The first causality of The Times’ decision to set up a pay-wall has occurred before the paper had a chance to count the first day’s take.
“I’d like to think I was like Tevez as he transferred across from Manchester United to Manchester City,” wrote British blogger Tim Kevan in describing his escape from the The Times paywall and his decision to join The Guardian. To put that in perspective for our less-knowledgeable soccer fans, it’s like when Johnny Damon left the Red Sox for the Yankees.
Kevan, who had his law blog sponsored on The Times website for three years, made the decision as soon as the paywall was announced and he heard The Guardian would take him. In his first post for The Guardian, Kevan took the opportunity to give a shout-out to open platforms and non-exclusive content.
I’m particularly impressed by their Open Platform and the way they have introduced the idea of partnering with bloggers such as myself whereby I can retain my own website and identity as well as working directly with them (they even wrote me a WordPress plug-in especially!) It’s a paradigm-shift away from the old-school need for ownership and exclusivity and is definitely the way forward for traditional media to harness the power and energy of the web’s creative forces.
As paywalls pop up, the bloggers and the columnist will likely feel the most pain in readership and pageviews. It’s surprising to see how quickly Kevan decided to jump ship, but he did have a sweet back-up plan.
But what happens if The Guardian decides to follow the paywall trend?