A big part of my study time is following links from my RSS reader. You can say what you want about Twitter, but I still find RSS to be the best way to keep track of what people are writing in my beat. A lot of those links go to the New York Times.
The Times, however, has introduced its paywall, and part of the deal is you get access to 20 articles for free per month. After that, you’re blocked and need to pay up. The exceptions are links from social media giants Twitter and Facebook. The reason is simple: the Times wants no part of losing audience for advertisers, which is what has happened with other paywall experiments.
But I’ve thought the same exception should apply to RSS, and I’ve complained about it via Twitter.
Today, I ran into my first blocked story, so I simply tweeted the URL of the article:
That link allowed me past the paywall.
This is silly, but it shows how easily the Times wall can be breached. Frankly, it makes sense that the paper’s paywall should allow inbound links from anywhere, but that’s probably impractical. Why have a paywall then, right?