Tearing Down The (nytimes.com) Paywall

Tearing Down The (nytimes.com) Paywall



I don’t understand all the furor about the new pay-to-play format at nytimes.com.  Sure, certain cultural riffraff will have to pay like $15 if they want to read more than three articles per month or something – but if you are a true Renaissance Man, someone Lincoln (the car company, not the Center) might describe as “a person who’s demonstrated an uncommon interest in a wide variety of today’s most important topics” they will comp you the paywall fee for 2011.

That’s what happened to me.  After years of toiling away trying to scale the slippery slope of media eliteness, it took an email from a philanthropic emissary of Ford Motors to point out to me just how important I am not to just the print media world, but to cultural enlightenment in general.  I mean, just take a look at their carefully chosen adjectives: uncommon – ie different than the majority of idiots who made it to their site only because their drooling issues occasionally pooled onto the right letters on the keyboard, Shakespearean monkey style; wide – into Home & Garden one day, then T Magazine the next – ie laden with the inherent curiosity of a cartoon monkey; most important – one who ascribes appropriate significance to profiles of Brendan Fraser or trends in pubic hair maintenance.  They really get me.

So if you – like SO – are one of the unwashed masses who must either cave in and drop a cc number or spend twenty minutes looking for a link (which will be free on social media, the way I understand it – which is probably the correct way, since I am important enough to get a free subscription in the first place) I will throw you a bone.  If you need a link to something on nytimes.com, just let me know and I’ll either link it here, on Twitter or the wpz Facebook page.  It’s called giving back to the community.   Just give me a holler. (And, to answer SO’s question, I can’t just hand over my password – that’s a violation of nytimes.com’s T&C.  Just contact me through the channels discussed above and you will be good to go.)

Additional Newspaper Paywall Subversion Technique, Free of Charge:  For all you cheap bastards who don’t have a Wall Street Journal subscription, if there’s an article you want to read on the WSJ, just type the exact article into Google – hell, you can even cut and paste it – and you will 99% of the time get access to the full article.  No, I’m not some kind of black hat terrorist – I consider myself more the Robin Hood of large, well-respected newspaper websites based in NYC that have/will have a paywall.

Example of a Link to a nytimes.com article: Don’t Call Me, I Won’t Call You Unsurprisingly, this article discusses the current state of human interaction and the demise of the phone call.  Good read.

Building on that, here are the times it’s acceptable to call me:

  1. If you are one of my parents
  2. If you are having some kind of emergency that can only be handled by an unemployed person with a gooey moral center (note: I’m done with dead hooker crises, that is on the blacklist)
  3. If we are meeting somewhere and voice conversation is imperative to the “last mile”
  4. If we went to college together, and: 1) We used to hang out most of the time, haven’t seen each other in greater than three years, and likely won’t see each other in the next twelve months, either; or 2) We used to hang out sometimes, and you are looking to fund someone’s study on the long-term impact of mostly just sitting around drinking wine
  5. If you want to discuss whether Patrick Peterson will really be there at the seventh pick, or whether his single-digit wonderlic would hold him back in Fangio’s sophisticated defense
  6. If you want to talk about The Wire, Friday Night Lights, or Parks and Recreation
  7. If we used to work together, and sometimes hang out socially, and you are in town for the night and want to get some drinks but don’t have my email address and you for some reason don’t have texting
  8. If you just had a birth or death in the family
  9. If you are aware of a new taqueria opening in NYC
  10. If you want to discuss the trailers for Captain America and Thor (note: #5, #6 and #10 presume that we won’t have the opportunity to discuss these topics in person before either the draft happens, the movies open, or I get tired of discussing tv shows)




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