PCMag has an interview with a person purporting to be the mind behind the @FreeNYT Twitter account (interviews with anonymous Twitter account holders–This Is How We Journalism Now) which he or she set up to take advantage of one of the leaks in the upcoming Great Paywall Experiment. Who is this maverick?
“I’m an avid reader of the Times and I am disappointed that after spending two years and $40 million they came up with something so unimaginative,” @FreeNYT told PCMag. The Times paywall allows free entry to readers who click on a link from Twitter or Facebook. Readers can also circumvent the paywall by putting their browsers in safe mode or using a simple bookmarklet written by a Canadian coder.
“The content they produce has immense value and I would gladly pay for it but they need to get more creative about how they monetize their offering. Suddenly asking people to pay for something they’ve been getting free for years, without providing any new benefit, is a losing proposition. This could have been an opportunity to engage with their community, and some creative thought leaders, in a collective endeavor to generate some really innovative ideas; instead they paid a bunch of consultants a lot of money to come up with a business model that probably won’t work and creates an adversarial relationship between the Times and its readers. The New York Times has the power to transform journalism and actually create a viable online model, but they need to start thinking more like Google and less like the RIAA.” (Like. –ed.)
Information wants to be free! Let the information run wild!