Errant Email and Media Loopholes

The New York Times emailed 8 million people today, telling them their home delivery subscription was canceled. Turns out it was a mistake and should have only reached 300 people.

The paper told folks on Twitter to ignore the message, saying it was spam. Well that did the trick, prompting tons of people to think the Times was hacked.

Interesting gossip, but I’d rather read about how the Times and other papers figure out what to do about their shrinking market share. Are pay-walls the answer? Will print survive the tablet, smartphone era? The question lingers while the loopholes to online access widen. News aggregate sites are only growing in popularity.

I’m an online Times reader and regularly use up my 20 allotted stories. Recently, after I became a Twitter junkie, I found a gaping loophole in the Times’ pay-wall. The Times loves to clutter the Twitter feed with links to just about every story it publishes, as do many of its columnists. Follow the link via Twitter and it doesn’t register on the newspaper’s story count software.

In fact, I started reading Maureen Dowd’s column today and was blocked because I reached my limit. I turned to Twitter and within a few seconds I was into her full column.

Meanwhile, behind the scenes, what I found more interesting on Twitter today than the email SNAFU was a post by David Carr, media reporter for the Times. He posted a link to a letter that Times employees sent to publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., pissed that he’s freezing pensions. Nearly 400 people signed the letter — ironically not including Carr.

Just another chink in the giant’s armor.



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