BETTER LATE THAN NEVER
The New York Post has a welcome article titled "TimesSelect Content Freed", referring of course to the walled-content policy of the New York Times I've complained about for over two years (see here and here). Here're the highlights from the NY Post:
"The New York Times is poised to stop charging readers for online access to its Op-Ed columnists and other content, The Post has learned..."
"The timing of when TimesSelect will shut down hinges on resolving software issues associated with making the switch to a free service, the source said..."
"While other online publications were abandoning subscriptions, the Times took the opposite approach in 2005 and began charging for access to well-known writers, including Maureen Dowd, Frank Rich and Thomas L. Friedman.
The decision, which also walled off access to archives and other content, was controversial almost from the start, with some of the paper's own columnists complaining that it limited their Web readership.
In July, The Post reported that insiders were lobbying to shut down the service. After two years, however, the move to do away with TimesSelect may have more to do with growth than grumbling inside the paper.
The number of Web-only subscribers who pay $7.95 a month or $49.95 a year fell to just over 221,000 in June, down from more than 224,000 in April."
So it looks like they're taking the decision based on the numbers, not the internal grumbling by their star writers.
I wonder if anyone's assembled any numbers on the degradation of global exposure for their star columnists and writers. Any effect on their brand values, and by association the brand value of the New York Times, should also be assessed to determine the net impact of this policy.
Either way, doing away with TimesSelect is a step in the right direction for all parties, if true.