Doc Searls asks a question about the Times Select policy (where all the Times columnists are now behind a pay wall) - and then tosses out a potential answer:
Question: Why give away online what you charge for in the daily paper, while charging for what becomes fishwrap tomorrow? The Times' answer is to charge for both op-ed writers (why op-ed and not the rest of the paper) and fishwrap. This whole thing smacks of a political compromise between warring factions inside the paper.
I had two other possibilities come to mind as well:
- A management clue breakdown - "We're the New York Times - of course everyone will pay!"
- The paper's financials are far worse than anyone outside thinks
I suspect we'll find out soon, because the market for political opinions commoditized a long time ago...