Mr. NY Times, Tear Down This Wall!

It seems that the NY Times has just learned a very valuable lesson about the patterns and habits of visitors to their website. It's the experience, stupid. Lets back up...

About two years ago, in what can only be classified as a "brilliant" move, the NY Times started charging for access to archived articles on their website. This service was dubbed "NY Times Select"......(and he shall be King).....

Can you guess what happened? That is correct. Nobody paid for it and, while these figures are not publicly known, readership on the NY Times website probably fell off. You see, search engines do not typically separate paid content from public content. If there is a snippet of text to be indexed (as was the case with the NY Times providing a brief, free article synopsis), then it was dutifully indexed. Imagine the user frustration behind finding an article on a search engine only to discover that paid access was required to read the whole thing.

Don't misunderstand me.....micro-content's day will come. However, it will not be in the form of 1-2 page newspaper articles that are freely available from thousands of other sources.

And yes....the article referenced at the top of this post is a link to the Wall Street Journal. And yes....they still charge for access to most of the content on their site. Hmmmmmm....

UPDATE:  The WSJ could be close to tearing down their pay wall as well.