One of my favorite pieces of Thinking Out Loud for the last book was “From Pull to Point“, in which I chided the Economist, the Journal, and others on their subscription online business models, which totally ignored the value of what I call the “Point To Economy”. I would have chided the New York Times Select as well, but it was free back then. Then the Op Ed columnists went behind a pay wall, and I had reservations, but said I’d subscribe and check it out. Turns out, I didn’t, and it seems not enough others did as well. Yesterday the pay wall came down, and not just for Op Ed, but for the entire archive as well.
This is a huge move to the hoop, and I think it’s the right one. I love the archives, and now they will be getting all the search juice they richly deserve. Here’s the reasoning, from a Times article covering the move:
What changed, The Times said, was that many more readers started coming to the site from search engines and links on other sites instead of coming directly to NYTimes.com. These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue.
Way to go, NYT!