Walls of Mass Destruction (continued)

Joseph Nocera is writing some of the most interesting business commentary these days.  I posted about his column on Wal-Mart last weekend.

This weekend he takes on one of my favorite topics right now – the Times Select program. He does that in the Times itself which is kind of cool. They are allowing their own columnists to write about the TImes’ business.

I didn’t link to Joseph’s column in last week’s post and I am not going to link to his column in this post either.  And its not because I am somehow protesting the wall that the Times has put up between their audience and their columnist (although I personally hate it).

I have written before that links are the currency of the Internet. That continues to be lost on the major media. As I browse around the New York Times online this afternoon, I find so few links in the stories.  They should look like Wikipedia, not a newspaper.  This is the Internet after all.

Links are so fundamental on the Internet.  Not using links is like not using commas or periods. If you think about Google, the current king (or at least Starbucks) of the Internet, they have built their whole platform on links. The New York Times doesn’t link out very much.  So how do they expect others to want to link back?

I use the Internet like I follow a conversation, I read something, it contains a link, I follow it, I read more, I learn more, and so on and so forth.

The big problem with Times Select and one that Joseph Nocera misses in his otherwise excellent column, is that its a damn wall in the link love that exists online.  I’ll be following a conversation and digging and learning and bamm, I hit the frickin wall.  Stopped dead in my tracks.  Now some percent of the Internet will pay the $50 and the wall will come down for them.  But not for most of the people online.  And a conversation that is not inclusive is not a conversation I want to be part of.

So I don’t pay the $50 and I don’t join Times Select.  And I never will.