I did something radical last week: I subscribed to a newspaper. The Globe and Mail, to be exact. It’s been years since I’ve had a newspaper delivered to my home. I either get my news online or read the papers (for free) at my work.
But ever since the Globe redesigned and added the new Life section, it’s been far more coveted in my office. I’ve resorted to taking it off people’s desks or grabbing all the sections I want when it first comes in (I get a head start at work by arriving at 8 a.m.). But I’m tired of asking, “Are you done with that yet?” and I’ve made the move back to analog. I know it might not be the most enviornmentally-sound decision, but it feels good to have a newspaper in my bag in the morning, not to mention the small thrill of finding it on my doorstep, especially on the weekend.
And the New York Times made an interesting and much-appreciated decision earlier this week: they’re making all of their articles from 1987 onwards available for free. Previous to this decision, articles that were two weeks old had to be purchased or were available by subscription.
Apparently the Times made the move because of all of us bloggers and our habit of pointing to their articles (something I do just a wee bit). Here’s an excerpt from the story explaining their decision:
What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.
“What wasn’t anticipated was the explosion in how much of our traffic would be generated by Google, by Yahoo and some others,” said Vivian L. Schiller, senior vice president and general manager of NYTimes.com.