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NY Times Confident of 'First Click Free' Paywalls

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the it-never-ends dept.

Businesses 193

eldavojohn writes "One thing you might notice on Slashdot is that when someone submits a story linking to nytimes.com, it doesn't always work. While it's not truly a paywall, it appears to stop the user and require registration... sometimes. If you noticed this and it's seems to be non-deterministic in when and where it asks you to login, you're simply noticing the latest strategy of 'first click free' being employed. We've heard that normal paywalls are a miserable failure (the Wall Street Journal's, one of the more successful, only lets you see the first paragraph online). Will the drug pusher approach work out for The New York Times? The CEO seems to be certain that this blogger (and Slashdot) friendly paywall is the correct option and will keep The New York Times as a 'part of the conversation' online when news is rapidly circulating." I will tell you that if I am asked for a password, I almost always reject the story immediately, or go find a better URL. Heck, yesterday I rejected a NY Times story for this exact reason. So we'll see how it pans out.

cancel ×

193 comments

Goatse (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33881838)

Well, I understand how these people like NYT work. It appears to be a bug or something, but they are just throwing up the smokescreen. Goatse [goatse.fr] is my source of news, however, and we NEVER have ads or this junk going on. Just 100% complete viewage with no strings attached.

Why I like the NY Times (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33881866)

New York is the greatest city on the earth. I'd pay for the NY Times. It's the best source of information, from the city with the greatest sports teams.

Re:Why I like the NY Times (4, Insightful)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882108)

What the hell has the quality of a city's sports team or other nebulous measure of quality got to do with whether or not you want to read a newspaper from that city? Presumably there are many crappy newspapers in NY too.

I just don't read "normal news" newspapers, so I couldn't really care less whether they want to charge or not.. if every news site started charging I don't know what I'd do, since sites like slashdot link to several news sites a day.. though in Slashdot's case the real worth is often in the actual comments rather than the stories.

Re:Why I like the NY Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882240)

What so not only do we get MS astroturfing, but NY Times astroturfing? How do I get a job posting astroturf?

Posted anon because people around here seem to hate when someone points out the astro turfing.

Mod parent funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33881882)

Well, I understand how these people like NYT work. It appears to be a bug or something, but they are just throwing up the smokescreen. Goatse is my source of news, however, and we NEVER have ads or this junk going on. Just 100% complete viewage with no strings attached.

Yeah me too. So goatse is news for you? Welcome to 2000.

Re:Goatse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882170)

I went to the goatse site you suggested, but I couldn't find any news there. All I could see was a photo of a naked man stretching his anus open.

Re:Goatse (1)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882304)

Correction: It was already stretched as a result of him swallowing a basketball.

Why the paywall won't work (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881862)

There are already so many different places to get news from with such a variety of bias from all sides (and, on rare occasion, from no side), I see no reason to actually pay for news online. Sure, some of the bigger sites will get attention, but with smaller companies taking over the news on the Internet (Huffington Post, Drudge Report, etc), I have a feeling that pay-for news will eventually become quite scarce.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882008)

Enough people will pay, especially for the New York Times. The goal is not for everyone to pay, and they could not care less about whether people have access to their newspaper. They just want to make money, and they probably will. There are enough universities out there willing to pay enormous subscription fees.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (3, Interesting)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882104)

That's interesting. If universities pay researchers, then maybe paying journalists is a great idea. I personally wish that we could get away from that, but it would be something that I would explore.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882440)

However, journalists do not research their stories much less the facts contained within those stories. Until journalists return to, well journalism, I see no reason in holding them in the same regard as real researchers.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1)

nomad-9 (1423689) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882198)

Newspapers make the bulk of their money from selling ad space, not with subscription fees.

If the same news are available elsewhere for free, then subscription fees are useless. If that was not the case, if the NYT had worthwhile content unavailable anywhere else that would make readers keep coming back, then yes, this could work. I don't see that being the case, IMO.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (2, Interesting)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882564)

What does the NYT (or any large paper) offer me that I can't get straight from the source (AP) for free? They haven't been doing much real journalism in years, so I'm at a loss.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (5, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882642)

The AP is NOT the source, the newspapers are. AP is owned by the newpapers. AP gets it's stories from the member newpapers (they also have some of their own reporters). When there are no newspapers, there is no AP.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883004)

(they also have some of their own reporters)

Doesn't this mean that without newspapers, there is an AP?

Re:Why the paywall won't work (2, Informative)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883138)

No. The AP is owned by the newspapers. All of it's funding comes from the member newspapers. Yes, there are some 'AP' reporters who are not working for a specific paper, but they are still paid by the collective of the papers.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882644)

I love how being stupid is now seen as somebody else's fault nowadays.

"I'm too dumb to read and understand the terms of the service I signed up for, clearly somebody else is at fault."

Idiots get what they deserve.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882788)

@zach_the_lizard the Associated Press puts the AP in crap.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (4, Informative)

yelvington (8169) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883042)

What does the NYT (or any large paper) offer me that I can't get straight from the source (AP) for free? They haven't been doing much real journalism in years, so I'm at a loss.

If you think that, it's because you don't actually read the New York Times.

I'm looking at the NYT homepage right now. There are three wire stories. Everything else is original work by one or more New York Times reporters.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (2, Insightful)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882438)

I agree. The only way news sites will be able to make money is if they adopt the cell phone model, where the user is not really aware that what they are doing is costing them money until it is far too late.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (0, Flamebait)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882466)

> ...and, on rare occasion, from no side....

In other words, biased to your "side".

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882496)

No, there are some that really do their honest best to keep things non-biased. Our local news radio station, WTOP, tends to present things very factually, leaving all opinion out of their "news" reports, keeping it confined to clearly-labeled "opinion" pieces (which are posted from a variety of people.)

It's rare, but there are news services out there that really do just report the facts, not their version of the facts.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882756)

Somehow that news station takes the experiences of billions of people over a day and condenses that down to a few minutes (or even hours) of 'news'. Deciding which stories are worth reporting, and what facts to present from those stories requires judgment, and judgment is influenced by bias.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882870)

When I say bias, I mean they don't approach things from a "Democrat" or "Republican" point of view, like say MSNBC or Fox. They simply present them as facts, and leave the interpretation up to the listener.

Yes, there is judgement used when deciding what to cover, but my point is that what they do cover is presented in an impartial fashion.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882468)

I wouldn't mind paying a small amount to read an article, but the newspapers and I have a rather large discrepancy as to what they feel the info is worth. The same thing with "E-books" when I was a kid I paid 35 to 50 cents for a {PAPER} book NEW. Most of that was the cost of the paper. Since PAPER has gone up in price a lot, I might be willing to pay $8 for a NEW paperback novel TODAY, but even paperbacks are being priced above this by ever greedy publishers so I buy USED books more and more. Now if that is the price I am willing to pay for PAPER versions, then I feel that e-books, which are nearly pure profit for the publisher, are way overpriced. I think $3-5 is a reasonable price for an E-Book . Of course I would pay more for a technical book, but I would still expect that an E-Book should be 30-50% of the cost of it's paper cousin TOPS. So I might be willing to pay for an online paper subscription, but only 30-50% of the paper version, FOR THE ENTIRE PAPER, and proportionately less, if I read only 1 article.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882834)

So, if a publisher wants money (lets say $5) from you, he is 'greedy'. But if you want to keep the same $5 for yourself AND get the information the publisher your are not 'greedy'. Please explain.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883368)

Well I'm not the AC above (I personally think ACs are the cancer killing /.) I'll be happy to interpret from my point of view. I was recently offer my local paper for free for 1 month and refused. "But why? We'll give it to you for free to see if you like it!" and I told them the same thing I'll tell you: A bunch of rehashed AP stories, the latest press release word for word from Local_Corp, and a list of who died and who is having a bake sale does NOT a paper make.

Like the *.A.As rather than get with the times (pun intended) and come up with new ideas and new ways of staying competitive papers by and large have been trying to stay in the 70s, where rehashed AP stories and the same old crap could let them make the $$$. but it ain't 1970 anymore, and I can get that same AP crap from a thousand places, and ALL fresher than the paper. Going across the south I can say nearly all the local papers that are dying NEED to die, as they do NO real investigative journalism, ask NO hard questions of politicians and civic leaders, and regurgitate the same crap everybody else says word for word.

So like I told the formerly perky but now depressed after talking to me paper pusher, There is a REASON why she was having to try to offer to give it away for a month trying to get people to take it, and that is the local paper simply isn't worth anything anymore. And while I can't speak for the whole USA sadly most of the places I went to you could substitute any paper for another and I doubt most would even notice. It is just the same shit, different day. Now why would I pay for that? Give me value, you get my money. don't? Then don't even bother asking, there are many more besides you I can go to. And just because it is "on the Internet!" doesn't make their shit any less smelly. I don't think I've seen anything at the NYT I couldn't have gotten somewhere else, and it isn't like we have a shortage of news sources nowadays.

Hell even the old folks that I have as customers make sure I set their browser to Yahoo.com so they can "read the paper" because to them that IS the paper now. Say what you want about the Yahoo.com portal being cluttered, but I swear more folks have that set as their home page by a large margin than any other site. Even my GF gets pissy if I don't have an easy button in FF so she can get to "Her Yahoo" when she is spending the weekend. I'd say the days of the NYT and other papers are over if they don't get with the times and find new ways to stay relevant.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (2, Informative)

Americano (920576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883282)

Now if that is the price I am willing to pay for PAPER versions, then I feel that e-books, which are nearly pure profit for the publisher, are way overpriced. I think $3-5 is a reasonable price for an E-Book . Of course I would pay more for a technical book, but I would still expect that an E-Book should be 30-50% of the cost of it's paper cousin TOPS.

You realize that the cost or printing & distributing the paper book is a fairly small fraction of the cost of publishing it, right? Most of the cost of creating the book has nothing to do with the mechanics of putting ink on paper - proofing, layout, art, editing, author royalties - all of this is still a part of the process, regardless of the form the final product takes.

Looking at Barnes & Noble's web site, a quick scan of paperback books indicates that many of them are priced in the $12-$15 US range, versus $9.99 for an ebook version. The difference between an ebook and a paperback book is - of course - that the publisher doesn't incur printing, distribution, and warehousing costs, but that could very well be covered by the discount of $3-5 per copy. Why would you expect the price of an ebook to be so much lower than the cost of a paperback, given that printing, distribution, and warehousing are the only parts of the publication process that they eliminate (or have a chance to save significantly on - server infrastructure & distribution still costs them *something*, just much less than shipping bricks of paper around.)

I don't understand this argument that somehow because something is in digital form, it should "be almost free" - if you value the content, the value, and much of the cost, is *in the content* not in physical medium the content is distributed on/in. Why is $9 a vastly unreasonable price for an ebook, given all of the effort from numerous people that must go into producing that book, and where printing & distribution are some of the smallest parts of the cost?

Re:Why the paywall won't work (3, Informative)

sheriff_p (138609) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882486)

Depends. I already pay for The Economist as a news source. Sure, there are plenty of other places to get "breaking news" online. If I want to read high quality journalism ... less so. When the NYT goes proper paywall, I'll pay. When the Daily Mail does, I'll rejoice ;-)

-P

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882534)

For a simple technical reason, sites want to be accessible by google. Just set your user agent to googlebot and paywalls disappear.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (2, Insightful)

Deep Esophagus (686515) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882654)

I feel for the big newspapers, really I do. They spend a ton of money getting firsthand news (ignoring the wire services for the moment), spend another couple hundred kilos of money formatting it nicely for the web, and we want it all for free. They put ads up, we use ad blockers. They give up on all those reporters' salaries and just use wire services, and we complain that there's no local content. We (as consumers) need to give the content providers SOMETHING that justifies all the money they spend on the content, or it won't last and the only news sources left will be J. Random Blogger and his incendiary, ill-informed rants against one party or another. I don't know about you, but "It was in The Times" carries a lot more weight for me than "It was on Slashdot" or "It was on Drudge" or "It was on Goatse" or whatever.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882924)

Very true! While more and more web-based news orgs are using their own reporters, researchers, and press folks (this seems to be especially true on gaming blogs), they still don't come even close to the effort, expense, and expertise shown by the larger news agencies.

For me, it's not that big news sources aren't worth the money...I just don't see a reason to pay them for the same information I can get for free (legally!)

Re:Why the paywall won't work (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33883348)

....They put ads up, we use ad blockers...

And I suppose you wold put up with noisy, flashing ads that slowed down how quickly you could turn the page in a print edition?
They did it to themselves with their obnoxious ad designs.

Re:Why the paywall won't work (2, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882978)

(Huffington Post, Drudge Report, etc)

Then we're all doomed. Those "news" sites are just aggregation blogs which do about as much fact-checking as Google News's automatic robot. Just last week Huff Post actually reposted the kind of trash you get in your in-box from your grandmother [huffingtonpost.com] - that first week she has email, when she's still tying in ALL CAPS. There are now TWO correction updates, and they STILL don't have the facts right. Would it have killed them to at least run a check on Snopes? [snopes.com] Does anyone really think that they "soak" food in ammonia?

Pay For The Internet? (3, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881868)

What, people want us to pay to access some stuff on the internet? What's next, /. offering subscriptions?

Re:Pay For The Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33881916)

Uhm, actually, yeah. [slashdot.org]

Re:Pay For The Internet? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33881958)

~ Whoosh ~

Re:Pay For The Internet? (1)

SudoGhost (1779150) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882660)

thatwasthejoke.jpg

Re:Pay For The Internet? (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881962)

Remember back when the we had the World Wide Web, that ingenious system where any document could have a hyperlink to any other document? The problem with paywalls is that they kill that system -- your links suddenly become blocked with demands for money.

Not that anyone cares about the spirit of openness and cooperation. These paywalls won't fail; I believe that they will be a great success, insofar as they will make lots of money for the websites that operate them. Most people will not pay, but enough will.

Re:Pay For The Internet? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882116)

And open websites will make even more money via advertising..

Re:Pay For The Internet? (4, Insightful)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882460)

Here comes the myth. "Advertising will pay for it". Why is Zuckerberg trying so hard to monetize Facebook? Because advertising doesn't pay. This year (yes, 2010) is the first year Youtube is expected to turn a positive result (meaning that Google has yet a long way to make that investment profitable if you count since 2005).

The bottom line is you can't expect advertising to be a miracle solution. Everyone hates ads. A lot of people block them. The click rates are low. And yet people want content for free. Am I missing something here?

Re:Pay For The Internet? (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882590)

Zuckerberg is a billionaire. If advertising doesn't pay, I want to know what does pay.

Re:Pay For The Internet? (3, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882902)

He's not a billionaire because of advertising, he's a "billionaire" (on paper) because of his facebook stock (which isn't traded on the open market so the valuation is arbitrary and based, more so than usual, on hype). So starting a high growth company pays.

Re:Pay For The Internet? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882682)

I didn't know Google invested in Facebook? Aren't they competitors via Orkut?

A hyperlink is a citation (2, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882206)

Remember back when the we had the World Wide Web, that ingenious system where any document could have a hyperlink to any other document? The problem with paywalls is that they kill that system -- your links suddenly become blocked with demands for money.

A hyperlink is no more than a citation backed by a best-effort automated retrieval system. Documents can cite documents on the web with <a> elements. Before that, documents could cite documents on paper with footnotes. Just because the retrieval is automated doesn't mean it has to be without payment.

Re:A hyperlink is a citation (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883396)

A hyperlink is no more than a citation backed by a best-effort automated retrieval system. Documents can cite documents on the web with <a> elements. Before that, documents could cite documents on paper with footnotes. Just because the retrieval is automated doesn't mean it has to be without payment.

Linking to pay sites pisses off readers and the vast majority of web sites either stop linking to such places or stop being read; there are very few places where the average reader is also going to have a subscription to any site it links to, because if they have a susbscription to the sites it links to, why would they bother reading about it second hand?

A glaring example is Wikipedia: how can you possibly cite an edit on an open encyclopedia by linking to a site that requires payment?

Re:Pay For The Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33883108)

Error 402 [ietf.org]
Give me moar money!

And i am sure. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33881894)

People STILL won't pay for news they can go get from somewhere else for free.

If its any kind of 'news'. It's going to be covered in more than the NYT.

Re:And i am sure. (1)

Alien1024 (1742918) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882152)

They hope to make money not just from the news, but also from the editorial, analysis and opinion pieces.

Re:And i am sure. (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882250)

They've been working on that one. If you run a blurb of NYT stuff, they'll get pissy. Then they'll go after you, your money, search engines, and even the search engine caches. I've known people who have cited a single sentence fragment, and received nasty-grams.

    These are nasty-gram someone I know received, via Google Adsense. There have been several over quite a few years. In these cases, compliance on their part happened within about 2 hours. Adsense left them without any ad revenue for weeks. Neither NYT nor Attributor commented that the result was to their satisfaction, nor were they able to even begin negotiations for the requested "license". Oh, and these complaints on behalf of the NYT were frequently regarding other unrelated (to the best of anyone's knowledge) publications.

    They aren't about openness and inducing conversation about current topics. But please, come in, pay us, and be open. What if the readers don't trust the NYT to know who they are, so they can't leave open comments, because they are afraid of the repercussions?

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to you as a representative of The New York Times.

We have included below a list of URLs on your website that contain copies of The New York Times copyright protected articles.

If you wish to republish the articles then you need to purchase a license to do so. We do not believe that you have a formal agreement or license in place with The New York Times to republish The New York Times articles. If you believe you already have a formal agreement to reproduce The New York Times material or have any other questions, please reply via email to fairshare@attributor.com.

Thank you for your cooperation,

Attributor Corporation, an authorized agent for The New York Times

[SNIP]

... ...

fairshare@attributor.com

Dear Sir/Madam,

I certify under penalty of perjury, that I am an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner of the intellectual property rights and that the information contained in this notice is accurate.

I have a good faith belief that the page or material listed below is not authorized by law for use by the individual(s) associated with the identified page listed below or their agents and therefore infringes the copyright owner's rights.

THE INFRINGING PAGE/MATERIAL IDENTIFIED BELOW IS INDEXED AND PRESENT IN YOUR SEARCH ENGINE AND
I HEREBY DEMAND THAT YOU ACT EXPEDITIOUSLY TO REMOVE THE PAGE FROM YOUR INDEX AND ALL CACHED
OR ARCHIVED COPIES OF THE PAGE FROM YOUR SERVERS.

This notice is sent pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the European Union's Directive on the Harmonisation of Certain Aspects of Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society (2001/29/EC), and/or other laws and regulations relevant in European Union member states or other jurisdictions.

Note

My contact information is as follows:

Organization name: Attributor Corporation as agent for The New York Times
Email: fairshare@attributor.com
Phone: 650.306.9474
Mailing address:
1775 Woodside Road, Suite 100
Redwood City, CA 94061

INFRINGING
YOUR INDEX IN CONSIDERATION OF THE ABOVE:
[SNIP]

Or even when they can't (1)

b00le (714402) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882402)

New Scientist magazine has tried twice, to my knowledge, to restrict web access to the subscribers to their - very expensive - magazine. They did not even offer a web-only subscription. I wrote each time pointing out that this was foolish, and I would have been prepared to pay a reasonable (i.e. small) sum for access, but was fobbed off with a bit of corporate boilerplate. Each time the paywall lasted a few weeks before coming down.

Re:Or even when they can't (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882574)

I never go to the New Scientist website. I have tried reading a laptop on the toilet, but it just doesn't work. New Scientist is prime bathroom reading material.
I also hardly ever read any NY Times articles because they are pay walled. Looks like the best solution for most of this stuff is electronic media. I would gladly pay for a New Scientist e-reader subscription, and possibly a NY Times one as well.

Re:And i am sure. (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882652)

If its any kind of 'news'. It's going to be covered in more than the NYT.

Yeah, everybody else will just grab the AP wire

Seems not to like Corporate networks or something (3, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881896)

I've been asked to login after what was (I think) my first click of the day, so I think it might not like corporate networks that proxy lots of people through a very small number of IP addresses!

I'm sure there are sites out there to help with "free account required" login pages, but what's the betting that they start slowly creeping the payments in and creeping the freebies down?

Re:Seems not to like Corporate networks or somethi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882926)

The explanation is that HTTP is not very friendly in terms of user tracking. In other words, this scheme WILL NOT WORK. The site needs to know who is on their 2nd+ visit to block them. But in order to do that needs to identify them uniquely. There are no 100%-proof methods of doing this with HTTP.

The site can use cookies, even more devious cookies like that "evercookie" thingy. But ultimately they depend on the user/browser not figuring out they have the cookie. Once they do, they can get rid of them.

Which is why I suppose the use IP addresses. But that has both false positive and negatives, due to things like ISP allocating IP via DHCP, NAT, corporate proxies etc.

Still, it's a nice gesture. I like it when they at least try to find a middle ground.

Automatic back button (3, Insightful)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881902)

When I see a news site requiring registration or subscription I just hit the back button. I don't think I've ever subscribe to any news site. There is just no point considering there will always be open news site (Always,Murdoch and al. can't do anything about this). If the first click is free then it might entice me to check out the site for more news and potentially sign up. It would need to be high quality news site to get me to sign up. NYT is probably one of about 5 newspapers that can even attempt such a model. My local paper became subscription only online. I use to check the site out every day. I haven't check it since the change.

Local news monopoly (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882224)

When I see a news site requiring registration or subscription I just hit the back button. [...] My local paper became subscription only online. I use to check the site out every day. I haven't check it since the change.

Now what site do you check for news about your town, as opposed to some other town? Not all towns necessarily have a competing reliable paper without a paywall.

Re:Local news monopoly (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882368)

Now what site do you check for news about your town, as opposed to some other town?

Does it matter? A free site, or no site. The significant factor in the decision (for many eyeballs) is a barrier to entry, not the availability of a free alternative.

Either way, the pay site has lost eyeballs and advertising revenue in return for nothing.

Re:Local news monopoly (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882470)

Exactly, now I just watch the news on TV, ignore the paper. After years of reading that paper I thought I'd miss it but not really.

If You Want an Example (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881924)

I submitted a story [slashdot.org] a few days ago. Click the link once, then close the page. Then click the link again. You should get a paywall. I was a bit confused by the comment [slashdot.org] that iamhassi posted on it until I tried to visit the page again. It's happened before but now their strategy is clear and verified. Oddly enough when Soulskill retooled it and pushed it out [slashdot.org] , the new link is immune to this.

The Slash code seems to adjust my links sometimes and I've told CmdrTaco about this but it's really evident on nytimes.com articles.

Re:If You Want an Example (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882016)

Perhaps Slashdot (or its parent) has an agreement with NYT. I know that when I get to a paywall, I immediately lose interest in an article; Someone out there must be paying for news, I guess, but I'm not going to be one of them.

Re:If You Want an Example (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882244)

Just tried it and indeed the second time it blocks. Removed all cookies and the site worked again, so it seems that a workaround is to figure out what cookies does this and then delete it.

I was to lazy to do that.

Re:If You Want an Example (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882726)

Deleting them works for me too. Just delete everything from NYT. But don't block them. The registration form will pop up with a "cookie error".

Re:If You Want an Example (3, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882712)

I submitted a story [slashdot.org] a few days ago. Click the link once, then close the page. Then click the link again. You should get a paywall.

Hi. Look at my submission. Now click the link. Now back to the submission. Now BACK to the link. Sadly, you should get a paywall. But if your link didn't go to a corporate dinosaur's website, it wouldn't smell like a paywall. Scroll up. Now back down. Where are you? You're on Slashdot. What's in your hand? Back up to me. I have it. It's a mouse, clicking on those links you like to see. Now look at me. The mouse is now diamonds. Anything is possible when you use the power of the world wide web to freely distribute information regardless of payment or network. I'm on a computer.

Re:If You Want an Example (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882758)

5555

"miserable failure"? (3, Interesting)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881938)

Murdoch's paywall was hardly a miserable failure. The subscriber figures they gave initially did indicate a massive drop in reader numbers but when you compare the amount each user is worth as an ad viewer, compared to how much they're worth as a subscriber, at worst they only had a slight drop in revenue (I did the figures in that other story, CBA to work through them again), at best they had a slight rise in revenue. It does at least hint that a paywall solution is a lot more viable than lots of people thought.

And that was based off of their initial subscriber figures, if they've experienced a reasonable amount of subscriber growth, they would be making more money than with the ad supported site. Would be interested in knowing if their figures have gone up or down.

Losing subscribers and advertisers (2, Informative)

Comboman (895500) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882646)

Murdoch's paywall sites (with the exception of the WSJ) are not just losing subscribers, they're also losing advertisers. [techdirt.com] A newspaper can't survive on subscription fees alone, advertising has always been the largest source of revenue.

Porn mode (2, Interesting)

spectrokid (660550) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881972)

If I surf in porn mode, can NYT see I've been there before?

Re:Porn mode (3, Funny)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882182)

"Porn mode" protects you from your wife, not from the internet. Or your boss.

Re:Porn mode (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882264)

If I surf in porn mode, can NYT see I've been there before?

Which web browser's porn mode are you using? Does it handle Adobe Flash Player LSOs in addition to its own cookies, cache, and history? And have you tested it with the evercookie demo [slashdot.org] ?

Re:Porn mode (1)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882558)

Actually, it's tiresome, but it does work (in Firefox at least). Turn on porn mode, go to NY Times site (example, link in this submission [slashdot.org] . Leave the page, come back - paywall. Quit porn mode, turn it back on again, go back to the same NY Times page - no paywall. So it'll work for your first visit to NY times, but then you have to turn it off and back on again for the next visit.

Won't work... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#33881976)

Too much free competition. They can give out as many 'free looks' as much as they want - but this is the internet, and all it takes for me to look somewhere else is a bit of typing and the enter key.

It'll mean people will visit once, then leave.

Advertisements (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882026)

You'd think with how much their actual distribution is probably suffering they'd decide to pick up a new distribution model instead of using one from the late 90's. I'm sure they're probably (or at least should be) cleaning up on advertisements.

Re:Advertisements (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882110)

Your argument's flaw is in assuming that Big Media *can* tell that it isn't the 90s. Paywalls, poor comment systems... I half-expect to see a fresh stab at walled gardens sometime soon.

Re:Advertisements (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882136)

I have a free NYTimes.com account, but also run ABP, so I never see the ads. I also don't actually buy newspapers in print. I guess I'm a leach, but I suspect I'm not in the minority.

Re:Advertisements (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882742)

I also have a free account with NYT. Until now, I had no idea I was missing anything. So what do you get if you pay?

What about the way Ars Technica runs its site? Can't read full articles unless you accept the ads, unless you pay for a subscription. Ars IS worth it to me, so I put up with the ads. At least some of them are interesting.

Not a single Murdoch publication is worth it to me, though, including his dishearteningly discredited WSJ. (derail: Has anyone else noticed how increasingly sensationalist the "teaser" ledes have become for WSJ online stories? It's like Murdoch is trying to gain subscribers by turning it into a business-oriented Weekly World News. Don't be surprised if Jon Stewart's alien baby appears on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.)

Re:Advertisements (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882696)

Greed knows no bounds. When you buy a newspaper, your dollar pays for the paper and ink, ads pay for the content. Then the newspaper owners thought "gee, we can make a killing now and charge and advertise without having the expense of actually printing.

It's not just the newspapers either, look at the music industry. I can't for the life of me figure out why people will pay a dollar for a song download when you used to get two songs on a 45 for a buck, and it had to be manufactured. Worse, three dollars for a ring tone. A download shouldn't cost any more than a dime or two. If I want RIAA music I'll sample it from the radio.

No local news- who cares? (0)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882038)

Okay, I'm overstating this a bit.. but why on earth do I care about a half page article about a toxic mud spill in another country? And no news on my local city or state in a recent paper. All wire articles.

All papers have become the same two or three wire services. I want my paper looking into the local police, fire, politicians for corruption. Local crime- who cares about a random murder in another state that they use for filler.
It just makes the world look uglier when the crime rate is actually down locally.

With internet searching, ads and reviews, I don't use the yellow pages or the newspaper to find vendors any more.
I do like the comics still.. but not that much. And new web comics like Questionable Content, Curvy, Looking for Group, and the steampunk girl (name escapes me).

Re:No local news- who cares? (2, Insightful)

wjousts (1529427) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882594)

Yeah, really. How can anything outside the few square miles I live possibly have any effect on me? Ideally, I want a newspaper that only covers the events in my house. I'm going to have my dog be my crack investigative reporter looking into my wife's cutting corners when it comes to making my dinner. My cat covers sports.

Re:No local news- who cares? (0)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882680)

As I said, I overstated it a bit.

But does a murder in Kansas matter to you enough to pay $1 a day to be informed about it?

National and International news that matters should be in the news.

ACTA has never been mentioned once by my local paper nor have any other treaties.
Not once has my paper ever examined in depth a single bill by congress or a single bill by the state government.
We don't even hear about city and state tax increases until it's too late.

I guess what I mean is- I don't care about inconsequential flashy news that's not from my area.

I want to know about steven harper (never mentioned once), blair (never analyzed- just a "blair did this"), etc.

Those kind of things used to be in the paper- real news, written by real people.

Other news sources (2)

Xanlexian (122112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882076)

This is why I don't use NYT for a news source. There's plenty of others out there.

A concise argument for click free paywalls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882080)

Please register to read this comment.

Content is always available elsewhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882122)

Twice in the past year or so, I hit a paywall to a major publication article. All I did was copy and past the first sentence (via Google News) into Google, and found ample other sites with the same article, w/o a paywall. The Times, WSJ, and other pubs feed a jillion other publications, and one of them is always free w/o a paywall. Some blog or forum post will always copy and paste the whole article somewhere too.

If an article is not available elsewhere, then it likely wasn't worth reading anyway.

WSJ is so easy to work around its funny (2, Informative)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882124)

I take the title of the shortened article, paste it into Google, and usually I find a version in the first two entries that allows me to read the entire article. It must be a barrier to the lazy.

I quit following NYT links years ago. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882178)

I tried to register once but it went haywire somehow. I didn't care enough to try again. I just ignore them.

NY Times no click zone (1)

pyalot (1197273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882194)

I won't create an account with any of the gazillion of news sites out there just to read what they feel compelled to vomit on the internet. Since I'm of late only seeing the NY times registerwall whenever I click one of their links, I simply stopped clicking any link going to the NY Times. For my intends and purposes, the NY times is dead online. In fact, if I get around to, I'll put links to it on my spamfilter so I won't see them and accidentially click it.

Too little, too late (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882200)

NYTimes should ditch the paywall for more ads, it is the only way to make money unless you give them something truly useful and unique for a subscription.
People can just use www.bugmenot.com to get around logins. [bugmenot.com]

Rejection (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882204)

"I will tell you that if I am asked for a password, I almost always reject the story immediately, or go find a better URL. Heck, *yesterday* I rejected a NY Times story for this exact reason. So we'll see how it pans out."

I would as a matter of policy reject any and all articles linking to paywall sites, including the NYT and WSJ.

As a side note, I would love to see what their conversion rate to paying customers is. Bet it's less than 0.01%

creators confident we'll come to our senses (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33882270)

are they into longshots or what?

the corepirate nazi holycost is increasing by the minute. you call this 'weather'?

continue to add immeasurable amounts of MISinformation, rhetoric & fluff, & there you have IT? that's US? thou shalt not... oh forget it. fake weather (censored?), fake money, fake god(s), what's next? seeing as we (have been told that) came from monkeys, the only possible clue we would have to anything being out of order, we would get from the weather. that, & all the monkeys tipping over/exploding around US.

the search continues;
google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=weather+manipulation

google.com/search?hl=en&source=hp&q=bush+cheney+wolfowitz+rumsfeld+wmd+oil+freemason+blair+obama+weather+authors

meanwhile (as it may take a while longer to finish wrecking this place); the corepirate nazi illuminati (remember, (we have been told) we came from monkeys, & 'they' believe they DIDN'T), continues to demand that we learn to live on less/nothing while they continue to consume/waste/destroy immeasurable amounts of stuff/life, & feast on nubile virgins while worshipping themselves (& evile in general (baal to be exact)). they're always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere/planet (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

all the manuals say we're not to kill each other, & we're mandated to care for/about one another, before any other notion will succeed. one does not need to agree whois 'in charge' to grasp the possibility that there may be some assistance available to us, including from each other. there's also the question of frequent extreme 'distractions' preventing us from following the simple 'directions' we were given, along with everything we needed to accomplish our task. see you there?

boeing, boeing, gone.

Seems to be about Cookies (1)

Saint Stephen (19450) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882320)

In FF, I have NYTimes cookies blocked, so 99% of the time I get the "you have to register - it's free" ! Thing

Lots of other sites are similar, (SJ Mercury News is bad).

If I really *have* to read that story, I just use IE and then purge my cookies.

But most of the times I no longer read the NY Times website directly. It doesn't really matter, because almost every single story on the TV news or ANYWHERE originates at the NY Times.

Cue FireFox Add-on in 3. . .2. . . (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882406)

How long before someone creates an add-on that auto-purges cookies from such sites before every page load, I wonder?

pull the other one (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882394)

CmdrTaco claims he rejected a story. Yeah right. Want to buy a bridge?

I dissent (2, Funny)

pickens (49171) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882492)

There are stories, generally op-eds, "think pieces," and commissioned pieces with original research that appear on the NY Times and no where else.

As an example, I submitted a story yesterday about Isaac Newton on new historical research that explains why he spent thirty years of his life working on alchemy.

That story is only on the Times and no where else.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/12/science/12newton.html [nytimes.com]

Take a look at my submission. I think it's a good story and based on my experience, one that slashdot normally would have accepted.

http://slashdot.org/submission/1354636/Isaac-Newton-Alchemist [slashdot.org]

Show me where you can find that story anyplace else on the web.

Re:I dissent (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882606)

Yeah, well, NYTime is free to do whatever they want. Slashdot is also free to do whatevery *they* want. Slashdot doesn't want to have links which are basically inaccessible to most of their readers.

Fundamentally, I'm not interested in paying for 100 subscriptions to 100 different news sites, and I think neither is almost anyone else. Since Slashdot links to so many news sources, I can't possibly pay for individual subscriptions to all of them. So, Slashdot does the most reasonable thing in the situation - instead of frustrating their readers with links to paywalls, they just reject the story until an accessible source can be found.

*Most* news stories will be carried by other sources, you just have to wait a bit. The rather esoteric example you gave, it's true, is the type of story which perhaps no one else will run. The rest of us mostly have decided *we don't have to read such stories*. Our lives will go on if we miss out on why Newtond dabbled in Alchemy, even though as Nerds, we'd probably be interested.

Longer term, I think the answer to the basic problem here, is that the newspublishing industry needs to collaborate on creating a central clearinghouse sort of system - a sort of micro-transaction system which spans hundreds or thousands of news sources. I would go there and add credit to my account, then when I go to a site with premium content, I could be offered a choice "Do you want to purchase access to this article from XYZ.com for 5 cents, from your account, or purchase access to the entire site for a day for 25 cents? Current credit: $8.55).

That way I don't have to screw around with subscriptions to a site that I might only read one or two articles from in a given month (or only one article, ever).

There's just too many content sources to setup seperate accounts, payment details, and recurring monthly subscription fees, if I'm only interested in the occasional article from any given site.

Re:I dissent (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33883390)

Google it [google.com]

Read it at:

      http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article827154.ece

and a dozen other places.

quality of journalism (2, Insightful)

No. 24601 (657888) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882536)

I think the NYT is going to work doubly hard, even triply hard to gain some sort of competitive advantage in their quality of journalism. Yes, they have some great stories. But to be totally honest, most of what they write about or offer opinions on is stuff that can be found somewhere else on the Net nowadays. I'd say they are not much worse, but also not much better than a lot of other news sites out there. Good luck to them if they create a stupid pay wall.

Good journalism is worth paying for (2, Interesting)

jburroug (45317) | more than 3 years ago | (#33882806)

I've had an account with the NYTimes site for longer than I can remember and I've happily signed up for every pay scheme they've tried. Reporters work hard to provide a valuable service and I'm happy to pay for it. I might be a bit of an anomaly given how poorly news papers and magazines are doing these days, but I also pay for a print subscription to the The Economist, Popular Woodworking, Fine Woodworking, MAKE and Discover. Information I care about, thoroughly researched and professionally edited has real value to me. I hope the Time's latest attempt at attracting readers and making money off them works out, given the problems at the Tribune family of publications right now America is desperately low on world class news outlets as it is.

Not to say that paywalls aren't a touch annoying and disruptive and I don't want to buy a full subscription to every publication that has a single article I'm interested in, but I wouldn't mind paying some small fee for the one story I wanted to read. The problem is finding a way to sell users a single article at a fair price that isn't overwhelmed by the transaction costs of processing the payment. The market needs a really good micropayment system, that can profitably handle transactions in the $.25-1.00 range. The digital equivalent of pocket change has yet to show up outside of walled off services like iTunes and other app stores.

Cheers,

Josh

Re:Good journalism is worth paying for (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883036)

The problem is finding a way to sell users a single article at a fair price that isn't overwhelmed by the transaction costs of processing the payment. The market needs a really good micropayment system, that can profitably handle transactions in the $.25-1.00 range.

I don't remember the last time I read a newspaper article which was worth $0.25 to me. Most 'news' just isn't very useful to anyone other than news junkies, and that's even ignoring the majority of 'news' that's just regurgitated press releases or celebrity gossip.

Object =void() (1)

some old guy (674482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883322)

It isn't as though there's anything in the NYT that isn't freely available on Salon, MoveOn.org, or the Huffington Post.

BBC's model (5, Interesting)

pckl300 (1525891) | more than 3 years ago | (#33883336)

I like BBC's model. News is paid for by the citizens, and is available to everyone, even non-brits. It's like information is a right. And, despite being funded by the government, they don't seem to have much slant that I can detect.
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