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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Misers' methods for reading the NYTimes

Some people have pointed out to me that I am the cheapest (as in most miserly) person they know in my net worth category. I plead guilty.

The Times wants to charge me $35/month for unlimited digital access (that means on multiple devices, like mobile, tablet, computer). Now, I'm all for supporting journalism, and the Times in particular, but it seems kind of high to me. Let's see how it all works out for the Grey Lady. Perhaps a micropayment scheme would be better? (Has Google rolled their version out yet?)

Apparently they won't limit access to articles reached via link (i.e., from blogs, Twitter, search engine; see below for more details). This is strategic: they want their articles to be read, and to be influential, so don't want to frustrate potential readers who arrive via search or social network.

Therefore, I think you can just type the following into Google to get (free) access to daily NYTimes content (up to 5 articles per day; see note at bottom): < today's date > < keywords >

i.e., march 29 2011 japan reactor

or 2011/03/29 japan reactor

Soon someone will write a little web or mobile app to do exactly this kind of thing, mashing a nice graphical display with links that connect via Google or Twitter or whatever. Hmm ...

Here is a Twitter feed someone has already put up for this purpose. See also links in comments below.

*** It looks like search engine links are only good for 5 articles a day:

9. Can I still access articles through Facebook, Twitter, search engines or my blog?

Yes. We encourage links from Facebook, Twitter, search engines, blogs and social media. When you visit through a link from one of these channels, that article (or video, slide show, etc.) will count toward your monthly limit of 20 free articles, but you will still be able to view it even if you've already read your 20 free articles.

Like other external links, links from search engine results will count toward your monthly limit. If you have reached your monthly limit, you'll have a daily limit of 5 free articles through a given search engine. This limit applies to the majority of search engines.

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