the corner office

a blog, by Colin Pretorius

The Times

A few months ago the Times announced it would start charging for content, and I see today they've flipped the switch.

On the plus side (thus far) it seems old archive articles are still accessible.

On the minus side, the subscription page you get presented with offers to sign you up for a "free June preview" but nowhere on the page can I see an indication of what the subscription fees will be like after that, nor does there seem to be any obvious link saying 'what you'll pay after June'. That to me is uncool - doing a bit of email harvesting so when the paywall finally goes up, they've got lots of people to spam. Just on principle, that's a reason for not signing up.

Even if that wasn't the case, I'd still not sign up. Yes, I'm stingy, but the world of news media has changed. In the old days you bought your newspaper and read the hell out of it because that's what you had. Value for money meant getting content for your buck.

In the online world it's different. I have a bunch of news sites bookmarked. I open BBC news every day. The Times used to be my second destination, that changed after the pay-for-access announcement. I also load up the Telegraph, and often the Guardian, and occasionally other 'second tier' (to me) news sites as well. I skim the headlines and dig into things that look interesting. I read popular blogs and follow links into news sites across the planet. And then I move on to doing other stuff.

I know I'm not alone in doing this, and the pay-for-access model is contra to this way of digesting news. For that reason I suspect that the new Times site is doomed to failure. If they're losing money and feel they have no choice, I'm sorry for them - creative destruction is a bummer sometimes. If they make a success of it, good luck to them, but I don't think I'm alone in thinking that their content, while good, isn't so far ahead of the competition that it's worth paying to read it.

{2010.06.16 15:40}


1. sal (2010.06.17 - 17:32) #

well, that it then, there's nothing else for it: time to start reading the daily mail.
i see cheryl cole used an airport today.
if that isn't news, then i don't know what is!

2. Ronwen (2010.06.18 - 04:03) #

LOL! I was going to make a Daily Mail comment! Glad I held back on that! ;)

3. sal (2010.06.18 - 09:51) #

i don't know WHAT your problem with the daily fail is.
why just last night, i read a very informative article on a woman from peterborough with a monkey phobia, who went to an island full of monkeys, and got attacked by a monkey.
quality stuff!

4. Kerry (2010.06.18 - 11:12) #

I read the Daily Mail for the lolz. It's first class for that

5. Colin (2010.06.18 - 16:13) #

Y'all should stop reading the Daily Mail. Y'all get angry all the time, y'alls gonna get wrinkles. I see 'em ladies on the train, they be readin', they be getting worked up about Muslims! Immigrants! Homosexuals! Labour MPs! Yobs!, they all be gettin' wrinkles.

6. sal (2010.06.19 - 04:59) #

they see me readin', they hatin'
patrolling they tryin' to catch me readin' dirty

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