When the N.Y. Times first mentioned that it was going to install a digital subscription service for its Web site, I felt that it was its right in trying to protect its content. I also thought that the N.Y. Times paywall would hopefully generate revenue for the company in these tough economic times. Everyone is familiar with the financial difficulties that printed media is facing and I personally wanted to see news companies like the N.Y. Times survive and not go the way of the dodo.

On March 17, 2011, the N.Y. Times announced that a digital subscription would begin in Canada on March 17, 2011 and followed by the U.S. paywall going into effect on March 28, 2011. Where there seemed to be some confusion is when the N.Y. Times tried to explain the limitations and exceptions to the paywall rules. It seemed that we would be allowed to view some 20 articles a month before being blocked from the site and offered to pay for a digital subscription.

But the N.Y. Times added this exception to the paywall rules:

Readers who come to Times articles through links from search, blogs and social media like Facebook and Twitter will be able to read those articles, even if they have reached their monthly reading limit. For some search engines, users will have a daily limit of free links to Times articles.

Since the paywall went into effect, I have purposely visited the N.Y. Times site every day. I have not gone through a search engine of any kind, nor a blog or social media site. Yet I have successfully navigated through over 50 articles a day without incident. I have received no messages about a digital subscription offer nor have I been barred from the N.Y. Times site because I have exceeded the 20 article a month limit.

I first thought it might be my browser that was blocking scripting by the Times site. But I tried three different browsers, all with the same results. I even tried with Adblock on, off, or not even installed — all with the same results.

Just to be clear, I am not using any type of workaround to get the N.Y. Times articles. I personally believe that the N.Y. Times needs a paywall for its own survival in this digital age. I am just inquiring if anyone else has been able to freely access the N.Y. Times site without being informed that they have exceeded the 20 article limit?

What has your experience been on the N.Y. Times site? have you been blocked or have you been free to roam without interruption?

Comments welcome.

Source – N.Y. Times