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5 Reasons Why I (Depressingly) Don't Miss the NYTimes
May 30, 2011 - 9:45pm

I love the NYTimes. I believe in the NYTimes. But sadly, and somewhat surprisingly, I don't miss the NYTimes. Since the NYTimes iPad app, the main way I read the NYTimes, went mostly behind the paywall, I've basically stopped spending quality time with the venerable gray lady.

5 Reasons Why I Don't Miss the NYTimes (all that much):

Substitutions: While Google News and NPR and my local paper (the Valley News, delivered each morning on deceased tree material) may not be perfect substitutes for the NYTimes, they ain't bad. I'm less informed than I was as a daily NYTimes reader, but I'm not uninformed.

Sell-By-Date: It seems I'll pay for analysis, context and depth - but I will not pay for these things if delivered digitally. Go figure. I get smart analysis, context and depth from my weekly Economist magazine. Whereas 6 days a week of the NYTimes loses 99% percent of its value the day after it is delivered, the Economist stays fresh weeks into the future. I curl up with the Economist. I read the Economist for pleasure, and the magazine format is simply more pleasurable to read than via an iPad or a browser. If the NYTimes agreed to mail me the Sunday supplements in magazine format via the USPS (the NYTimes does not delivery to my rural residence), I'd sign up in a hot minute. Give me the Book Review, Week in Review, Magazine, Real Estate, etc. etc in a nice magazine layout and the NYTimes can have my money.

Specialization: The NYTimes education and technology coverage is not in-depth enough to pay for a digital subscription. The NYTimes education and technology coverage is not a must read in my business. I'll read the articles if filters I trust (bloggers mostly) link to the pieces, but I'm fine relying on those filters.

Amazon and the Kindle: Reading the NYTimes via the iPad app took time. Today, I spend that time mostly reading books on my Kindle. The Kindle, in fact, is sucking up more of my information consumption intake channel. The ability to purchase just the new book I what (almost always popular nonfiction), while it is in hardcover format (and hence being talked about), but at Kindle softcover prices is irresistible. Less NYTimes, more books.

Habits: Maybe reading the NYTimes, like many things, is really a habit (a virtuous habit), one that I'm losing. When I was a daily reader of the NTimes I could not imagine not being a daily reader of the NYTimes. When I'm not a daily reader of the NYTimes, not being a daily NYTimes reader doesn't seem like much of a stretch.

Would I go back to the NYTimes? Sure. Give me a weekend subscription (start delivering to my house), and throw in the iPad subscription and I'm back. If some company wants to sponsor my iPad NYTimes subscription, throwing in targeting ads, then sign-me-up.

For now, I'm off to read an (e) book.

Is the paywall working out for the NYTimes?

How has your relationship with the NYTimes changed?

Will our kids be NYTimes readers?

Should the NYTimes have figured out how to cut fixed costs (expensive building, printers, a delivery infrastructure, bloated management), and leveraged the real talent (reporters, writers, editors, photojournalists, etc. etc.) to reinvent itself for the digital age?


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