Tuesday, 12th June 2012 by Simon Hilliard
There’s a brand new Tumblr page kicking about the web this week, and it is a little different to school days nostalgia, inappropriately placed QR codes or a love of charts and Venn diagrams.
A select few of the The Times newspaper’s editorial team have taken to Tumblr and are publishing blog posts, opinion pieces and picture stories. Since coming online yesterday posts have covered a range of topics including gay marriage, protests against Russian President Putin and a gloomy insight into the state of the British summer.
But you may be thinking ‘hang on a minute, what about The Times’ paywall? Isn’t giving away content from some of their top writers flying in the face of the paid content model?’. And you wouldn’t be alone in these thoughts.
Hugo Rifkind seems to be answering similar questions on Twitter. Firstly, lets clarify this is not The Times attempting a freemium model, it’s ‘different’:
The driving force behind it seems to be allowing Times reports to provide content and opinion to readers at increased speed to the print and online site, cutting it from a day to “about 5 mins”:
Or, if you prefer, think of it as Twitter+
In fact, that seems like the best way to sum it up. The Times has a less straightforward social media play to non-paywall papers and online news sources – being behind a paywall means sharing content and engaging with readers has to be re-thought.
Direct engagement with content and Times reporters is limited to subscribers and buyers only, so posting on Tumblr is potentially a good way to give some insight into editorial coverage and tempt new readers within the Times’ paywall. It’s not the only paper experimenting with Tumblr, check out the Guardian’s Untangling the Web for another, but it does show The Times isn’t 100% closed to the idea of free content online.
Thanks for the tip @kchadda
Category: Blogging, Content, Digital publishing, Media, Paid content
Tags: blog, Digital publishing, freemium, guardian, Paid content, paywall, Social media, the times, times, Tumblr
[...] Influence vs exposure: this makes me wonder if Times writers have become less influential than their counterparts at other papers, whose stories are freely viewable by PRs, analysts, clients and…everyone. Does lack of exposure mean less influence? It’s not impossible, but if it’s the case the new paywall could reverse this process. Of course the majority of Times’ writers can be followed on Twitter, and the editorial team haven’t been hidden away in a cupboard since 2010. Some of them started a Tumblr. [...]
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