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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Jun 2010 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Who cares?

    Picture this: you invent some new kind of electric powered car (yes, it's another car analogy....sue me) and you promise all sorts of things, including the fact that if the car industry doesn't adopt this technology, they will go down the drain. Now you are at the unveiling of this new car...everything is going alright and you managed to impress most people...you unveil it and, gasp, the car has no doors!

    You, of course, explain that that's just an engineering mistake: the engineers forgot to assemble the doors in time for the unveiling, but you assure people that the finished product will have doors.

    Do you think people will be impressed? They might. But first impressions are hard to shake off. People will remember you and your product for that failure and, unless your product is REALLY good, it will fail.

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