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
    PaulT (profile), 14 Jun 2010 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Who cares?

    A minor HTML error that... prevents people from being able to access the content they're trying to access and deters or prevents them from paying the money being requested for said content? That's actually a big problem, even if the initial error was relatively minor. How many non-internet savvy people (frankly, the ones most likely to consider paying) would recognise the error for what it is, rather than assume the link is broken.

    As for "undisguised pleasure at seeing other people fail", that's pretty rich coming from someone who tries to do that in every post he makes here. Funny thing is, I don't think I've seen you point out a place where Mike has actually failed, even though you say he does on every article.

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