Using technology

Thanks for Reading

As someone who is always ready to share my opinions, I clicked through the survey the ever quizzical New York Times had recently. They said:

As you know, the New York Times announced it would begin charging for online services in 2010.

No I did not know that. Or I had decided to not remember that. Anyway, the plan they pitched to me, their self-nominated-reader-authority, was this:

  • You get to read 10 articles a month for free, and then you get a dismal screen that looks like the above image.
  • You can then pay $5 to get even more Bill Cunningham in your life (of course they know we’re completely addicted to his weekly cheerful fashion proclamations).
  • Any article that is linked to within another service, i.e. facebook and google reader, is free for reading, thereby (I think) multiplying your free 10 articles by the number of literate and generous friends that you have.

Here were my suggestions, that I’m sure went straight to the top:

1. Start offering classy “I’m a subscriber” in Helvetica t-shirts to feed the hungry multitude looking for a portable status symbol in this consumer opportunity.

2. Offer an online subscription & Weekender pairing. If I’m already going to pay $5 (not to mention having to enter my credit card information, oh the drudgery) for more articles, I would just as well choose to pay $22 and get the paper every Sunday and my free t-shirt.

What do you guys think? Any body else share their opinions with the NYT?


  • Annie

    I knew it was coming to this but not so soon! I will gladly pay $5 a month for unlimited use as I read it every day and sometimes more than once a day. I like your ideas but do you think they are going in the direction of stopping publishing the paper and just going online?

    • Rachael

      Good point–they might be. But I think they have a lot of people who still want the hard stuff, but they have to convince the current free readers to start paying as well….$5 seems suspiciously low, doesn’t it? Like they are starting there and are going to slowly ease it up?

  • Kellyn Walker

    For all those who don’t end up paying the $5/month, this is a lot of pressure to choose the RIGHT articles. What a bummer if your mouse goes astray and you accidentally click the wrong one.

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