NY Times Paywall Just Might Work

There was an article Monday in ReadWriteWeb analyzing the traffic drop in the online version of the NYTimes in the recent two weeks after they instituted a confusing, laborious payment scheme.  There’s been a lot of negative press by prominent personalities on the decision and the most recent article, while comprehensive in its analysis of dropping traffic by 5-15%, does not address the potential INCREASE in subscription revenue that is being realized.  Obviously the NYT expected some sort of traffic drop – a “pay” v. “free” model is inherently exclusionary – but made the bet on a higher quality, paying consumer.  And most of the negative press or blogging I’ve seen ends something like “While its the highest subscription rate for news on the Web, I hate it, but I’ll probably pay it”.

The other x-factor in all this is the proliferation of hacks and workarounds that are popping up all over the web to avoid the subscription fee.

I actually like the Times, but I’m not a subscriber, I instead consume most of my news on my iPhone through their App as well as other news sources like CNN, TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, numerous blog sites, CNBC and others.  Using the Times App, you can still access “Top News” and “Most E-mailed” news for free, but digging deeper into Section headings will cost $3.75 per week, or $195 per year.

Not sure this price point makes sense to me personally given all the various free news sources out there, but I could see if you were a loyal Times reader where this might make sense.

What do you think?


iPhone is changing my life!

Wow, received my iPhone yesterday after a long unsatisfying union with Blackberry. I was always wary of switching away from the button keyboard since I’m such a heavy email and text user on my mobile device. But here I am on day 2, writing this post on the plane and, by the way, doing so on the airline’s wifi. Try doing that on your Blackberry. The keyboard is actually pretty good due in large part to Apple’s autocorrect technology. The iPhone web experience is captivating especially compared to the unusable interface on the BB Tour. Literally unusable.

And the apps! Some of my favorites:

Dropbox – a must for accessing and syncing all of your files

Yelp – especially if you travel. A great location aware app.

Tripit Pro – for road warriors keeps track of all travel and points and monitors flights real time.

Google – pretty cool picture recognition technology that enables search.

Google voice – read or listen to your voice mail, for free of course.

Nirvino wine and beer ratings – separate apps with huge databases

I have much more to explore but I’m hooked. Here’s a (humorous) good review of how I’m feeling.

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