I wanted to share this several days ago, but womp womp- this blog was not up yet. I can only say so much about how I feel on the topic in this post’s header (and apparently I can only state it using LOLcat speak), but this article (via Mashable) has all the deets:

The New York Times Website To Charge for Access [REPORT]

Personally, I’m going to throw this out there as Exhibit A of “What a company should probably not do in their quest for financial stability without first making sure that they absolutely dominate their corner of the interwebs.”

At the end of 2009, TechCrunch ran an article with graphs indicating several other “news organizations” had surpassed the NY Times as a provider of online content. The comment board immediately blew up (and was still receiving new posts as late as last week!) Although Google News wasn’t on top as I initially expected, it still received much of the heat from the peanut gallery nonetheless for even making it on the list. Why? Because it’s a news aggregate, not a source, and “therefore shouldn’t be counted.” (Now a lot of this may seem like old news, but it’s oh-so-relevant for the NYT’s most recent decision.)

The fact is, aggregates like Google, Twitter to some extent, and (yes, wait for it) an eventual Facebook-wide News Feed mega-search (they opened the site to everyone and minimized privacy to the umpteenth degree for a reason, right?) may not so much shape the news, but they still objectively display it as they would with any other search.

So where does this leave the somewhat subjective news content providers that are CNN, Yahoo, MSNBC, FOX, and even The NY Times? If nothing else, it leaves them in the perfect position; as long as they’re breaking stories before anyone else and reporting the angles that people are looking for, they’re going to get the hits that they’re seeking. I know firsthand that as a producer, you strive to develop news stories that are both timely and create a connection with your audience on a deeper level. And often times, if the user feels that connection, they will keep on coming back for more, aggregates or no.

But is a pay to play model for connectivity a deal-breaker? I’d say maybe not if everyone else was immediately following suit. As a self-declared news junkie I can even see eventually paying for a subscription of my daily dose, especially if it came in a pick-and-choose Netflix form. (Say, oh, a set number of newspapers online for $9.99 a month?) But until then, a word to the wise-papers: you better have some phenomenally mind blowingly earth-shatteringly good content if you’re expecting people to pony-up their hard earned crackers when they can just as easily get their earful elsewhere for free.

Back to the drawing board NY Times, before your battleship gets sunk.

(Mashable link posted using ShareThis)