Dear Rupert: Before Putting Up A Paywall, It Helps To Have Your Staff Check The HTML

from the just-a-suggestion dept

As you know by now, Rupert Murdoch's The Times (of London) has kicked off its paywall experiment, with an editor there claiming that news publications that don't put up a paywall will go out of business. Perhaps. We shall see... but in the meantime, Rupert might want to find people who understand HTML before he turned on the paywall. Reader Craig sent over a link to a Times Online story that tries to get people to go to the new paywalled site "for full coverage, pictures and video from the Middle East." The only problem? The link is broken. I took a screenshot with my mouse over the link, and you can see that rather than a proper link, the link doubles up on the http at the beginning: http://http://www.thetimes.co.uk/etc....
If you can't see it in the image above, click through for a larger version. Clicking the actual link, of course, gets you a page not found error. Oops. Now, you can say this is a small mistake that anyone can make (hell, we've made it here at times), but for a big professional news organization that are trying to drive people to this new pay site, you would think they would have at least had someone double check the links... On top of this, it really highlights the pure annoyance factor that The Times has created for everyone. Not only is it locking up its content behind a paywall, it makes you go hunting for it, and redirects its audience to a totally different place (and, in this case, not even very well).

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  1. icon
    Hulser (profile), 14 Jun 2010 @ 6:47am

    Re: Who cares?

    This article is just a pathetic attack against the Times Online and Rupert Murdoch's paywall plan

    While there are certainly weightier topics discussed on TechDirt, the bad link is a fair topic. From the TD post: "On top of this, it really highlights the pure annoyance factor that The Times has created for everyone." Sure, it's a mistake anyone can make, but the bad link highlites the unintended consequences of adding artificial layers between your readers and your content. Not to mention how a silly mistake like this negatively affects the perception of the site's professionalism.

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