Friday, July 01, 2011

Dear New York Times This Is Why I Haven't Been Back

Dear NYT,

I got your most recent e-mail. Yes, I have cut back on traipsing around your web site. I know that I have 20 free visits. I appreciate that, I do. My friends, relations and colleagues keep sending me NYT links trying to get me to go check out a news story on your site.

I slip up now and again. Yet, like the song lyric says, I'm trying to walk away from a love.

You see, I don't like being made to feel like I am a poacher. I'm not. When you had open access to the Times I'd step in to read an article, find a source to cite or get lost in the photo slide shows from the magazine or your photographers and journalists media projects.

Actually it was Bitman that lured me to the web site and next thing I'd know I am exploring the photo essays. The videos of AO, JD and Sam were growing on me. It wasn't like I'd keep it to myself, I did communicate with other folks who also checked out the site.

And the old school NYT Archives?; totally faboo. Love it and might have mentioned it to a few library folks. I will try to curtail that in the future. I like archive digging but that also eats into the 20 visits per month.

So why haven't I been back?

First of all, this Internet thing does cost me money. I have to pay for the phone lines, the DSL connection and related charges. So do you plus an infrastructure I don't have to carry.

I know it takes cash money to produce a newspaper. Your newspaper is worth it but dang if I can abide or cypher your pricing schemes.

Dude/Dudette, it makes no sense.

$799 for total paper and digital access per year
$499 for digital only access for a year via smart phones and my desktop
$385 for actual weekday paper and all digital access for a year
$390 for Sunday only paper and all digital access for a year
$220 for Kindle only access per year
$195 for Web only (desktop) access
$19.99 for a monthly Kindle only access
$0.99 cents a daily Kindle issue
$1.75 to $2 for the print newspaper, depending on where I bought it.

It boggles my mind.

If I just look at it from a Kindle point of view, I'm not paying $19.99 a month to read the NYT on an six inch e-reader. I just figured out Article Mode but that only works for the text stories. The other features I like are not going to be accessible on an e-ink Kindle or my cheap smartphone because that would be a separate subscription.

I might splurge 99 cents on a day paper purchase but do I get to keep the day or does it disappear at midnight?

Once every other week I do buy the a paper edition. I get to hang on to it and read as much of it as I can. It takes a while.

You see my problem?

It's not you. It is me.

I'm not paying three separate subscriptions.

I don't want the paper version more than once a week. I don't want to start tracking how many times I've been to the site and I don't want to see that little tag that says I have four visits left.

I'm not a poacher, as many current and ex-journalists have cast web visitors like myself. Some of them even work for your newspaper. They should know better than to refer to visitors as poachers.

If they feel that way about it I don't have to come to the New York Times.

I think it is time for a trial separation. I've been looking around. I've even voluntarily gone to, you know, the Los Angeles Times web site.

Sigh, I know.

It's not the same but I need time to think.
I'll let you know.

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