Opinion: Rupert Murdoch’s paywall at the Times may not be a disaster

Those who make their livings in outer cyberspace, the wizards of web wisdom, fear the worst. Rupert Murdoch’s bold new paywalls, now in construction around the Times and Sunday Times sites, are not going to work. Who’ll pay £2 a week for this mush of generally available news, rather pompously decked out to look like an “elite” printed paper on your laptop?But talk experience and human nature as well. Experience in print tells us that newspapers can be different. The Sun and the Times live on different planets. And human nature often dictates a bit of something different, too, not more of the same. The “simple choices” the gurus espy are more complicated already.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/may/30/rupert-murdoch-times-paywallAlso see:London Newspapers Challenge Web’s Gratis Orthodoxy
A strange thing happened when I checked out the new Web sites from The Times and Sunday Times of London: I read some of the stories. Not just the headlines, but entire articles — even a review of “Sex and the City 2,” a film I hope I never have to watch.Usually, when visiting an online news site, I get distracted by a link to a reader comment, a tweet, a video, a blog or some other digital doodad long before I reach the third paragraph of an article. Newspapers have been cluttering their Web pages with ever more of these things in an effort to get people to keep clicking rather than reading. More clicks were supposed to translate into more advertising.

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