NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

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sardia
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NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:34 am UTC

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/201 ... th-from-20
They reduced the number of free articles from 20 to 10 a month. Now those who cite this liberal rag ought to remember to post the article in the forum. Many a time I have checked out a link only to be stymied with a paywall.

On the bright side, maybe this is good news for newspapers. It's rare for a business that depended on free traffic to make the case for subscription based business model.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby jakovasaur » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:11 am UTC

There is a bookmark that lets you bypass the filter.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:46 am UTC

How, exactly, would a bookmark work? Does the server send information to the browser but not display it when it blocks an article?
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby ConMan » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:50 am UTC

The bookmark is, I believe, a little bit of javascript that looks for the html that puts the "You've read too many articles" box on top of the article, and strips it off.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:57 am UTC

The the NY Times site designers are idiots, or more likely were told to act like idiots by actual idiots. They should only given the article text to your browser if you were logged in.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Ghostbear » Wed Mar 21, 2012 5:58 am UTC

ConMan wrote:The bookmark is, I believe, a little bit of javascript that looks for the html that puts the "You've read too many articles" box on top of the article, and strips it off.

Yep. The site blockage is essentially just an inframe popup. The bookmark runs some javascript to tell the popup to go away. You can also get browser plugins and stuff that do the same thing. It's my understanding that the NYT made it not horrendously difficult to circumvent intentionally, figuring it's better that the people willing to go out of their way to read for free (aka, the people that they won't turn into customers anyway) to read them for free instead of somebody else for free.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Technical Ben » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:40 am UTC

If only the local super market would do that. Free bacon!!!
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Game_boy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:33 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:The the NY Times site designers are idiots, or more likely were told to act like idiots by actual idiots. They should only given the article text to your browser if you were logged in.


It's deliberate. They still want search engine and social network traffic, so if you click a link from one of those (definitely Twitter, for example), you don't get any paywall. I mean, it can be defeated by pressing Stop before the frame loads, not even a bookmark required. They want the free traffic but also paywall money from anyone stupid enough to pay.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sardia » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:59 pm UTC

Game_boy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:The the NY Times site designers are idiots, or more likely were told to act like idiots by actual idiots. They should only given the article text to your browser if you were logged in.


It's deliberate. They still want search engine and social network traffic, so if you click a link from one of those (definitely Twitter, for example), you don't get any paywall. I mean, it can be defeated by pressing Stop before the frame loads, not even a bookmark required. They want the free traffic but also paywall money from anyone stupid enough to pay.

Asking for "donations" while letting in free loaders isn't a good model at all. I mean look at. NPR, what a bunch of retards. Why pay for those overpriced totebags? You can buy them on the Internet at half the cost. Npr doesn't even have a pay wall. Yup, they won't last long at all...
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Panonadin » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:04 pm UTC

A lot of the tech question forums that require you to pay for membership are designed the same stupid way. You can also just view the page souce. It's all there.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby dedalus » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:18 pm UTC

To be fair, if you know how to do that chances are you're not the droids they are looking foraudience they are targeting.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sourmìlk » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:40 pm UTC

I don't think that's the case for tech support fora. I've wanted to know the answers to some programming questions that have been discussed on premium fora. If a person wants access to that question, he can almost certainly get it.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Adacore » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:50 pm UTC

Whether or not you can bypass it, that's still annoying. I've got quite good at rationing myself to 20 articles a month, but at 10 per month per PC it's barely worth trying to read the NY Times at all. Which is a shame, because NYT and the BBC are my two main news sources.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sardia » Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:39 am UTC

Adacore wrote:Whether or not you can bypass it, that's still annoying. I've got quite good at rationing myself to 20 articles a month, but at 10 per month per PC it's barely worth trying to read the NY Times at all. Which is a shame, because NYT and the BBC are my two main news sources.

Come to NPR, it's not that bad if you can stand the nagging for donation.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:04 am UTC

Adacore wrote:Whether or not you can bypass it, that's still annoying. I've got quite good at rationing myself to 20 articles a month, but at 10 per month per PC it's barely worth trying to read the NY Times at all. Which is a shame, because NYT and the BBC are my two main news sources.


You could try paying for it if you want to continue reading. Then you wouldn't have to ration your article intake at all.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby eligitine » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:32 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:
Adacore wrote:Whether or not you can bypass it, that's still annoying. I've got quite good at rationing myself to 20 articles a month, but at 10 per month per PC it's barely worth trying to read the NY Times at all. Which is a shame, because NYT and the BBC are my two main news sources.


You could try paying for it if you want to continue reading. Then you wouldn't have to ration your article intake at all.

Pay for something that you can get free on the internet? What kind of backwards cat eat dog world do you live in?
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Thu Mar 22, 2012 2:49 pm UTC

eligitine wrote:
Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:
Adacore wrote:Whether or not you can bypass it, that's still annoying. I've got quite good at rationing myself to 20 articles a month, but at 10 per month per PC it's barely worth trying to read the NY Times at all. Which is a shame, because NYT and the BBC are my two main news sources.


You could try paying for it if you want to continue reading. Then you wouldn't have to ration your article intake at all.

Pay for something that you can get free on the internet? What kind of backwards cat eat dog world do you live in?


I live in a world where I think it was crazy for newspapers, or any news outlets, to ever giving away their content for free. The last few years have proved it’s not a workable business model. I don't know how much the NYTimes charges, but other papers I've seen don't make you pay much, and I don't think there is anything wrong with paying a small amount to get something in return, especially if it helps keep that service going.
The newspaper industry is dying on its feet at the moment. I think they have probably dug their own grave, because people are so used to get content for free they are very reluctant to start paying for it. But if they do disappear, you will miss them when they're gone. Citizen journalism and blogs can’t do the same job, and I think TV news channels have shown they are not up to the task of holding people in power to account.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby eligitine » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:01 pm UTC

I have no problem paying for a newstand issue of a newspaper, but I don't support limiting content. Its like buying a new car for $100 then taking it back a day later. I would, and do, pay for online content if it adds something more, like having no ads, or viewing user comments.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:04 pm UTC

It's nothing like that. AFAIK, if you pay there is no limitations. the content limit is there for people who use the site for free. So to turn your analogy around, not paying its like taking a car for a constant test drive with no intention of ever paying anything for it.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Ghostbear » Thu Mar 22, 2012 3:09 pm UTC

eligitine wrote:I would, and do, pay for online content if it adds something more, like having no ads, or viewing user comments.

User comments add something useful to news articles? Where do you get your news? Every time I dared foray into comments for a news article, it was worse than youtube.

Disabling user comments is probably closer to something worth paying for...

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Game_boy » Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:55 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:It's nothing like that. AFAIK, if you pay there is no limitations. the content limit is there for people who use the site for free. So to turn your analogy around, not paying its like taking a car for a constant test drive with no intention of ever paying anything for it.


The fixed cost of collecting and writing the story is paid for with subscribers. Are you saying the cost of you visiting their site is less than the ad impression money per page, i.e. they aren't making money with the free views?
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:00 pm UTC

eligitine wrote:I have no problem paying for a newstand issue of a newspaper, but I don't support limiting content. Its like buying a new car for $100 then taking it back a day later.

http://www.hertz.com/
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby eligitine » Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:17 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
eligitine wrote:I have no problem paying for a newstand issue of a newspaper, but I don't support limiting content. Its like buying a new car for $100 then taking it back a day later.

http://www.hertz.com/

Point taken, and I should of used a better analogy. Perhaps a blimp.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:17 am UTC

Why would you object to blimp rental?
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:33 am UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Why would you object to blimp rental?

Lets be honest: if someone handed you the keys to their airship, would you return it the next day? Of course not, you'd zap the owner with your tesla coils and head off to conquer Grenada with your newfound air power.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Bharrata » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:35 am UTC

I'd use it to defeat Sephiroth.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby folkhero » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:54 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:
sourmìlk wrote:Why would you object to blimp rental?

Lets be honest: if someone handed you the keys to their airship, would you return it the next day? Of course not, you'd zap the owner with your tesla coils and head off to conquer Grenada with your newfound air power.

I feel like the people of Grenada wouldn't be that impressed with your airship unless it was rigid-bodied. (that's what she said?) Actually, it seems like, for me at least, I would do all the blimp things I wanted to do in a week or so, at which point I would be happy to return it for my security deposit.
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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:05 pm UTC

Honestly I couldn't think of much to do with a blimp. They're too slow for my to really enjoy flying them around. Now, if it were a plane rental...
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Tirian » Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:44 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:I live in a world where I think it was crazy for newspapers, or any news outlets, to ever giving away their content for free.


I don't agree. I've lived in three or four cities over the course of my life, but never in a place that didn't have at least one free independent newspaper. Actually, in the San Francisco Bay Area, sometimes it felt crazier to a newspaper to limit its subscriber base to people who had a quarter to lose because you'd get more ad revenue by having more eyes on the page.

I think NPR shows that this isn't the tragedy of the commons. If you can make enough money to justify collecting news or some other form of data, there's no clear reasoning to justify trying to keep the data secret. You might make more money if you're skillful, but you lose social relevancy which will have a more certain impact on your valuation. Adam Smith was wrong.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby sardia » Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:57 pm UTC

Tirian wrote:
Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:I live in a world where I think it was crazy for newspapers, or any news outlets, to ever giving away their content for free.


I don't agree. I've lived in three or four cities over the course of my life, but never in a place that didn't have at least one free independent newspaper. Actually, in the San Francisco Bay Area, sometimes it felt crazier to a newspaper to limit its subscriber base to people who had a quarter to lose because you'd get more ad revenue by having more eyes on the page.

I think NPR shows that this isn't the tragedy of the commons. If you can make enough money to justify collecting news or some other form of data, there's no clear reasoning to justify trying to keep the data secret. You might make more money if you're skillful, but you lose social relevancy which will have a more certain impact on your valuation. Adam Smith was wrong.

Unfortunately, nytimes doesn't agree with your budgetary predictions. They prefer subscription money over ad revenue from free viewers. Can anyone name a good viewer/ad based newspaper model that has good reporting? The only ones I can think of are politico, and the Christian Science Monitor.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby LtNOWIS » Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:51 am UTC

There's always the New York Times' archrival, the Washington Post.

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Re: NYTimes Doubles Down on Subscription

Postby Game_boy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:54 am UTC

sardia wrote:
Tirian wrote:
Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:I live in a world where I think it was crazy for newspapers, or any news outlets, to ever giving away their content for free.


I don't agree. I've lived in three or four cities over the course of my life, but never in a place that didn't have at least one free independent newspaper. Actually, in the San Francisco Bay Area, sometimes it felt crazier to a newspaper to limit its subscriber base to people who had a quarter to lose because you'd get more ad revenue by having more eyes on the page.

I think NPR shows that this isn't the tragedy of the commons. If you can make enough money to justify collecting news or some other form of data, there's no clear reasoning to justify trying to keep the data secret. You might make more money if you're skillful, but you lose social relevancy which will have a more certain impact on your valuation. Adam Smith was wrong.

Unfortunately, nytimes doesn't agree with your budgetary predictions. They prefer subscription money over ad revenue from free viewers. Can anyone name a good viewer/ad based newspaper model that has good reporting? The only ones I can think of are politico, and the Christian Science Monitor.


BBC for those outside the UK is ad-supported and free.

Yes there is a license fee for those in the UK, but that's the same as the NY Times having paying subscribers.
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