I’m not one of those people who’s complaining about the Times website’s imminent paywall; I don’t like it, because I like getting stuff for free, but I don’t think it’s in any way illegitimate for them to do this. I don’t intend to be paying, so I’ll just have miss out on Danny Finkelstein, David Aaronovitch and Anatole Kaletsky’s columns (the three best things about the paper). We do have a copy in the office, so I may just see if I can grab that instead.
But today I discover that the Times’s network of blogs will also be moving behind the paywall. Again, fair enough, but I think this in particular is a mistake (assuming that the paywall itself doesn’t prove a mistake). The blogs, particularly their main Comment Central, provide a nice taster of Times writing and offer highlights on what’s in the paper/website ‘proper’. It’s a valuable marketing tool. But not if they make people pay for it.