The New York Times has finally given up on the Web-subscription model, announcing Monday that the newspaper's online site will no longer charge for any content.
The decision comes two years after The Times began charging $49.95 a year, or $7.95 a month, for Internet access to premium content, such as pieces by columnists and archived stories, according to a story that appeared in the paper.
The Times said that the subscription service met targets, acquiring 227,000 paying subscribers and generating $10 million a year.
Executives at the newspaper seemed to suggest in The Times' story … Read more
I grew up with The New York Times and still believe that for all its faults, real or imagined, this remains the best general interest daily newspaper published in the United States--in print and online.
When you're that visible, everyone's got an opinion. So it is that The Times gets it from the left, from the right and from the whack jobs who inhabit that bizarre netherworld beyond both extremes.
But anyone who thinks sensibly about the intersection of media and the Internet has to agree that The Times made the right decision when it announced today the end of the TimesSelect subscription service. … Read more
The New York Times has a new Facebook application it launched today. It's called The New York Times Quiz, and as you'd expect, there's some question-asking going on here, and if you're not up on current events, you're likely to make a fool of yourself in front of all your Facebook buddies. The quiz is composed of five questions about yesterday's news. Each question has five answers, and it's up to you to pick the right one. While Google may be one click away, you're urged to figure things out on your own.
After submitting your guesses, you'll find out how you did instantly. Your results are judged in three separate sections. The first is your Times IQ, which is an aggregate rating of your performance on each quiz you take. You also get ranked to your friends, and in comparison of Facebook users as a whole. It would be nice to have your results compared to how others did in each of your networks, although this is something that could be added later on down the line if The New York Times feels like doing some extra coding.
Along with the results section, you get a link to each related story on The New York Times for every question. Ideally this would create a scenario where users go to check their wrong answers and fill in the blanks, although the application is kind enough to let you know what the right answer was either way. You also get a list of five stories to read up on for tomorrow's quiz, which gives you a heads up--and a chance to avoid being embarrassed again if you did badly.
The New York Times is doing two things right here. The first is making your results public. There's nothing worse than having your lack of knowledge shown off to everyone, and while you can tweak what gets published in the news feed, people can still see your scores in the results page. The second is getting you to come back and visit the site--specifically The New York Times--to get ready. Assuming you're willing to put in the time, your quiz score will always be 100 percent and you can rule your friends--except those who use Google News to figure out the answers.
I wrote favorably about the idea of TimeBridge last year. It's a service that's supposed to make scheduling meetings less of pain in the neck, by letting an organizer send out several proposed times for a meeting, and then coordinating the replies of attendees until everyone agrees on a single time, at which point it will lock in the agreed-on time for everyone and release the tentative hold it had on the alternate spots.
The service is now in public beta (finally), and I've been using it to schedule meetings. The upshot: It works great.
What I … Read more
As everyone knows by now, Apple introduced three completely new iPods along with minor updates for the iPod Shuffle and iPhone:iPod pico: Earbud players sold in… Read more
Perusing the August 26th Sunday New York Times Style Magazine, ogling the latest in women's fashion, my mind wanders. Apparently there's an insatiable market for luxury apparel; the 316 page issue is jam-packed with goodies like a $3,495 Chanel Jersey Handbag and a freaky looking $5,390 Louis Vuitton Feather Necklace. Then again, if you really want to make that special someone really happy, go for the $26,500 Hermes Sable-and-Crocodile Kelly Muff or perhaps something more practical like the $23,155 Yves Saint Laurent sweater embroidered by Lesage. I'm sure it's all splendid couture, … Read more
A friend sent me a link to the transcript of a talk that author Peter Wayner gave at Google last year.
It's basically about how Google could provide an incentive for newspapers and bloggers to do more original reporting rather than just rehashing previously published reports. (Yes, I know that's what I'm doing here-- but I've done a lot of genuine on-site reporting here lately, from Hot Chips, Zonbu headquarters, and Siggraph-- so I can see both sides of the issue.)
Wayner presents some interesting figures. He says… Read more
When radio was first pioneered, print journalists were quick to dismiss it as inferior. This same scenario repeated itself with the advent of television and again with the rise of technologies that allowed solo journalists to produce their own stories single-handedly. As blogs and other community media become more popular and more relevant, the assault on this new medium continues to grow.
Michael Skube's recent editorial in the Los Angeles Times provides a reasonable critique on the blogosphere but neglects to look at the larger picture. He points out that many blogs are nothing more than commentary and suggests that many of these blogs are "noisy with disputation, manifesto-like postings and an unbecoming hatred of enemies real and imagined." While I can't argue with this conclusion, his analysis misses the fact that blogs have broken a number of important stories in recent years and fails to mention the non-news that the establishment media finds itself focusing on with alarming frequency.… Read more
Ever wish you could come up with the next big thing? The Directors' Bureau's Idea Generator can help you out. It's a Flash app that will tell you how to make a million dollars by randomly choosing a set of words that comprise a potential "idea."
Let's overlook the fact that I wound up with "erotic rubber appliance." Then I re-spun and was given "scary paper book." Okay, now I think we're getting somewhere.