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://
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
    WammerJammer (profile), 14 Jun 2010 @ 7:32am

    Bad news

    Is this the guy that gives you a paragraph of a story and then hits you up to subscribe before he will give you the rest of the story? Just memorize the names of his newspapers and then ignore them. I use iGoogle and a plug-in to feed me my news and it shows me the name of the news source. I ignore the Wall Street Journal because they use the same methods.
    My point is everyone has the news and everyone competes to give the news and the advertising is supposed to pay for it. So in a competitive market like that it is obvious I want my news for free. If the newspapers won't give it to me then I go to and stream any of the cable or other worldwide news stations. Newspapers have an over-inflated sense of worth. I used to use a newspaper to find an apartment, get a job and I still do use the local newspaper to achieve that. The problem is these big news operations think they should control stuff just because they are so big and they forget that they are a local service.

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