Four Lines Of Code

That's all it takes to disable the $50 million NYT pay-fence. A reader writes:

Put this in your toolbar. Click it when you get blocked. Paywall defeated.

The Times needs to decide if it would rather actually require people to pay or it wants to be part of the Internet. It can't have both. I'm a happy print subscriber so this isn't about me being cheap, but it seems like the public radio model might be the paper's best bet. Offer the content free but with frequent reminders that if people don't contribute voluntarily it will go away. A few people will give a lot, a lot of people will give a little, and, as with NPR, readers will feel a bond of loyalty with the paper -- quite the opposite of what they'll feel having to jump through hoops to get through this half-assed paywall.

I made a similar point in my column last Sunday in the Sunday Times of London. Money quote:

If you're essentially giving away your online paper to bloggers and Facebookers, but requiring older, more committed readers to pay, you are coming pretty close to simply asking for donations from your core base, who will tend to be less tech-savvy and older than the rest. Won't they feel a little cheated, even conned after a while? Paying, after all, doesn't give them anything that the free-riders don't get.

I can't link - because it's behind a paywall!