Please Enter Through The Front Door

There’s been a lot of buzz on Twitter today about the New York Times’ paywall, which is finally set to emerge on March 28. Joshua Benton at Nieman Lab used a Canadian proxy server to take a peek at the wall, and immediately some commenters talked about ways to get around it.

But as it turns out, readers won’t need to rely on technical trickery to get their fix: visits to nytimes.com won’t count against a user’s 20 articles-per-month limit as long as they come from social media, blog links, or news searches.

Patrick LaForge said on Twitter that the exceptions to the digital subscription rules – which are features, not bugs – make “paywall” an inaccurate term.

His comment is revealing. The Times folks know they can’t get all of their readers to pony up for a digital subscription, so they’re doing their best to funnel web traffic through official channels. That’s an interesting choice, and I’ll be curious to see how the traffic numbers shake out once the “wall” goes up.

For more, Bill Grueskin – former managing editor of the paywalled WSJ.com and current academic dean of Columbia’s J-school – tells us what we can expect. Recommended.

Category: Media Comment »


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