I just took the trouble to upgrade to TimesSelect, which is free for me, as a home delivery subscriber. It took about five minutes, then I pressed on the link to go to the TimesSelect page, and I clicked a link to the first article, only to get the first sentence followed by a pitch to subscribe to TimesSelect. And there is no button that says "I'm already a member" or some such thing. I can't figure out how to get in now.
Last week, by the way, I tried to activate TimesSelect and kept getting to a page telling me to try again or, if I continue to have problems, to call a telephone number. Finally, I called the phone number, got through the menus and the hold waiting time, only to get to a person who told me the page had technical problems that day and I should try again on another day.
All I can say is, if you're going to introduce a new barrier to the material, you ought to make sure it's as minimal as you can make it. I know a lot of people are irritated by putting the material behind a pay wall in the first place, and the Times has decided to go ahead and cause that irritation. But they really ought to avoid extraneous irritations! Especially when they are trying to get the new system off the ground.
What I really want to know is whether I can use the NYT Link Generator to link to the articles behind the wall. If not, I probably won't blog about them at all. It's awfully perverse to play up your influential opinion-leaders by making it harder for them to actually get into the interplay of opinion in the blogosphere. Or is the Times hoping this blog thing will blow over?