Monday, September 17, 2007


Good riddance to TimesSelect

For the past two years, the New York Times has been charging a fee for online access to some of its more popular columnists, such as Maureen Dowd and Thomas Friedman, as well as to certain other material, in a program called TimesSelect. Many of us thought it a Bad Idea, but it seems to have worked for the Times.

But it only worked to a point, and the Times has now announced that it will kill TimesSelect as of 24:00 on Tuesday, making all that material available for free. They will also eliminate charges for archives from 1987 to present, along with some other archives (see the article for details).



scouter573 said...

There is a problem here, and that is how all this stuff gets funded. As much as I like the things that Google provides, I am selling little bits of my privacy. I'm also inundated with ads - subtle and simple for now, but will it remain that way? Will Google trade in their "Do no evil" motto for something more nuanced... and invasive? Will Microsoft get a toe-hold (or a bit-hold)? Will I really need to listen to 30 seconds of commercial to make a phone call, even a "free" call?

As much as I like free access to The Times, I wonder about the cost and I fear that I'll be left with the profitable outlets like Fox.

Katie said...

Unfortunately, for those of us who DID pay for this service (some within the last month or two!) there's no mention of a refund.

Barry Leiba said...

Actually, there is mention of a refund in the article, about 2/3 of the way down:

«Those who have paid in advance for access to TimesSelect will be reimbursed on a prorated basis.»

scouter573 said...

Gawk! It's starting. See BoingBoing about the new MySpace plot... uh, plan to issue tailored ads against... uh, to their victims... uh, customers. Here's the lead:

Myspace, the largest online social network, will soon begin tailoring ads to the personal data submitted by its 110 million active users on their profile pages. Facebook is sure to follow. Snip from NYT article by Brad Stone: