It seems to me that they’re simply asking everybody to use external
aggregators as a replacement for the nytimes.com homepage as the best
tool for reading the site. Even people using the NYT’s own RSS feeds to
find the stories they want to read might well be able to consume an
unlimited amount of online content for free.
Or to put it another way: if this is true, then they’re not actually charging for NYT content; they’re charging for NYT navigation. What you get charged for isn’t reading NYT stories, but rather navigating from
one NYT page to another. If you get to that second page any other way –
by following a link in your RSS reader or your favorite blog or a news
aggregator of some description — then you need no subscription at all.
Now, the navigation at nytimes.com is excellent, and I can see that
some people might be willing to pay for it. But it’s a pretty weird
thing to charge for. –Felix Salmon
Interesting. That will turn every single content link on the NYT website into an advertisement.