This week, nearly three years later to the day after it dismantled TimesSelect, Pinchy (don't ask) confirmed that the venerable Gray Lady would implement a new pay-wall in 2011.
Readers will be allowed to access a certain number of articles free each month, then will be asked to pay... [Sulzberger] confirmed that the paper will work with Google to implement First Click Free, stressing that "we want to ensure that NYTimes.com continues to be part of the open web ecosystem."
Many details of the pay strategy are yet to be decided, however. "We are still working on deciding what type of content will count towards the metre," as photos and graphics may well require different considerations... "We believe that serious media organisations must start to collect additional revenue from their readers," and "information is less and less yearning to be free." Readers are becoming increasingly willing to buy information on the web if it enhances their lives, he said.
A further incentive towards experimentation is that in the digital age, the cost of changing is low. "If we discover that we've tried something that's not working, we could change it." This should not be seen as failure, he emphasised, but as a willingness to adapt and learn. The TimesSelect experiment in 2007 was not aborted because of a failure to succeed, Sulzberger insisted, but because the paper thought it could make more money from advertising revenue.
Catch that? TimesSelect "was not aborted because of a failure to succeed" -- HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAH (breath) HAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAH (gasp) HAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA (ech, *cough*) HAHHA (ow!). Owwwwww. I think I just sprained my diaphragm.
Speaking of Krugman, earlier today the invaluable Tyler Durden used everything but brass knuckles and a two-by-four on the columnist voted 'Most Likely to be Mistaken for a Weasel'.
The year is 2002, America has just woken up with the worst post dot.com hangover ever. Paul Krugman then, just as now, writes worthless op-eds for the NYT...
And then, just as now, the Keynesian acolyte recommended excess spending as the solution to all of America's problems... So what can we say of those who openly endorsed [inflating a housing bubble] as a solution to America's problems? Enter exhibit A: New York Times, August 2, 2002, "Dubya's Double Dip?"
Name the author: "The basic point is that the recession of 2001 wasn't a typical postwar slump, brought on when an inflation-fighting Fed raises interest rates and easily ended by a snapback in housing and consumer spending when the Fed brings rates back down again. This was a prewar-style recession, a morning after brought on by irrational exuberance. To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that... Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble."
If you said Krugman, you win. Indeed, the idiocy of Keynesianism knew no bounds then, as it does now. The solution then, as now, to all problems was more bubbles, more spending, more deficits. So we have the implosion tech bubble: And what does Krugman want to create, to fix it? Why, create a housing bubble... Well, at least we know now how that advice played out.
And now what? He wants another trillion in fiscal stimulus... Quadrillion? Sextillion (arguably this cool sounding number is at least 2-4 years away before the Fed brings it into the daily vernacular)? And just like the housing bubble he suggested then brought America to the biggest depression it has ever seen, so his current suggestion will be the economic cataclysm that wipes out America from the face of the earth.
Durden's first concluding question is "how does Krugman still have a forum in which to peddle his destructive ways?" -- to which the hopeful answer is Pinchy's new pay-wall.
Durden's penultimate takedown of Krugman's lunacy will definitely leave a mark.
Which transitions well to the conclusion of Sulzberger's prediction.
Asked about his response to the suggestion that the NYT might print its last edition in 2015, Sulzberger said he saw no point in making such predictions and said all he could say was that "we will stop printing the New York Times sometime in the future, date TBD."
Just give us plenty of warning, Pinchy, so we can schedule the week-long funeral bash.