Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Firewall blues

Apparently the WaPo paywall applies to the blogs it hosts. I hit my 20 article monthly allotment this week on this computer (but not on the other computers I use, nor my iPad or iPhone). The paywall is easy to get around. I can just copy the url of the article I want to read and paste it into another browser. Or I can open feedly and read it via the site's RSS feed. Hidemyass.com also works, which means other free proxy sites probably do too. (I am loyal to HMA for its help evading the not-so-great-firewall-of-Kazakhstan) None of those workarounds are that hard, but they are enough of a pain in the ass that I am thinking twice before I click on the Plum Line or Wonkblog (listed as "Ezra Klein" on my blogroll) these days. Which means I visit them less often.

What I haven't considered is paying the Washington Post for access. I mean, why should I? I have a bunch of free workarounds! Also, I already pay for the NYT and I don't want to pay for two newspaper subscriptions. And if I was willing to pay for a second one, I don't think that the WaPa would be it.

I understand why newspapers are putting up paywalls. And if they are going to paywall their site, I do think that a leaky paywall is the way to go.  So I'm not really anti-the WaPo paywall. Maybe it's the one that will work for that publication. I'm just noting that despite all my understanding and lack of hostility to the idea, I just don't think it's working on me and I wonder how typical people like me are.