsibility for any newspaper both due to security and freedom of information. It's seldom one or the other.
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